PHOTOGRAPHERS - reviewing SD card v. slow for you?

I bought a My Passport Wireless drive primarily to copy photos from my camera SD cards on location and review the shots by wifi on my iPad. However, it doesn’t seem to work in practice. Pictures from a card with over 700 images are transferred from the SD reader to the drive in 5-10 minutes. That’s quite slow, but OK. But I can’t scroll through the images without getting extreme buffering, even over 1 hour later. That’s no good at all for reviewing images. Is this typical of what I can expect from this setup? Is anyone getting it to work well?  I’d really appreciate feedback/advice, based on experience.

One other question.

What does the ‘download’ option do? If I download an image, using the MyCloud app it doesn’t appear in the iPad’s Photos. So where is it?

citroenDS wrote:


What does the ‘download’ option do? If I download an image, using the MyCloud app it doesn’t appear in the iPad’s Photos. So where is it?

…in the downloads section of the app.

Thanks Tony.  

I can’t see I’ll be using that option very much then, even with a good sized drive!

no one on this forum using this drive to download SD cards on location, and review their pictures?

Yes, my girlfriend is doing this, but not in a way you would like. My girlfriend is the primary user of the MPW. I am technical support.

Basically, at the moment she plugs SD cards into the MPW and hits the Wi-Fi button to download her photos to the MPW. As she uses a Nikon camera with two SD card slots, she saves JPEG files to one SD card, and NEF (RAW) files to the other card. Both cards get backed up to the MPW. This is considered the on location backup for her photos. Often she will continue to shoot on the same SD cards without deleting the photos already downloaded, and then will download again later. Only the new files are downloaded at the later time.

However, if she wishes to review the photos, perhaps tweak a few and upload them to social media or somewhere, she tends to also copy the JPEG SD card to her iPad using an Apple SD card reader, and then use Photo or iPhoto to do what she likes. It is duplication of effort, but it is actually easier and quicker for her to do that. This often causes memory availability problems on the iPad, but she tends to delete all the photos she isn’t going to play with, knowing there is a backup on the MPW, and just keeps a few photos on the iPad. It is a shame that iOS requires the photos to be copied to the iPad before they can be used, rather than just browsing and opening the photos directly fro the SD card.

Anyway, she is aware that the My Cloud App allows her to browse the files copied to the MPW, and she does use that a bit, and intends to use it more. But wanting to use iPhoto for edits is the stumbling block, as the photos need to be in the Camera Roll or an Album for iPhoto to access them.

I have had a look at “FileBrowser Lite” which does some good stuff, but still isn’t a solution. I haven’t bought the full version yet to see if it meets her needs better.

However the “My Cloud” and “Photoshop Express” Apps combined can provide a workaround it get photos from the MPW to the Camera Roll in iOS. So far she hasn’t got into using that workaround though. My workaround is described here:

PS: Increasing the cache used in the My Cloud App may help with your original problem of buffering when when scrolling through images. The cache is set by tapping the Menu icon (top left of screen in home page), tap Settings, and check the Cache Size setting. Try a larger cache and see if the buffering improves.

Thanks a lot for your feedback, Roderick. I’m downloading images from the SD cards, but - unlike your girlfriend - I don’t want to do any editing on the road, or import them to the iPad. I just want to back them up, and review them.

It would be good, I agree, if iOS enabled you to view the images without importing, but the advantage of the MPW - if it worked as intended - is that you can back them up as well as review them.

I should have said that I set the cache to its maximum setting, almost right from the start, as soon as I saw the buffering, expecting this to fix it straightaway. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to have any significant effect.

One thing I have noticed in the last couple of days, however, is that it appears to be possible to review pictures the next day. I don’t understand it, and it’s not much use for reviewing a day’s shoot. But the buffering that exists even 2 hours after import, is greatly reduced 24 hours later.  Indeed, if it worked as well immediately after downloading from the card, it would be near perfect. As it is, it doesn’t do the job at all.

Any one getting better results with reviewing SD cards straightaway on the MPW?

What you are seeing is the lag time associated with the MPW building it’s media database after saving new files, I believe. The MPW creates thumbnails to display in some (all?) it’s views, and that takes a while. Leave it for a day and they will all be done. Try to review photos immediately and the MPW has to create thumbnails as you scroll through the photos, or read the thumbnail that is already imbedded in the file.

We have seen this as well, and sometimes it is bad. But we tend to review the JPEGs which are smaller and I believe the Nikon embeds a thumbnail in the JPEG as well, so that is read rather than create a new thumbnail. I can’t remember if the ability to embed a thumbnail is a setting in the camera or is done by default.

Anyway, the only thing I know that seems to help is to always have the MPW powered using the charger when copying files from SD cards, and to leave it powered while it updates it’s database. We tend to plug it in when we get to a hotel and leave it that way all night.

Another option is to use a different app that perhaps

Oops. Typing on my phone.

Another option is to use a different App that perhaps may be faster because it doesn’t rely on a media database. I am still testing FileBrowser Lite. The Lite version is annoying because of nagware, but it allows you to test the App, and it looks like the full App may be useful for reviewing photos directly off the MPW as you wish to do. Give it a try.