Flip tells me to return my Flip Mino to the store if I don't like my videos on Drive C:

The Flip Mino software was recently updated. I took the update because I was hoping the software would be a little bit faster and a little bit more stable. It seems faster when loading, but it's got it's own troubles. First off, the software won't let you save videos from the camcorder to any drive other than the C: drive on Windows.

This is a problem because the video files are big and they will quickly fill my drive. In the prior version of the software I'd manually move the files after downloading, but it meant that the Flip editing software couldn't find the files once I had done that. The workaround was to move them back for the editor and then move them to the big drive when done. The new version buries the videos deep in the directory structure, so you won't accidentally delete them (their words.) I decided to see if I could get the problem fixed. I used their online support.

I asked:
Phil: I'd like to move the FlipShare directory to a drive with more space. How do I do that?

They answered:
Flip: The Flip Video program does not have any features that allow users to change the default saving location, nor the location where the "video compatibility" software will be installed.

You may be able to manually save your video. To do this, please connect your camcorder to your computer and double-click the Flip Video icon either in “My Computer” or on the desktop. Then double-click the DCIM folder, and open the 100VIDEO folder, which is where you will find your videos. Then select the video you wish to save, copy it, and paste it to the location of your choice. Please be aware that your camcorder’s program will not be able to recognize videos saved in this manner.

The problem is in the last sentence. I want to use the software that came with the camcorder! I wrote them back:
Phil: Ok. Now, I know that there is no menu driven way to make the change. I need to know what other way exists to make the change. I need FlipShare to look at something other than my C: Drive for it's files. How do I do that?

They answered with:
Flip: There is no way to do this in the Flip program. You can manually save videos to any location you wish, and then try to save them back to your camcorder to use them in the Flip program. But, the Flip program will still save them back to your C drive.

Now, I thought it was time to let them know I had a little expertise and was willing to accept a technically challenging solution:
Phil: That doesn't work for me. The Flip will fill my C: Drive. How can I manually make the change? It probably involves changing some registry entries.

They told me to stop bothering them and return the camera from whence I got it:
Flip: We do not provide support for manipulating the Flip program, nor do we know of any way to change the default location the Flip stores videos.

If the Flip Share set-up doesn't work for your needs, it may be best to return the device and buy one more suited for your specific needs.

Our apologies for any confusion, or inconvenience.

I have to wonder if a customer service agent for Pure Digital actually has the authority to send me packing. I am shocked by the answer.

As I see it, I can live with it, work around it, try to fix it manually by guessing at registry entries, or return it to Amazon and buy the Kodak Zi6. (I was wanting to test drive one of those anyway.)

UPDATE: Later versions of the FlipShare software include an option for moving the data directory.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.