At the Lunch ‘n Learn seminar on March 15, Douglas Dixon demonstrated dozens of small portable storage devices, media players, and multi-function devices. Mr. Dixon is a technology consultant with Manifest Technology, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Recording Media Association‘s Mediaware Magazine, Technical Editor for Camcorder & Computer Video Magazine, and a frequent contributor for many information technology publications.
Many of you have used or seen flash sticks, essentially removable hard disks with built in USB ports all on a chewing gum-sized stick. As Mr. Dixon demonstrated, these devices are becoming smaller and smaller, less and less expensive, and are now beginning to come with reloaded content in their Read-only memory (ROM). Newer models have LCD displays with capacity meters, offer security including fingerprint readers, and come in different colors and styles. Imation provides flash memory on a wristband. Swissbit has even added it as a component on a Swiss Army Knife!
New portable USB Transfer Devices permit you to transfer files between two USB memory devices without having to use a computer as an intermediary.
Dixon demonstrated a number of music players. Apple’s IPOD Shuffle stores about 240 songs and has a non-replaceable battery with a 12-hour life. The Creative Zen Nano stores about 500 songs, has an FM tuner, and has a removable AAA battery with an 18 life. The Lunch ‘n Learn audience seemed to appreciate most the mobiBLU Cube MP3 player, a tiny device one inch, blue cube with a display, FM tuner, voice recorder, and a USB recharge for an internal battery.
For inexpensive video, Dixon demonstrated flash media players from ZVUE and U10. Considerations include battery life and support for multiple video formats and removable disks.
Anyone in the market for new devices may want to take a look at Mr. Dixon’s presentation for information about prices and comparative features.