What is confusing is the default Preferences setting, which will ignore clips on the device that have already been imported – they become invisible in the folder view, which gives the alarming impression that they are no longer present. De-selecting this option restores full visibility, after which you users are free to choose either all of the available clips or a selection.
FlamingoHD sports a similar interface to iLife applications – particularly iMovie and iPhoto – in the way that it organises clips into Events and Projects. Thanks to the way that clips are imported without transcoding, the application pulls in the H.264 clips very quickly. The final result is then represented as a single group thumbnail representing multiple files. Having saved the clips into a user-defined location, this in itself makes it very easy and convenient to archive AVCHD clips in their native form.
However, two ShedWorx partner applications offer additional opportunities to convert these clips into other common usable formats prior to editing in either iMovie or Final Cut at a later date. FlamingoHD will send clips to either VoltaicHD or to RevolverHD (both of which act as transcoding and compression applications), or directly to iMovie or any other specified Mac-based editing application.
In some ways, this extremely useful application will enjoy a window of opportunity only until such time as Apple updates Quick Look to support real-time preview of AVCHD clips prior to import. However, even as a quick import and native format catalogue and archive utility alone, the time savings make FlamingoHD well worth a look.