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Storage : my choice - giving in


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#1 Giles

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 03:58 AM

Alex will find this particularly amusing as will any of my other friends with iPods.
I have never liked iPods, just because i have always thought they are over priced. Now although I still think that I have decided in my choice now to buy several new lenses I am also going to splash out on a storage device for travelling.
Previously I have always wanted the SanDisk FlashTrax 80gb. But I just lost my nice Rio Cali MP3 player so I have been looking at option for a photo / mp3 / anything extra type device.
I saw the iPod Photo. At first I liked it because of it's size and 60gb of storage, which should e perfect for anything i need. The nice little Belkin device (there are two one connects cameras for download) which takes memory cards and then downloads to iPod makes it perfect, if I hadnt stumbled across this device I would have decided against the iPod as obviously gettingpictures from camera to iPod is much more important than iPod - Computer link which is standard.

Does anyonehere have and use the iPod phot like this? anyone else have any recommendations ?

nb i am not worried about size of screen for anything else but checking through images quickly I will not be being selective unless at a PC.

cheers for any input.

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#2 caveman

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 05:28 AM

Good topic. I have just moved to digital ( D70 ) , and am looking for a small and light weight storage solution ( dont want to drag my laptop over seas on trips ). Is there any backup / data trasnfer methods ? i.e. if i could use an Ipod and connect it dorectly to my D70, and off load the images..... it would be very handy.

#3 craig

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:02 AM

The iPod photo's viewing functions are a joke and it can't interface to flash cards on it's own. If you want it as a standalone image bank there are other devices that don't require addons to work. As a backup device, there are smaller and cheaper ways to get the same backup capability. As a music player, the iPod photo is nice if you feel the need for 40 or 60 GB but iPod batteries are terrible for travel due to rapid discharge and the photo's size is larger than other options these days. On the plus side, the 4G iPods have improved battery performance, the photo version has a bigger, though heavier, battery and the screen is very nice.

I personally don't see the argument for not carrying a laptop on a trip. It's a huge timesaver and it's not big compared to what you're already carrying. The last thing I want to do is cull a thousand images when I get home. For music players I prefer the superior size and battery life of the Rio Carbon to any iPod and I prefer to use a real external disk drive for backup. iPods are all about style over function---you can get the job done with them but there are alternatives. Frankly, adding a reader onto an iPod photo is too "Rube Goldberg" for me. I say this an owner of all four generations of iPods, including the 60GB iPod photo. For music, the Carbon does everything I want to do in a much smaller package. For images, the iPod doesn't do what I want it to do. For me, having an iPod photo is mostly for impressing the friends.
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#4 caveman

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:16 AM

Thanks. Fortunately we dont all prefer the same things..otherwise we would chase the same GF's / Wives. :(

In my case, I am looking for something simple and light. I can delete no-brainer "crap" pics ( not that I make any ;) ) on the camera LCD, and am happy to wait till i get home to screen them ( dont want to be on my PC while I am ona tropical island, let alone the weight / size and possibility of it getting damaged on the trip.

Looking for something small, cost effective to off load pics via the USB / firewaire cable. Interested to hear what the "smaller and cheaper" devices are ?

#5 james

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:41 AM

Hi Giles,

I am not sure if that USB bridge device is available as USB2 yet. If all they have is USB1.1 then forget about transferring your images to the iPod as it will take like 1/2 hr per 1 gig card... Might be something to check on before making your purchase.

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#6 kathymm

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:47 AM

My S.O. gave me a MicroSolutions Roadstor for Christmas.

Put your card into one of the slots (it supports various types) and it burns to CD's. You can't edit or delete using it but it does include a cable that attaches to a television and you can view your images. It plays DVD's also.

It comes with a rechargeable battery and a charger, and all the cables you might need and the whole thing fits in a neat little carrying case. All for less than $300.

I will get a laptop computer eventually but for now this works great!
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#7 Giles

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 06:51 AM

Craig ... if you could explain why the photo viewing functions are a joke I would appreciate it.

James .. when I am downloading for storage ... I have 30 mins for download .. i am probably sat somewhere drinking a beer .. so it's all good.
If they upgrade the device to USB2 at the minute it says it is firewire tech. It was made specially for the photo ipod so i doubt they will change it.

I personally wanty these things from a storage device.
1. Large Storage
2. Smallness
3. Colour viewing for confirmation and quick viewing.
4. 10 hour battery would be nice
5. Connect to Media card and PC's

The Rio Carbon would not be a very good travel companion at only 5gb and no colour screen.
The iPod photo on the other hand allows you to view your image to make sure it is there, also playback on a tv for larger viewing. And I do have an absurd amount of mp3 songs.

