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Storage : my choice - giving in


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#21 robmcmahon

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 07:12 AM

I too looked at the iPod as a storage device but the download time from CF to iPod dissuaded me. I read numerous articles on iPod mad sites and in the end bought the 40GB flashtrax.

This decision was all made before the release of the iPod photo so I am not sure how well they have addressed the transfer time.

I have found that when I wanted to get an all-in-one device (PDA phones - MP3 photo stores - Self Brewing Beer fridges) too many compromises needed to be made. I personally think that we probably need a couple more generations of combo gadgets before they can compete with the single purpose gadgets.

So I ended up using the flashtrax to hold my files and my iPod to listen to music.

#22 manatee19

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 08:26 AM

I won't enter into thet iPod vs others benefit discussion.

Simply want to say that we have used the Archos Gmini220, a 20Gb photo storage/MP3 player/digital recorder unit with great satisfaction for about a year.

We use it mainly as an accessory storage unit when we are shooting on the road for a day and then we download its content on mirrored LaCie mobile drives.

You could view JPEGs in B&W on the Gmini but it is, IMHO useless.

Does not nees accessory connector to download from a CF card.

I've read about issues regarding certain CF cards but our Lexar 1Gb 40X work wonderfully... only wish the upload time from CF card to Gmini would be shorter (takes about 12-15min for a full card and we can do about 10 uploads before recharging the built-in Gmini batteries.

Thought it might interest some readers and yes, the iPod is a much better user-friendly system and down te road we might end up using one...

Michel

#23 scubag

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 09:19 AM

Giles,
Although I am an avid ipod user for my music, using it to back up your photos is at this time is still a primitive operation, as you are not able to view your images on the ipod photo without first processing them in computer. I travel with a 12" powerbook and back up each days shoot on a cd-r or dvd-r at the end of each day. The added size and weight are minimal for all the gained power and convenience I have at my disposal. By the way, the epson P-2000 is one bad ass little gadget, but a small notebook computer will always be better.

Good Luck,

Doug

#24 Giles

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 11:51 AM

Ok ... I went and played with the ipod today ... and it would do my jobs wanted of storing the images and also being a smallish size mps player.

But it is not what I am getting not for that price.

I have never used one before but I got looking at PDA's .. the Palm Zire 72 and more so Tungsten T5 caught my mind. Now they dont have anywhere near 40gig of memory .. how can the iPod have 60gig and a pda doesnt have any !!

I got over this irritatin fact in my head and thought .. i have a USB2 external harddrive, and the pda's take CF and SD cards in a lot of cases (i would choose one that did both) would it be possible to connect the external drive via usb or usb 2 insert the CF card into the PDA and transfer the images across? and then also view them on the PDA ? They have nice screens .. they can play MP3 ... are remarkably small. With Wifi and or Bluetooth i can upload to webspace ... does it get any better ?

Ha anyone got any better solutions ... or suggestions ... note laptop is not an option .. it's too obvious .. and i don't want a laptop and if i am spending $500 to $600 i wouldnt mind getting some of the features of a pda.

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#25 CeeDave

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 12:37 PM

I got over this irritatin fact in my head and thought .. i have a USB2 external harddrive, and the pda's take CF and SD cards in a lot of cases (i would choose one that did both) would it be possible to connect the external drive via usb or usb 2 insert the CF card into the PDA and transfer the images across? and then also view them on the PDA ? They have nice screens .. they can play MP3 ... are remarkably small. With Wifi and or Bluetooth i can upload to webspace ... does it get any better ?


PDA's generally work as USB devices, not hosts, and hosting is what you need. That said, you can get flash cards for PocketPC's (and maybe Palms, I dunno) that let the PDA function as as USB *1.1* host, for example:
http://www.ratocsyst...ages/cfu1u.html
and
http://www.twin-paradox.com/SEPDA.html

Maybe high-end PDA's will sometime support this natively... but one issue is the need to have a power source for the USB hub in many instances.

Sadly, no ideal solution...maybe cameras will be USB hosts before too long...the idea doesn't seem far off, at least in Nikon Capture.
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#26 Giles

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 03:28 PM

idon't know what you mean by host ...

my idea ...
i take photos on camera with CF and SD memory for two cameras
with my Dell Axim 50v I can plug both those cards directly into it .. which mena si can view those images.
But if I also plug in an external USB harddrive (i have a 120gig one) I could store all my images as well ?
My question then is (as I know the pda is capable of viewing the images) is can i transfer the images from the CF or SD card to the Ext hard drive ... are PDA's capable of this ? I know if I am near a wifi or bluetooth device it will work .. but i wondered if it would do it with a connected USB device ... i don't see why not.

