Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive and Flash Drive Review - Portable Wireless Media Storage for iOS Devices
Price: $50-$100 for capacity of 16-64GB
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Bottom Line: These little devices help alleviate the problem of having an always full iPad. Offloading large movies to this device, they can then be shared amongst multiple devices.
Recently I was introduced to a couple little devices from SanDisk that I had never heard of. Now, I can't stop thinking of the possible uses for them. The most obvious ones, and the ones that are most relevant to 148Apps, are for offloading media from an iOS device, and for streaming music and videos to it.
These devices, the Connect Wireless Media Drive and Flash Drive allow offloading of bulky video content to what is basically a USB stick or small puck device. Coming in sizes from 16GB to 64GB, tons of media can be offloaded and even shared between devices. Let's take a deeper look.
The smaller device, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, is just slightly larger than a flash drive that would have been common a couple years ago. Coming in 16GB ($50) and 32GB ($60), these little devices have a micro SD card in them that really means this is just a $30-35 premium over the card price. The larger device (about half the size of a deck of cards), the Connect Wireless Media Drive comes in 32GB and 64GB sizes. This device also includes a full size SD card slot allowing expansion and reading of camera cards.
Both devices include an embedded Linux computer that controls them. Yup, a memory stick with an on/off switch. Power either of these devices up and a new wireless network is created. That network is then connected to from an iOS device and a special free app from SanDisk is used to configure the device and stream/upload media to it. Besides the memory sizes and the expansion slot, the main differences between the two is around how many devices can be supported simultaneously. The Media Drive supports up to five HD streams while the Flash Drive only supports three.
Another use of these devices is to offload images and videos from an iOS device to the memory on the stick. This can be done with the SanDisk app. Backup or just to get more space on a device, it's a great way to get piece of mind while on the go. In a recent trip, with a full iPad, I found this a great way to take along a bunch of videos I had been meaning to watch, without loading it up. The Media Drive worked great on a six hour plane flight on a single charge.
A great way to expand an iOS device for media storage, looking at photos on the go, or offloading photos to regain space. These little devices have a permanent place in my carry-on luggage.
SanDisk makes available an app for the Media Drive and oddly a second one for the Flash Drive. While both work ok for most tasks and are required to configure the devices, I've found that the third party app It's Playing ($3.99) works much better for video playback and is fully compatible with both SanDisk drives.