|Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500GB External Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Friday, 24 September 2010|
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LifeStudio Software Features
When considering feature improvements there is another area that needs attention. When a file is activated it is displayed within the LifeStudio software in a flash application. This flash-based player provides extremely limited options for navigation or settings. Despite extensive searching I could not even find a progress bar. Most of the functions available in the player are already present as keyboard shortcuts. One huge oversight is the exit button...there isn't one. No back button either. You can go to the previous file on the wall, but there is no way to go back to the last file you played; no history either. Basically, there is no advanced functionality.
Despite the simplicity of the player it does a decent job of handling the most basic file formats. For images it would display JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF. More exotic formats like TGA, SVG and PSD did not work. LifeStudio was able to play wmv, mp4, swf, flv, mov and a few basic avi videos. It did not support other video formats or draw from currently installed codecs. For music it could play mp3, wav and wma. Again, despite having other codecs installed it couldn't play other advanced music formats. Not every file type was tested, but the list of supported formats is probably not much longer than what I found. I was somewhat surprised to see the LifeStudio automatically grabbed and added basic documents to the wall. It displayed MS Office formats like doc, xls and ppt as well as pdf and txt. By default the files are displayed by date, e.g. in chronological order.
One of my favorite features about the LifeStudio software is the online content. LifeStudio searches the internet for images, videos and music and creates the 3D wall based on the selected channel. If the results are not specific enough a search bar at the top allows you to search for desired content. I found it very easy to stay engaged with the software watching some missed TV shows, checking out some new artists, and even finding some fun flash games. I was using the software on my normal computer but realized that it would go extremely well in a HTPC setup. Finally, for the socialites LifeStudio can directly upload content to FaceBook, Picasa and Flickr.In this sense you can make your files quickly available to anywhere with a web browser. The "MyLife" channel allows you to add custom folders, and your favorite content can be tagged into the ":Favorites" channel for quick access.
The last bit of the LifeStudio software worth mentioning is the USB sync. A preferences page allows a few simple options to enable automatic synchronization and select which folders should be synced. This is super handy for things like homework or major projects because files are changing frequently and having a backup can save weeks of extra work. For the technically inclined the USB drive is based on SD technology so the capacity can be upgraded with a mod.