Typical, you wait all this time for a straightforward twin-drive RAID array and two turn up on the same day. Well, maybe it's not something we've been actively waiting for, but hot on the heels of Western Digital's My Book Mirror Edition comes I-O DATA's HDL2-G. Again, it's a dual-drive unit offering 1TB or 2TB of storage in RAID-0 Striped format, only this time I-O DATA have done the sensible thing and fitted a gigabit ethernet port as well as USB.
miShare have begun selling their eponymous iPod file transfer gadget, which promises to make exchanging songs between Apple's PMPs as straightforward as hitting a button. Basically a compact box with two dock connectors, a single button and three LEDs, when hooked up between two compatible iPods (currently the Mini, Nano, 3G, 4G, Video 5G and Classic 6G) you can transfer songs, videos, playlists, photos or full photo albums. It'll even exchange DRM-encrypted files, although it doesn't actually crack the DRM.
Check out a video of miShare in action after the cut
Aiming to bring user data together and aid collaboration, Microsoft have announced Live Mesh, an example of so-called 'cloud computing'. The system, eventually to be compatible with PCs, mobile devices and Apple's hardware, synchronizes data via the internet while also maintaining an online store that can be accessed from anywhere with web access. A free service (initially limited to 10,000 beta testers using Windows systems), it includes 5GB of online storage. Microsoft plan to extend both numbers and compatibility later on this year.
Images via CNET
Data backup falls resolutely at the dreary end of the tech-task scale; periodically market researchers release stats showing how few people take the time to safely copy their accumulated files, usually prompting a guilty DVD burning session which never gets repeated. Apple's Time Capsule, then, was welcomed with excited upon its announcement; with the slick, careful design Apple are renowned for, could they manage to make even backup sexy? To be fair, it's a pretty huge challenge. You'll be hard-pressed to find a nicer looking network hard-drive, or one so straightforward to set up, but Time Capsule undoubtedly has its caveats.
These are 3.5” hard drives that would only end up in a home computer if it were and uber-l33t gaming computer. That’s to say they are fast, expensive, and only have Fibre Channel or SAS connection options.
I’m a Drobo user and it is one of the best storage systems I’ve seen today. Drobo is not without shortcoming, it is lack of network storage support. Data Robotics has stepped up to fix that by introducing DroboShare, an add-on for Drobo that adds NAS capability to the unit.
Convergence can often be seen as a dirty word, but iRiver's Unit 2 (which we first caught a glimpse of in January last year, then again in July) seems to have convinced everybody who tried it at CES 2008 that putting a WiFi radio, CD/DVD player, VoIP phone, GPS, streaming and download into a single machine is nothing but A Good Thing, and well worth waiting (and saving up the $700 they estimate it'll cost) until 2009 to pick one up. A 30GB drive, SD slot, removable display-cum-independent-7-inch-PMP (800 x 480, 16:9 aspect) and a remote that folds out to give a full QWERTY for messaging round out what could be the gadget of next year.
Back when I reviewed LaCie's Ethernet Disk mini I was particularly taken by its UPnP media funnelling capacities (which still form the core of my home media setup); now they've upgraded the range of compact network-attached storage with the Home Edition, which adds remote access, iTunes media server functionality and Axentra HipServ for drag'n'drop file sharing.
It's a while until my birthday, but if I have any closet admirers out there you may want to start saving up for Arcam's latest high-end home entertainment lump as I'd really rather like it. The FMJ MS250 Music Server has a 400GB hard-drive slapped inside a four-zone media player, capable of storing up to 640 uncompressed CDs or up to 4,800 compressed CDs.