Reasons why I dont want a laptop for storage. I am not always on a long dive vacation wanting storage, sometimes I am driving around or quick europe trip or something where i take more photos than I can store on a 1gb card, and I dont want to edit or manage them anywhere i just want to storethemand take more.

At home I have my pc and 3 hard drives, i just want a travel companion .. I can store documents, music and photos on the ipod ... It doesn't take raw images right now .. but RAW images will mainly be used when i am diving, and i dont need to view them in all circumstances, but the storage will be handy.

It has ical for calendar reminders (although i use my phone as well for mobile calendar that might be good too.

To be honest I looked at the o2 XGA .. which is a PDA phone for the UK .. very nice but I am not sure it will work as a phone anywhere else in the world.

The other choices I have considered are The SanDisk Flash Trax (but that is very chunky compared, i have also considered PDA's but that seems like over kill to me when all i want is storage and playback of music and photos. and the xtras the ipod offers are nice.

Posted Image This add on allows you to download media cards, there is also one to connect to cameras directly.

The classy look of this mp3 photo combo device is way better than any others and i always take style into it, as should anyone with any equipment .. it's just as important if not more so to look cool than be comfortable.
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#8 james

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:12 AM

So if you get the iPod, does it come with the oh-so-cute girl and the Abercrombie and Fitch clothes? :-)

In my opinion, the best-in-class device for fulfilling your requirements is the Epson P2000 Giles. It isn't as sexy or as well marketted (sp?) as the iPod, but it's gobs better.

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#9 caveman

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:24 AM

I have the O2 XDA. yes u can view pictures, but, definately not RAW, and i have no idea how u would off load pictures from the CF card to the XDA ? Further more, the XDA would need a CF card reader ( which I have ).

will look into the Ipod

thx.

#10 caveman

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:41 AM

p.s. having some music on a trip is a + as well !!!!

#11 Giles

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 09:27 AM

The Oh - So - Cute Girl apparently comes with guy who looks in funny directions with a weird smile .... it would be one of those optional extras i would throw away. She's cute in that claudia schiffer kinda way ... a bit too 90's to be trendy to come with the iPod.

The iPod although not nec meant for the same job and doesn't view raw files has over double the battery life with possible extnsion. the 4.5 hours of the p2000 really puts me off .. that won't even last one transatlantic flight ... it would barely last checking in and going to spain from england .. so it doesn't really make it as a portable mp3 player in my mind. Although i would probably choose that over the SanDisk now that i have seen it ... nice review at dpreview about the p2000.
The only thing that maybe worries me is the pc to ipod compatability .. will i really enjoy having to use itunes and or iphoto or whatever software the ipod needs for syncing ...
I do like that suggestion James ... but the Gobs better is just a matter of opinion ... i dont want something that performs really well .. i want something that does the jo i want it to and looks good and is small while doing it .... thats why i bought my canon Sd20 as my fun camera .. it doesnt get much cooler than tha on a night out of taking piccies, it's already survived many drunken events.

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#12 Don in Colorado

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 10:16 AM

Here is a place that sells lot's of storage devices.

http://www.mydigital...2/category.3/.f

I have decided to use a laptop.

#13 james

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 10:50 AM

I wonder if the P2000 gets longer battery life if you turn the color LCD off... Personally I think it looks sexier than the iPod, but then I drive a honda.

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#14 BradDB

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:09 AM

I think the iPod is a fantastic device. It has changed the way I listen to music. My 1st gen 5gb iPod is still all I need.
That being said, the iPod Photo falls short of my needs for a portable image storage device. The real deal killer is that the user can't review images on the screen that have been uploaded via the $100 Belkin accessory. Only images synched using iTunes can be viewed.
I agree with James. The Epson P2000 is stunning. I played with one at MacWorld earlier this month. At $500 I would have bought one on the spot had they been available. Unfortunately they are backordered. The hi-rez 3.8 inch screen is beautiful. Jpeg images can be magnified to check sharpness. RAW images can be viewed but not magnified. Battery life is short. You would want one or two spares at $50 each. At least the batteries are small.

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#15 james

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:14 AM

Spare interchangable batteries - something the iPod has needed for years, right?
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#16 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:43 AM

Craig ... if you could explain why the photo viewing functions are a joke I would appreciate it.


