SanDisk Connect Media Drive – Review



 SanDisk-Connect-Wireless-Media-Drive

What we love…

Small, portable, long battery life, huge capacity and expandable using SD cards, can stream 5 movies at once

What we’d love to see…

More organization of photos

Summary

SanDisk Connect Media Drive is a great portable way to stream movies, music and photos to your tablet or smartphone. A must-have travel accessory for families on the go, and it is very reasonably priced and I love how you can add even more storage capacity using SD cards. Highly recommended.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Media Drive HD Like many other iPad and iPhone users I am constantly running out of space on my iOS devices. The SanDisk Connect Media Drive is a solution to this problem. It is a small portable device that allows you to store and stream your videos, photos and music, and thus free up space on your device. I tested it with iPad 3. iPad Mini, iPad air 2, iPhone 5 and the LG G3 Android phone.

The media player is small: 2.6” x 2.6” x .52” (65 mm x 65 mm x 13.5 mm) and weighs only 2.7oz. It connects to your iOS or Android device via WiFi and uses a free app. To load content to and from your computer you connect it to the computer’s USB port via a microUSB-USB cable.

Videos

I tested out the Media Drive on a recent vacation to Ireland and it was a lifesaver! Before the trip I loaded it with about 30 different feature films from my home DVD collection and also added some TV shows and music. We had a lot of traveling time on the trip with 2 transatlantic flights and many long car rides. It was so easy to let the kids watch their favorite movies on their iPads streaming from the Media Drive. Videos are represented by thumbnails and titles so it is quite easy to find the right video.

By getting them to use headphones with their iPads, all 3 children could watch different movies at once. The streaming worked really well, and the WiFi signal was strong enough that my iPad even picked it up in a downstairs room when the Media Drive was upstairs charging. My younger son has Autism and often after a busy day sightseeing he really needed some downtime, so this was a perfect solution letting him watch his favorite movies on his iPad on the car drive home or in a restaurant. I loved how small and portable the Drive is and the long battery life – I just carried it in my bag every day knowing it would be on hand if needed.

iPad Screenshot 2

N.B. If your iPad or iPhone is on iOS 8 or later you won’t be able to play videos purchased via iTunes using the Media drive – this is a problem with Apple not enabling Safari based DRM decryption, and affects all similar players not just SanDisk. I overcame this by using copies of my home DVD collection rather than movies from my iTunes account.

Photos

I also used it as a way to back up my photos from the trip taken with 3 different mobile phones. This was really useful as it allowed me to remove them from the phones to make space for more photos. By the end of the trip I had 3,000+ photos on it!

It was a very easy way to store and transfer photos, but I would like to see some improvements in the photo section of the app. Once it has a lot of photos on the drive the thumbnails can be slow to load, and it can be quite hard to find the photos you are looking for.  You can create albums but none are automatically created. I’d love to see photos automatically sorted by date as they are in the iPhoto app on the iPhone, as this would make it much easier to find photos from a specific event.

A nice additional feature is the Drive has an SD card slot, allowing you to easily view and share photos from your DLSR’s SD card.

iPad Screenshot 4

Music

To store music on the Media Drive you copy music files from your music library on your computer. On the Media drive app you can view them by Artist, Album, Songs, Genres or Playlists. You can switch between these views using tabs at the top of the page. Albums are represented by their cover art.  The music section of the app is very well-organized and easy to use. Similarly to the native iOS music app, you can have music playing in the background whilst you use other apps, send email, surf the web or view your photos. You can stream to multiple devices at once.

iPad Screenshot 3

Battery Life and Storage Capacity

San Disk reports a battery life of up to 8 hours, streaming to one device. I was often using it with multiple devices and over several hours each day, I recharged it each evening and had no problems with running out of power.

The Media Drive comes in 32 and 64GB versions, I tested the 64GB version, I loved how much storage this provided and what makes it even better is you can easily add additional storage by using SD cards. Before my trip I bought a couple of extra SanDisk Ultra SD cards so I could expand by memory if I needed to and I didn’t even need them. You can buy an extra 62GB of memory for around $30 on Amazon which is a really cheap way to get extra storage SanDisk Ultra 64GB Class 10 SDXC Memory Card Up To 40MB/s-SDSDUN-064G-G46 [Newest Version]

Another nice feature is that within the Media Drive app you can see what % battery charge you have left, as well as how much free storage space on the Media Drive, and how much free space on any SD card you have added.

