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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

Portable Hard Drive Final Thoughts

When new technologies are introduced they often suffer from problems due to a lack of experience and knowledge. Just think about the scary problems encountered when nuclear energy was first introduced. The issues were so severe that the impression still lingers across the world. Yet nuclear energy has matured to the point that one will be hard-pressed to find another energy source as clean, as powerful, as efficient, or as safe as nuclear energy. But those initial impressions make it difficult for many to re-evaluate the current state of the technology and update their attitudes.

Hitachi's LifeStudio platform faces a similar challenge since the technology they introduced is still relatively new. People haven't had much experience with a hard drive that comes with software to manage files, so Hitachi had to make some assumptions or judgement calls about what would make the product great. With regards to the interface they hit the answer squarely. The 3D wall is stunning, effective and provides a new way to interface files. The hard drive options and physical build are also a great success.

Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus 500 Hard Drive

But other aspects still need some modification.The online content is constantly interrupted by advertisements which seem to be based on the number of clicks. This is not a great answer when users are browsing through files. It takes awhile to find the exact song or file you want which could mean watching 5 minutes of advertisements before getting to the correct online video. Advertisements really should be based on the time of content actually watched or users will get frustrated. Another miss was the lack of configuration options. Only the bare essentials of the user interface could be changed. I liked the interface but it could be made more intuitive by using document previews, playlist functionality, history, and better navigation options. Let me configure my keyboard shortcuts please. Lastly, it is a portable hard drive with custom software. Could the software be made portable so it doesn't have to be installed on every computer?!

Just to reiterate, it may not be fair to expect new software to be as configurable or easy to use as mainstream applications that have been around for decades. So I'll write it off as inexperience. But this idea is so good that if Hitachi doesn't stay on the ball then someone else will fill the opportunity.



 

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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