I'm not Craig Jones, but I'm geographically and "noministically" (how's that for a neologism :( ) close to him, and I'm happy to answer this.

Keep in mind I'm a rabid Apple fan. With that in mind, I strongly recommend this little beauty $499.99 for the 40 GB Epson vs $499 for the 40 GB iPod Photo, so that's a wash.

The photos on the iPod photo need to be loaded via iTunes, the Apple music jukebox/management software. JPEGS only, there is no support for RAW files on the iPod Photo (maybe you could rip out the preview JPGS and then put them on the iPod Photo, but you'd need a laptop to do this, defeating the purpose of the device!). iTunes actually renders a preview from the file you are uploading for display on the iPod Photo, in a non-transparent manner.

The Belkin adaptor is a dog, slower than molasses in a snow storm.

Epson has a bigger screen, support for RAW from Canon and Nikon (and other second tier dSLR/digicam manufacturers), support for MP3 files, support for video. Reasonable battery life.

Epson has direct slot for plugging in the CF card, USB 2.0 (high speed implementation).

IMHO the Epson is designed to do EXACTLY what you want to do with the minimum of fuss, the iPod Photo is a new twist on a music player designed to get people to upgrade. If all you used was an Olympus at 3Mpix or less, it might work for you. dSLR shooters are not well served by the iPod Photo.

If I hadn't just bought another lens (Damn you Nikon, and damn you Cameta Camera on eBay :twisted: ) I would consider myself in the market for the Epson.


As I type this, I see Sir James, lord of the Manor Canon, has already mentionied the P-2000.
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#17 Starbuck

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:04 PM

Please buy the IPOD.. Im waiting for the stock to hit 100 /share to retire.

I personally own something called efilm that I bought from bh a year ago.. bring it along in case the laptop goes caput on the liveaboard and Im stuck with no download capability.

M. :()

#18 craig

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:47 PM

Others covered the reasons why the iPod's photo support is not what you want. You have to use iTunes for it to work at all, plus it derives the images to store on the iPod rather than storing the images themselves. You can store full res images and all sorts of files on the device but you can't view them.

Now, saying you don't mind that limitation, the device still only provides a postage stamp sized slideshow capability. More of a novelty designed to sell very high priced versions of the device for you to have iPod bragging rights. It's not really useful. You can plug it into a TV.

The Belkin device is slow as others mentioned and you shouldn't need to add anything to do what you want. The P-2000 is highly regarded and, if you don't like the mp3 support on it, a smaller mp3 jukebox like the Carbon or iPod mini works. I really don't see an actual need for such huge capacity on trips. I find it too easy to carry just a subset of my music collection and would rather have the smaller device.

What really bothers me about iPod's is their rapid self-discharge rate than comes from the fact that they never turn off (they just pretend to). Supposedly they've improved that in the 4G versions but I don't know. The 3G iPods lasted less than 3 days on a charge even without use! My favorite iPod was the 1G. It had the best wheel, a real firewire connector and a good battery. The iPod photo has a very nice screen though and I do like it, but at $600 for 60GB it's just for show. I keep it semi-permanently in my Bose dock and take the smaller player with me.
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#19 cor

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 04:56 PM

Hi Giles, I have an IPod Photo, and bought it for a similar reason as you did, although not exactly the same. I do take a laptop, on every trip. If I want to make sure I got a certain image, I want to be able to view with real tools.

I use the ipod photo as a backup device for my images. Actually, we use 2 Ipods. I have one and my wife has one. We both mainly use them for music/books, but they both serve as backup for my digital images (she shoots slides). During the trip, I copy my images to both ipods, just in case something happens.

One feature I like about the ipod photo is that you can very quickly create a slideshow. I sync a certain folder with the ipod, plug it into a tv (simple cable), and voila, instant TV based slideshow. Sure, I can hook up the laptop too, but for some reason im always messing with that dual screen crap and this is just so much easier.

There is no problem withsoever with PC compatibility. iTunes works just fine. I also own a G4 laptop (which I dont bring, I bring my Thinkpad), and the interaction with the ipod is very similar between the 2 operating systems.

Is the Ipod the best solution for what you want? Probably not. I havent tried using a Belkin device myself, and if what Brad says is true, that you cant view uploaded images (which i immediately believe, I find the photo options quite limited on the ipod), i would say thats a deal breaker for you,


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#20 Giles

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 05:47 PM

ok well now i obviously have some play time coming up in BH photo testing out loads of these

damn it ...

why is spending money never simple !!!

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