Seagate GoFlex Satellite 500GB wireless hard drive
Buckets of content storage for your fondleslab
Wireless music and movie streaming
You log on to the GoFlex Satellite's WLAN directly and it's a slow connection, but sufficient for streaming media. Seagate's browser UI is a tad clunky - taps aren't responded to immediately - but it works. Tap on, say, a movie and if your browser and/or platform supports it, it will play - or you can download it for playback later.
The inevitable iPhone app could run more smoothly
On the iPad, that means Apple-friendly formats for video and audio, but other platforms are more reasonable. And there are apps that'll run on the iPad that support other media formats. Seagate recommends OPlayer HD, a £3 purchase - £2 on the iPhone - but the free version, OPlayer Lite, works just as well.
All well and good, and I was soon playing AVI files and MP4s loaded onto the drive.
The iPad version is easier to navigate...
But if you want to store more exotic file formats, you run into trouble. I dropped a stack of 2000AD .CBZ files downloaded from Clickwheel.net. Neither Seagate's app, nor OPlayer, knew what to do with a .CBZ, and didn't even have the wit to ask me what to do with the file. Fortunately, Safari did, and I was able to download the files in ComicFlow.
So, yes, you can access your odd-format files, but you might need to use a varierty of different apps to get them all.
...but the on-board browser UI is cross-platform
To be fair, that's not really Seagate's fault, but it nonetheless limits the product's utility. Credit where it's due, Seagate has tried to make the sytems as easy to use as it can. Techies will bemoan the lack of SMB filesharing access - though since the GoFlex Satellite runs Linux, it can be added - but the system is straightforward for those with of a less geeky bent.
Seagate's GoFlex works a wireless-connectable external hard drive, and it's nice to tap into 500GB of content storage from an iPad, iPhone or any other brand of smartphone or tablet. But you pay a lot extra for that battery and wireless access point, and you can't connect to the internet while you're tablet is talking to the GoFlex, unless it's a 3G-enabled one, of course. It's a good product, but it needs to bring you as the buyer a lot of utility to justify the price. ®
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