Offloading GoPro Footage the Easy Way!

Transferring files off of most cameras to a Linux computer isn't all that difficult. The exception is my GoPro Hero 4 Black. For 4th of July week I took a bunch of video with the GoPro, approximately 20 MP4 files, about 3GB each. The annoying thing about the GoPro's USB interface is you need additional software to download everything through the cable. The camera doesn't just show up as a USB filesystem that you can mount. The GoPro does have a micro-SD card but I was away from home and didn't have any dongles or adapters. Both of these solutions also mean taking the camera out of its waterproof case and off of its mount. So here's what I did.

GoPro cameras, after the Hero 3, can open up an ad-hoc wireless network that lets you browse the GoPro's onboard files through an HTTP server. This means you can open your browser and scroll through the files on the camera at an intranet address,, and download them one by one by clicking every link on every page. If you have a lot of footage on there it kinda sucks. So, I opened up the manual for wget. I'm sure you could get really fancy with some of the options but the only thing I cared about was downloading every single MP4 video off of the camera, automatically. I did not want to download any of the small video formats or actual HTML files. Here's what I used:

sh wget --recursive --accept "*.MP4"

This tells wget to download all of the files at the GoPro's address recursively and skips any that don't have the MP4 extension. Now I've got a directory tree with all of my videos in it. And the best part is I didn't have to install the dinky GoPro app on my laptop. Hopefully this helps if you're looking for an easy way to migrate lots of footage without manually clicking through the web interface or installing additional software. The only downside is if you're moving a whole lot of footage, it's not nearly as quick as just moving files off the SD card. So I'd shoot for using the adapter to read off the card first and only use this if that's not an option, such as when the camera is mounted and you don't want to move it.

Some things I would like to change/add:

I could probably write a quick and dirty shell script to do all of this for me but I use the camera so infrequently that it's probably not even worth it.