30-gigabyte Army Knife
It's a portable hard drive! No, it's an MP3 player! No, it's a still-image and video viewer! Stop! SmartDisk's new FlashTrax (approx. street price: $500) is all these and more. With 30GB of memory, FlashTrax reportedly has some iPods shaking in their skins....Of greatest interest to photographers is FlashTrax's CompactFlash slot, which allows direct image transfer from a digital camera's CF card to the hard drive. (Sounds like just the ticket for a long photographic vacation, and if your camera uses another type of storage card, all you need is a CompactFlash adapter.) You can view your pix (or play back AVI video) on the 3.5-inch LCD screen, or on a TV connected via the NTSC or PAL port. Scroll through the images with the remote, or run a slide show. When your eyes become tired, play MP3 music files, which you can download from your computer via the Hi-Speed USB interface, or copy from a CF card. And, when vacation's over (boo!), the FlashTrax lets you transfer data files from work to home. SmartDisk plans to
support other video file formats-look for free upgrades on its web site soon. The FlashTrax comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, remote control, AC adapter, USB 2.0 cable, video cable, and carrying case. To learn more, or to purchase, log onto www.smartdisk.com.