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Author Topic: Storage on the go  (Read 4387 times)
m_s
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« on: October 31, 2005, 05:28:22 AM »

(Not really a software question, more of a hardware/lifehack...)

My boss uses an Olympus DM-20 digital voice recorder (lovely machine) to record talks he gives.  It stores about 20 hours of (quite) high-quality digital audio, but over the coming two months he will be travelling and recording very much more than that.  Usually, I travel with him and carry a laptop to transfer talks as we go, and burn them to CD.  But this time I'm not going, so I'm looking for advice on ways - if it's possible at all - to archive these recordings on the move, without him needing to carry a computer.  The recorder has built-in memory, so just swapping to another module isn't an option.  It connects to PC via a usb cradle, and is mounted as an external drive.  So I want to know if anyone knows of a system I could use - an external drive or powerful pda, perhaps - that would allow usb syncing.  Anybody?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2005, 06:54:17 AM »

There are quite a few items that would probably meet your needs but are designed for photographers.

Sorry I haven't a list to hand but you can look on some photo websites.

Things I have seen are USB CD/DVD Burners that work on the fly, and also hand held Hard Disc based solutions. Most of them allow you to connect via USB or plugin a media card. But you would have to make sure that the USB connection would work for your device as I am not sure how specific the software connection is.
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m_s
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 09:07:20 AM »

Does anybody else have any ideas on this?  I went into a few photography shops in town, but they only knew of drives that would require a memory card to be inserted, where as this needs to be usb mounted...
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 10:09:07 AM »

this is actually a great question.
here's a possible good solution.

the new hd based media players, one with giant hds,
some of them are basically just big hard drives with usb hubs.
plus they play music.

he can probably find one of these that would be very happy to let you transfer the files to it exactly as you want.

so your task is to find one of the hd-based mp3 players with usb interface that can do this.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2005, 10:11:55 AM »

Sorry didn't think most cameras have cards of one sort or another - short of a laptop I can' t think of any storage devices that are USB compatible without a PC or similar as a controller?

Presumably the device needs drivers to communicate with the laptop, so even if you can find a device that could do this the chances of it having drivers that support the recorder seem pretty slim.

This was the sort of thing I was thinking of: https://emporium.olympus....etails.asp?sku=200336-410
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2005, 10:16:11 AM »

so your task is to find one of the hd-based mp3 players with usb interface that can do this.

I thought of this but the trouble is the media player responds to the software installed on your PC, it doesn't have any upload or download control in itself so unless there is compatible software in the voice recorder I can't see how they can talk to each other.

A similar example is Canon cameras and printers. Both are USB based but you can't just plug your camera into the USB port and print - you have to have  PictBridge enable USB connector to do that, in which case the printer acts as a PC and talks to the camera.
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 10:35:51 AM »

i'll bet you can find one that can doit without a pc..
but carol may be right, most may not be able to.
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m_s
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005, 11:27:40 AM »

I've written to Olympus (manufacturer of the recorder) to ask them...  On the face of it, that little device Carol pointed me to seems brilliant and would really be perfect if it is compatible (and available in the UK).  I guess there are drivers involved, although it simply plugs and plays on XP.  When I plugged it into a ME machine yesterday, that popped up a 'File not found' dialogue, to which I simply clicked 'Ignore', and it worked fine, just mounting as an external drive.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2005, 12:13:50 PM »

Yes it will plug and play on a PC because that is the way Windows is designed. Effectively Windows already has the device driver and communications already set up.

One further thought ...

If it is plug and play in Windows XP I would have thought he would perhaps be able to upload his audio at some of the places he is speaking. Surely someone would give him 10 minutes on a computer every now and then, and webspace to uplad to is easy enough to find.
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chr15
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2005, 01:09:05 PM »

Hi m_s,

Depending on your budget maybe have a look at some handheld Media Players, as most can transfer files from cameras, PC's, etc to these without a PC, via a USB, mini USB etc.

Also an extra benefit is they can carry around some pictures or a home movie of their kids or something, as well.

Chr15
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f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2005, 04:37:00 PM »

(sorry if I didn't read all of the thread correctly).

If you can plug the device into win2k or XP without a driver CD, it might be a nice "generic USB disk" device type - then it'll likely work with "some other hardware" smiley. (just be sure that it isn't because of built-in support for the device).

Doesn't sound like a really fun task though. Most of the USB devices I've come across supporting usb<->usb connectivity has been for printing photos from digicams.
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- carpe noctem
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