The biggest issue however is keeping your media collection portable enough to use when you really need it. Many people accumulate music and TV shows on a regular basis in physical or digital format. But that’s not much use to you on the optical disc it came on or the PC/Mac hard drive it was downloaded to when you’re on the go.
My wife travels for work semi-often, and although she often flys business class, not all flights include personal entertainment, making the trip unbearably boring. Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily bring your entertainment with you on your way out the door without having to worry about storage space or syncing to whatever device you intend on taking with you?
My solution for her was the Seagate Goflex Satellite – a standard external hard drive with a battery and wifi access point jammed in. All that you need to do is copy your media to the drive. Then when you want to watch simply turn it on, connect to the drive’s access point via wifi with whatever device you desire, then launch the free companion app available (for Android and iOS) or open a standard web browser. You now have instant access to 500GB of media.
The drive packs 5 hours of battery life, which is enough for most flights. When no devices are connected, the drive goes into standby mode, but we recommend turning it off completely for maximum conservation of juice. Charging takes 3 hours via the DC connection. It also charges via the USB data port, but that’s not recommend because it takes ages (like 9 hours!).
It’s worth mentioning that the drive will still broadcast its wireless signal and continue to steam video while charging, provided it’s charging by the DC connector. This makes the unit particularly useful for use in a hotel room, car, or anywhere else where you have a power connection that might call for extended use.
Probably the best thing about the drive is that it can stream entirely different content to 3 different devices at the same time. That’s a big deal if you have young kids or don’t feel like watching the same shows. My wife and I could be on the same plane and not be forced to watch the same thing or require 2 drives. That’s good because I hate Bones with a murderous passion.
Despite its features, the drive isn’t actually that big in real life – it’s almost twice the size of some slimline drives, but considering what’s inside, it’s not a deal breaker by any means. It actually reminds me of portable drives from a few years ago, but they didn’t have the same storage capacity, an internal battery, nor the ability to wirelessly spurt media to portable devices.
It’s important to mention that while connected to the Satellite, you will only have 3G internet connectivity, because your wifi connection is being used with the drive. This shouldn’t be a big deal to most people, since you’ll be on the road relying on 3G anyway, and flights (in Australia at least) don’t have wireless internet, so you’re not missing out. Despite this, there is an update said to be coming to allow the drive to connect to a wireless network instead of being the access point, so you’ll be able to use the drive when connected to your wireless connection at home and still have net access. Pretty genius.
This seems to be the perfect portable media solution. The Jizmo household, like many, has a number of devices in it. When you go on a trip, there are enough things to worry about without having to remember to sync your media to the device you’re taking with you, or trying to decide what media to actually sync because of your limited space. All you have to do is have your media on the drive, and you can make your device choice on your way out the door. This also frees precious space on your phone or tablet for the more important things in life – apps and games. You don’t have to keep sync cycling your media on your portable device itself because you don’t have enough space. Just copy content to the drive and forget.
At $220 for 500GB, it’s not good value for storage, but this isn’t storage – think of it as a portable media streaming NAS. Then it makes total sense.
(Fun Fact: This was meant to be up 2 weeks ago but I forgot to hit publish! XD)