USB Detect & Launch allows you to automatically execute a script or application each time a USB storage device is plugged into your PC. Different scripts can be executed for different devices and it’s the volume label that determines what action to perform.
Some examples (dependent on the scripts you write) are:
- Copy new podcasts to your MP3 player.. just like I describe here
- Copy other media from specific folders onto your USB memory stick
- Backup your USB memory stick automatically when it’s inserted
- Backup files from your PC onto a portable hard drive (perhaps firing up a copy of Microsoft’s SyncToy or Robocopy)
- Anything else you can think of that you can write in a script!
As I mentioned, the application does little more than detecting the USB device and launching a script determined by it’s volume label. The power comes from being able to write scripts to do whatever you like!
USB Detect and Launch is free for home use. Businesses must buy a license after an initial trial period of 10 days. The cost of a license is $40 per installation, payable via PayPal (which accepts Credit Cards).
Downloads (for Windows 9x/200x/XP/Vista)
- 29 Feb 2008 – Version 1.5 – Detects any devices that are inserted.. put ‘label:(any)‘ in your script. Note that this will also detect network drives & you really need to use the ignore setting to stop it detecting drives you don’t want the script to run for.
- 13 Nov 2007 – Version 1.4 – Detects devices with no label.. put ‘label:(no label)‘ in your script
- 4 Apr 2007 – Version 1.3 – Ability to launch additional scripts from the system tray menu
- 25 Mar 2007 – Version 1.2 – Ignore certain drive letters (useful if performance is slow, or sleeping drives are spinning up)
- 6 Feb 2007 – Version 1.1 – Minimise to system tray
Here’s some example config you could use with the app:
exec:"c:\batch\batch-backup-bigun.cmd" %1 %2
exec:"c:\batch\batch-backup-something.cmd" %1 %2
exec:"c:\batch\batch-backup-all.cmd" %1 %2
On my quest to automate my podcast downloads I have USB Detect & Launch running on my server & on my laptop where I watch most of the video-based podcasts.
When a new podcast is available, I’m notified by RSS and insert a 2Gb memory stick into my server. The script I use there is based on XCOPY and uses the /M parameter to copy all files with the archive attribute set, and reset that attribute once copied. Therefore the files only get copied once, but are still available on the server if I decide to watch them at home.
On my laptop I plug in the memory stick and another script that uses Robocopy will move all files from the podcast folder to an area on my laptop. Robocopy is used because XCOPY won’t actually move files from one folder to another.
The command line I’m giving Robocopy is:
robocopy “%1podcasts” “c:\podcasts” /MOV /V /NP /S
This traverses subdirectories, moves the files, yet preserves the folder structure. %1 is replaced by the drive that the USB memory stick appears on. Robocopy GUI is useful for building up the command line if you’re not sure of the parameters.
Disclaimer: A user of this software acknowledges that he or she is receiving this software on an “as is” basis and the user is not relying on the accuracy or functionality of the software for any purpose. The user further acknowledges that any use of this software will be at the user’s own risk and the copyright owner – Matt Collinge – accepts no responsibility whatsoever arising from the use or application of the software.