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Written by Dan Ferguson   
Friday, 24 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500GB External Drive
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: LifeStudio Mobile Plus
HLSMPUA5001ABB Detailed Features
Hitachi LifeStudio Software
LifeStudio Software Features
Portable Hard Drive Final Thoughts
LifeStudio Mobile Plus Conclusion

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.

Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500 Hard Drive

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.

Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500 GB Hard Drive

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.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500GB External DriveRealNeil 2010-09-24 03:19
This is a nice little drive. I like the included software and I see that it's also compatible with a Mac PC for us double dippers.
Good review as well.
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# LinuxThe Techno Alien 2010-09-24 05:45
I use a Terabyte.
Does it work on Linux?
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# RE: LinuxDaniel Ferguson 2010-09-24 06:28
Yup. People who once that they would never fill a 20 GB drive may soon find themselves hogging a whole terabyte.

I'll bet the drive can be accessed from linux, but the software probably won't install. I don't have a distro running so nothing test with. Hitachi's documentation only mentions Windows and Mac. I also found one article that had to be edited to remove a reference that suggested linux support.
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# Hitachi lifestudioangel guzman 2013-02-18 10:52
I buy this equipment at Officcemax I can need any CD rom for to use this equipment
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# Crap SoftwareBrent 2011-07-30 10:00
There is no way to use this drive in Windows without install their garbage software I use XP64 and the drive constantly interferes with the boot up process and has to be unplugged in order to boot up,any descent company would write this crap to the hard drive so we could erase it if we wanted AKA all the WD externals but no guess Hitachi had to screw us up one more time before they were bought out by a real HD company,stay away from this drive there are far better for far less money!
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