Friday, November 30, 2012

Well, the Seagate Go Flex Didn't Solve My iPad Photo Back-Up Challenge, Maybe The Maxell Airstash Will...

The Maxell Airstash
Image Source:
As I mentioned yesterday, the promising combination of the PhotoSmith app and the Seagate Go Flex wireless hard drive let me down, in that they no longer allow you to write files from the iPad to the drive. This is obviously critical for the iPad to be a great back-up tool for photographers.
Here's my next attempt - the Maxell Airstash. This is a different approach, which allows you to connect an SD card to your iPad wirelessly. The description clearly states that the iPad will write files to the SD card. I sure hope it's true.
With the Airstash, my plan will be to carry a lot of SD cards of matched size. I'll shoot with one in my camera, then use the iPad to copy all of the files to both the iPad and to a second SD card. That's significant back-up (three copies).
Here's some of the pluses of this approach:
  • Solid State (SD Card) media
  • No moving parts
  • Fast read and write speeds
  • Easy to carry a lot of data in the form of SD cards
  • Does not rely on using the PhotoSmith app, which I have found to be less than 100% reliable
  • Easy to upload when I do get home. Just grab one copy on SD card and pop it in the desktop card reader.
Here are some negatives:
  • Solid State (SD Card) media - low storage capacity (per card) compared to the 500 Mb Go Flex
  • Wireless - I would be happier if I simply had the ability to write to an SD card from the iPad, using the Apple Camera Connect Kit. It would be faster. I simply don't need wireless for this application. However, I may use it for other things in the future.
  • Internal rechargeable battery - will have a limited lifetime. I wouldn't mind plugging in to AC, or better yet, have it powered from a USB connection.
  • Since you can't easily delete photos from the iPad without connecting to a host computer, I'm still limited in overall capacity to what's on the iPad (64 Gb max).
I'm returning the Go Flex, and have ordered the Airstash. I'll let you know how it goes. If this doesn't work, I will seriously consider the Macbook Air with 256 Gb storage. I'd still much rather have the iPad be my solution.
Let's hope the Airstash lives up to the marketing info.