Via Mark Welker I saw this reference to an easy installer for the Saturn Disk Mounter program, which mounts your CVS Camcorder as a USB drive to your OS X box if you have the magic hacked cable. I installed the program (which included libusb), plugged in the camera, and voila! There it was, mounted as a drive. The beautiful thing about this is that it is much faster than the PureRead program, which can take 20 minutes to download all the videos if the camera is full. Even better, the same guy wrote Saturn Video Archiver which will pull the movies down and convert them from XViD to MPEG on the fly, all the while renaming things with timestamps and archiving them. PureRead is unforgiving, only saves to your Desktop with one set filename pattern and will happily overwrite your previous files if you forget to move them out of the way before you start. If you use the CVS Camcorder and a Mac, I’d recommend trying out these new programs and seeing if you prefer them.
While I was doing all this, I accidentally made another discovery. The low battery indicator was flashing while I played with the mounter. After I unplugged it, I opened the compartment to change the batteries and there were none in there! That’s right, with no batteries in the camera it will operate if plugged in. I presume that the 5V power supply gives the camera enough juice to operate. This is not just to mount the drive and get the files off, by the way, but enough to power the whole camera. As a test, I connected it up with the battery compartment empty and open and was able to capture and play new videos and then get them off the camera, all in one shot.
I haven’t been playing with my camcorder too much lately, and I’m pleased to have new developments on this front. This thing has been a whole lot of hacking fun stuffed into a $25 package.