Episode from the podcastThe Audacity to Podcast

How to Transfer Recordings Faster from the RØDECaster Pro

Released Tuesday, 14th April 2020
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The RØDECaster Pro is my new favorite piece of podcasting gear! I'll have a thorough review soon. In the meantime, here are some tips to help with one of the biggest complaints I've heard about the RØDECaster Pro.

Why the RØDECaster Pro transfers files so slowly

The RØDECaster Pro (RCP) can read and write to a variety of microSD cards, including extremely high-speed cards. But its transfer speed is limited because the interface with your computer is only USB 2.0!

USB 2.0's maximum transfer speed is 480 megabits per second (or 60 MB/s because there are 8 bits in 1 byte). But USB 3.0's maximum transfer speed is 5 gigabits per second, so it's about 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

Thus, not matter how fast your computer or the microSD card are, the RØDECaster Pro has a bottleneck transfer speed. In my real-world testing, this came out to be about 8.1 MB per second.

How to speed up file transfers (and workflow)

1. Update the app and firmware

The RØDECaster Pro Companion app version 2.0.4 performed so horribly in my tests that I stopped trying to measure transfer times when a stereo file was taking more time to transfer than the recording itself!

I realized this could be from one or both of my following conditions:

  1. macOS Catalina—this was most likely the cause
  2. Encrypted hard drive

In this scenario, the app was spiking my CPU and taking hours to transfer files, even if I used a USB 3.0 reader!

But simply using version 2.1 of the app fixed the CPU spike and dramatically improved transfer speeds.

If you're facing similar unreasonably slow performance, make sure you update the app and firmware!

2. Record in stereo instead of multitrack

3. Use the RØDECaster Pro companion app for multitrack recordings

4. Use a separate microSD reader …

5. … And upgrade to a faster microSD

My SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-II was more than 2.1× faster than my SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-I, and about 23× faster than the RCP's USB 2.0.

But remember that because of the RCP's USB 2.0 bottleneck, you will see these performance benefits only if you use a separate and faster microSD reader.

Performance results

  • SanDisk Ultra RCP 2.1, via app
    • 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 2:05
    • 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 14:29
  • SanDisk Ultra via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app
    • 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:12
    • 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 1:24
  • SanDisk Extreme PRO via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app
    • 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:06
    • 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 0:37

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