I dont see that as hosting

(BTW in case you are confused .. said PDA which is $450 has one USB cradle which connects to PC by USB .. i am checking with Dell that it can connect to a USB ext harddrive)

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#27 mrmishkin

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 03:55 PM

Hi
I just thought I'd throw my two cents in. First off I think the PDA idea is a little silly. It will be difficult to find a palm or pocket PC program that works with RAW. The dell axim's do work as hosts which means they can theoretically control USB peripherals such as a hard drive. Has this been implemented in the software? I don't believe so.

I personally have a dell Axim and am not all that happy with it. Windows Mobile 2003SE is buggy and dell's wifi drivers suck. I'm going to sell my axim shortly and switch back to palm. Not quite as feature rich but implemented so much better.

However if I were in your scenario I would get the P-2000 it seems like an amazing little device that downloads photos amazingly quick has a great sceen and plays mp3's. Then just pick up a Palm on ebay for $100 to use as your organizer.

Or if you choose to wait, I'm willing to bet that within the year we will see a Windows Mobile powered Hard drive based handheld!! Good luck.
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#28 Giles

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 04:50 AM

here's my problem with the p2000

for $600 i can't do anythign but store stuff on it !!!

that kinda sucks.

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#29 CeeDave

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 05:14 AM

here's my problem with the p2000

for $600 i can't do anythign but store stuff on it !!!

that kinda sucks.


Well, you can do a bit more (play, view, etc.). And if you can settle for a slightly clunkier box with a smaller screen, then the Flashtrax is available in 30-40gb models for around 1/2 that cost (about $300) on EBay (that's where I got mine, which I am happy with ... and a search just now on "FlashTrax" cost 100-400, completed items only this AM indicated they're still available; one also listed in the Wetpixel classified forum).
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#30 Giles

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:03 AM

The FlashTrax requires a Adpater for anything but Compact flash ... thats another $50 so you are looking at close to $400 for that brand new from BH photo (i dont buy electronics off ebay, i dont buy anything off ebay for that matter)

so for a 20gb storage we have $400 .. comon thats a little excessive too for a hard drive with a screen.

I am stillseriously considering the PDA option ... i just need to learn more about PDA's and what you can do with them .. will i really get the use out of one i want...
my main purposes would be to play MP3 on the go .. organiser, email, messenger, a little web surfing, transfer images to hard drive.
So all it needs is USB, Wifi and hopefully bluetooth as well.

It's amazing I am getting more information from this website than I am from any non photo tech site.
I feel it is more important to bounce the ideas off here as all you guys are prettyy tech savvy and you know what i need photographically. But i have to emphasise all i really want from the device i buy is the ability to store the images until i get to my PC. and know that they are stored ... but I wouldn't mind combining that capability with lots of user functions .. I hate having loads of devices to do different things if it is possible to have just one.
... ok ok .. i just want a toy !!! and i want the coolest one there is .. but i want it to help me store . back up photos on my tavels !!

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#31 mrmishkin

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:44 AM

Well Giles
It looks like someone has mated a HD to a Pocket PC. Have a look at this website!!

http://www.glasslant...PocketPCDrives/

It seems to deal with older Pocket PC's
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#32 caveman

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:51 AM

intersting as i have an O2with CF slot and SD slot. worry is it might be too slow to copy large data files........ any idea ?

#33 caveman

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:11 AM

is there a PCMICA slot for the SD slot ? I have the back pack for the O2 which has a CF card slot.

The PCMICA cards can slot in mini drives right

#34 craig

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:22 AM

I don't think there's a realistic PDA option. You can add a CF card to a PDA and get storage that way but I've found that the mp3 players aren't as good as an iPod or other jukebox and the battery life will be questionable. You also have to worry about the headphone jack. For a photo bank I don't see how a PDA will be adequate. Fact is that a PDA has too much screen for one application and not enough storage or performance for the other. I've been down this road and have never been happy with a PDA as an mp3 player or really anything else.

