CardRaider - great little app for recovering lost photos


Recently the HD in my main Mac died. While I had just made a full backup, I had also moved some pictures off our digital camera into iPhoto, causing me to lose about 60 pictures. Well, thanks to how digital photography software work (they don't fully erase pictures off memory cards, just do a partial delete) I stood a chance to recover the pictures using one of the file recovery tools available.

After looking on MacUpdate for a suitable tool I settled on CardRaider, a $20 app that makes the process very easy: run the app, insert your memory card, click Scan and wait while it pours over the card looking for your lost media. As each photo is discovered it will be displayed as a thumbnail with some associated metadata, giving you enough information to decide which photos to recover. You decide which photos to recover and can either save them out to disk or import them straight into iPhoto - a little touch that goes a long way to boosting its simplicity.

The only issue I discovered was a slightly glaring problem that will hopefully be remedied soon: only photos can be recovered, the movie clips that almost all digital cameras can take are completely ignored, as are any other types of files. This greatly reduces its usefulness for me, and ultimately I'm going to have to find another app to recover the lost movie clips (we take a lot of them of our kids playing). I emailed the developers to ask when this feature would be added and was informed that while the feature was being considered for a future release nothing had been decided yet and so they could not give any guarantees.

If you are someone who only uses their digital camera for taking photos and not movie clips, this is $20 well spent that can probably save you much anxiety for those occasional accidents. If, on the other hand, you do take a lot of movie clips with your digital camera, you may want to look elsewhere.


Interestingly, I emailed the author my suggestion that it also be able to recover other files and at first he didn't seem too interested. Before I'd even finished this review, however, he sent me a test release of the next version that can recover AVI files (the format most cameras use). Talk about support! So, with this feature due to be added soon, I can't recommend this program enough! Well worth it!

And then I discover File Juicer which can recover images, movies and do a boatload more. Doh. C'est la vie.


Ryan, email the author and

Ryan, email the author and ask if he has a beta/alpha build available that includes this feature, he should send you one that does. Good luck with it.

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