 Summary 

SanDisk Connect Media Drive is a great portable way to stream movies, music and photos to your tablet or smartphone. The Media Drive streams up to 8hrs, connects to up to 8 devices at once and can stream 5 different movies simultaneously. For me it is a must-have travel accessory for families on the go, and it is very reasonably priced for the amount of extra storage you get. I especially love how you can add even more storage capacity very economically using SD cards. Highly recommended.

It is available with 32GB or 62GB memory and it has a SD card slot to expand capacity. Available from Amazon.com and many other retailers from $69.99 for 32GB version.

SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Media Drive HD – SanDisk

SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Media Drive HD SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Media Drive HD by SanDisk

Price: $FREE

Quick Overview

Enjoy the freedom to wirelessly share and stream high definition content across iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, smartphones and tablets with the SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Media Drive.

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

The Case Logic Kontrast Action Camera Case- a Great Solution for Organizing Your #GoPro and Accessories


Case-Logic_Kontrast_action-cam-case-environmental

Summary

The Kontrast Action Camera Case is a great option for organizing and carrying your GoPro and accessories, the moveable compartment dividers allow it to be adjusted to fit other action cams.. My favorite features are the padded, moveable compartment dividers, the tough waterproof base, and the detailed organizational features with lots of pockets, compartments and removable zippered pouch.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

GroPro and other action cameras are very popular at the moment and there are huge numbers of accessories available for them. I bought my husband a GroPro for his birthday, and his solution was to carry it and its accessories in a cardboard box so I have been searching for a better solution! I found it in the Kontrast Action Camera Case from Case Logic.

The Kontrast is a very well designed case for organizing your GroPro, mounts, chargers, spare micro-SD cards and other accessories. It is black with neon green trim. The case has dual zippers which can be closed with a luggage lock for extra security.

It is a zip-up case with a padded carrying handle, quite compact in size at 10.6 x 3.7 x 6.9 in and weighing 0.79 lb. The outer case is made from black polyester material and it has a solid, waterproof base which is great for keeping everything dry when putting it down in wet or snowy environments.

CaseLogic Action Cam.2

Inside the main compartment is divided by padded barriers – these velcro in place so can be moved to whatever configuration works best for you. There is also a smaller zippered pouch that fits inside here and velcro’s in place. This is a great place to store charging cables, battery chargers and other small important items. Although the main case is black the lining and dividers are grey and bright green  making it much easier to spot things than with a black lining. Inside the lid there is also organized storage – with a long narrow zippered pocket and 2 smaller pockets with velcro closures perfectly sized for Micro-SD cards and readers.

CaseLogic Action Cam.3

Overall, the Kontrast Action Camera Case is a great option for organizing and carrying your GroPro and accessories, and the moveable compartment dividers allow it to be adjusted to fit other action cams. My favorite features are the padded, moveable compartment dividers, the tough waterproof base, and the detailed organizational features with lots of pockets, compartments and removable zippered pouch.

Available from  Case Logic, Amazon, B&H Photo, Fry’s Electronics and other retailers RRP $39.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Case-Logic_Kontrast_action-cam-case

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).



Telestory by Launchpad Toys – Review




iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

easy to use; great graphics, sound effects, and animation; makes use of both front and back cameras; bolsters creativity; gets kids to act and interact with each other, useful in speech therapy

What we’d love to see…

a way for children to draw costumes and props, make scripts viewable

Summary

A brilliant, fun, and educational video recording app that allows children to express their creativity by writing, directing, and starring on their own show.

Our Rating

TeleStoryMy children love to take selfie videos.  My 7 year old and 9 year old already have hundreds of them and they undoubtedly have hundreds more to come.  Thanks to the invention of the iPad and other similar devices, making videos have never been easier.  Not a day goes by without at least one of my kids making a recording, and I have been truly amazed at the creativity it unleashes in them.  So it didn’t come as a surprise to me when they asked me for Telestory, the newest app from Launchpad Toys, developers of the award winning Toontastic and Toontastic Jr.

