Monday, October 11, 2004

Digital Photo Copy Cruiser Plus: Burn CDs of images

Digital Photo Copy Cruiser Plus

One of the big fears of traveling with a digital camera is losing images -- especially if one doesn't also travel with a laptop, or one doesn't have a CD burner in the laptop. (The latter is rare now, but sadly I bought my G3 iBook without a CD burner. I really ought to start looking for used G4 iBook or even another G3 with a CD burner ...)

There are several products like this emerging -- probably all using innards for the same Taiwanese/Chinese manufacturers. They make it possible to travel with a digital camera and without a laptop. They are particularly appealing because they have their own internal LiOn battery.

The idea is that every few days one burns two CDs from every memory card, then erases the card. Mail one CD home and keep one with you. (Distributing images to friends at parties/etc is probably another "feature", not sure how well that would work in practice.)

Next best thing is to have an iPod to backup images on -- especially if one travels with an iPod anyway. Problem is current iPods require an expensive, bulky, and kludgy add-on to pull in digital images. I hope the next generation iPod will work with any memory card reader or mini-USB camera connector. We'll see -- Apple has has had a surprising amount of trouble figuring out digital images (witness their underfunding of iPhoto development).

There are other hard drive image stores, analogous to the iPod, but like the iPod they are not as safe as mailing CDs. Luggage does get stolen.

This is going on my "to consider" shopping list. I may wait until the price competition gets fierce -- or until they incorporate a DVD burner as well. I will also look for a manufacturer who gets the "power brick right" including. They key thing will be either:

1. recharge via USB 2 cable (there are lots of compact USB 2 charging devices on the market).
2. have a very compact and elegant power brick (but #1 is better).

Most vendors of these sorts of devices mess up on the power brick/adapter/charger.

So things to look for:

1. replaceable or standard LiOn battery (such things exist - as in digital cameras. Wouldn't it be radical for such a device to use the same LiOn battery the camera used? Nahhh.).
2. external compact LiOn charger or USB 2.0 charger
3. DVD burning support (futuristic, takes more power, more complex, etc.)

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