I think an mp3 player needs to have excellent battery life since my travel times are frequently more than 24 hours. For a small option to the Epson P2000 you could consider the new ultrasmall PC tablets but they are even more expensive. I agree that $600 should get you more than 40GB in a fixed function device like the P2000.
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#35 james

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:51 AM

I'm confused - I thought the P2000 had a decent MP3 player and also plays videos, etc... I'll have to go check.

Cheers
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#36 Giles

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 09:02 AM

i completely agree that PDA's have no storage facilities themselves.

But in theory would it not be possible to just use the PDA as a computer basically ... you can move the images from media card to external USB hard drive ... it may be slow but it will happen right ?
If you want to as well you can get Video output for some PDA's especially the new media based ones.

I am not trying to convince myself .. infact if nothing else this thread has just put off off buying anythign for the time being !! I will just get people to rip CD's or DVD's for me when i dont have another option for now ...

It all started with a iPod idea .. then the p2000 came in ..flashtrax stayed in the background for the the whole time as this device hasn't changed in forever and only takes CF cards so the p2000 beats it hands down. The PDA idea came to me so i threw it in here .. and thanks very much for the usefull input ..
.. I would love to be able to afford the tablet style PC's ... they are very usefull and handy for travel .. but not quite what I am after ... I am after a pocket size (even if it is a big pocket size) device that has good battery life, able to store (even if to external hard drive), takes SD and CF cards. I also want to have those simple little functions like organiser .. wifi (and bluetooth, both these came to me when searching what PDA's have nowadays, very handy for checking up on my emails and wetpixel while in the airport etc.)

That article on the PDA side of things is very insightfull and gives me good hope to being able to make what I want to happen happen ... I think I will think about this some more ... It does appear that the transfer time can be slow ... but as I stated .. I am more than likely going to be drinking a beer while doing this .. or at the very least on a 40 min to 1hr surface interval ... and it fits in with my camera equipment bag ... it seems perfect in oh so many ways.

James it may be very good at those things.
but a $300 pda can accept CF and SD cards .. has WIFI, bluetooth ... big screen .. and runs windows ... attached to a hard drive has storage ... ? you see what I am getting at ... ? when you look at other electronics these multimedia storage devices are a little bit of a con.

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#37 echeng

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:24 PM

Personally, I don't think any portable HD/card transfer device is ready to be used as a notebook replacement (yet). What they are good for is slowly pulling images off of a flash card if you notebook fails, or ... for portable storage if you're just out for a weekend/week and don't need to look at your images.

If you shoot JPG, some of the devices will allow you to zoom in and judge critical focus. Otherwise, you're screwed because you just get to look at the RAW format's thumbnail image. And devices like the Epson P-2000 don't (yet) support preview on images larger than 8 megapixels.

I have a little Archos GMini220. It's tiny and has a built-in CF slot, but is only 20gb -- which used to be fine for me, but these days it's looking a little low on the capacity side.
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#38 craig

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:25 PM

It's wrong to assume that you can connect a hard drive to a PDA. It's possible in rare circumstances that it would work but generally speaking you can't do that.

The transfer time can be solved by having more than one CF card (which you should anyway) but using USB 1.1 is a big disappointment in any case.

Yeah James, I'd imagine the P2000 is an mp3 player but how much battery life does it have in that mode? The problem with the P2000 was the $600 price tag as well. $600 for 40GB is a lot.
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#39 echeng

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:29 PM

I'm not a fan of the MP3 player combined with a portable image bank. I tend to fill up my MP3 player to capacity with music, and I don't like having to delete stuff on the road.

Also, Craig is right -- a PDA currently has no place in a solution for high capacity storage.
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#40 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 03:14 PM

The problem with the P2000 was the $600 price tag as well. $600 for 40GB is a lot.


I don't know where you're all getting the $600 for 40GB from. It is actually $500 for 40GB (same as the 40GB iPod Photo that started this thread).

But then, what's $100 between friends :)

I just think a music player should be a music player, while an image bank should be an image bank. For me the P-2000 wins over the iPod with a superior screen and built in CF slot that is much faster than the Belkin adaptor. I would probably only buy an iPod mini, or even a Shuffle, for musical use. I only have 3.2GB of music total in MP3/AAC formats, so if I was buying one of these things it is for the photo storage/backup feature, not so that I can carry 40 GB of music.
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