TeleStory allows children to direct, write, and star on their very own movie or tv show. It currently comes with four themes: Eye Spy, The Band, the News and Space Adventure.  Each theme comes with four to five scenes with props, and an “empty shot” scene without props.  Four themes may not sound like a lot, but you would be surprised at just how many different videos children can come up with simply by mix matching scenes and by using their imagination.  Since downloading this, my kids have already created over a dozen videos, each one remarkably different from the others.

iPad Screenshot 3To make a movie, first pick a theme.  Then, pick a scene and choose a script to go with it.  You can either choose a pre-written script or write one of your own. After picking or writing a script,it is now time to record the scene. Every scene comes with two camera angles, two sound effects and/or animations, and a variety of costumes.  Set up your characters by choosing a costume. Depending on the scene, you may have one or two characters, one for each camera angle.  Once you have finished choosing costumes for your characters, press start to record the scene.  You have up to one minute to record and you can change camera angles/characters as often as you wish.  After the recording is finished, you can watch your newly created scene.  If you are not happy with your scene, you can redo it before moving on to the next one.

Your movie can have many scenes or just one scene.  It’s all up to you.  Once you have all the scenes you need, press the red button with a scene marker.  You will be asked to provide a movie title and the director’s name.  You will also have the option to save your movie on the camera roll and/or share it on Toontube, Launchpad Toys’ movie sharing site. If your movie isn’t quite finished yet, simply leave the sharing options unchecked.  Your movie will be saved in-app so that you can edit and finish it later on.

I would like to point out that the costumes are designed to follow the actor around on camera.  This is a fantastic feature, but it works best if you stay as still as possible.  Children move around a lot when they film so you will find the costumes are off quite a bit as it has hard time catching up to them.  Even when making tiny movements you can still see a lag on the costumes.  Fortunately, my kids were focused on just being silly and having fun making their movies that this didn’t bother them at all.

iPad Screenshot 5TeleStory’s main purpose is to bolster children’s creativity.  Indeed, I have been amused at the different characters and movie scenarios my kids have created as well as at the funny dialogues they come up with.  To my delight, TeleStory has also been very beneficial for my son who has autism.  It provides him a fun way to practice his articulation.  It is also incredibly helpful in improving his conversation and communication skills.

For future updates, I think it would be great if children can draw and save their own costumes and props.  This way they can create more characters and perhaps be able to choose a prop to use on the empty shot scene.  TeleStory have just updated to include a new scene called “The News” and I would love to see even more scenes in the future.  I would also like a way to view the scripts the children write or choose for their movie.

TeleStory is brilliant, educational, and in my 7 year old’ swords, superfun! It gets kids acting and interacting with each other.  It is a great way to get them thinking out of the box, or in this case, out of the iPad. I highly recommend checking it out.

 

TeleStory – Launchpad Toys

TeleStory TeleStory by Launchpad Toys

Price: $FREE

*App Store - Best of 2014*

Write, direct, and star in your own TV show with TeleStory!

From the creators of Toontastic (iTunes Hall of Fame, NY Times "Top 10 iPad Apps"), TeleStory takes.

 

Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

Giveaway for the ReadyNAS RN102 by NETGEAR – Secure Personal Storage Solution

ReadyNas_

Summary

The ReadyNAS RN102 is a 2 bay NAS that can be used to create your own personal home cloud. It is a great Media server as well as a back up solution for your personal computers and allows you to automatically back up your pictures from your smartphones and tablets . The ReadyNAS allows you to access your files, photos, videos and music from your Smart TV, Smartphone, Tablets and computers on your home wifi network, as well as remotely via your ReadyCloud account. It is very user friendly and easy to set up and use, highly recommended.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

NETGEAR have just announced a major update to the ReadyNAS® operating system (OS 6.2) for its ReadyNAS family of desktop and rack-mount Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. To celebrate they are giving one lucky reader of The iMums a chance to win an ReadyNAS RN102 of their own valued at $229 !

Designed for both home and small- and medium-sized business users, ReadyNAS customers already enjoy an advanced, easy-to-use storage solution for centralizing and accessing digital files such as photos, music, videos and documents. The ReadyNAS now has an industry-leading 5 layers of  data protection for your precious files and pictures. The new ReadyNAS OS offers improvements in data protection, backup, sync, and cloud-based usability. Current users can upgrade ReadyNAS OS 6.2 at no charge.

 

I recently reviewed the ReadyNAS RN102, you can read my full review here. I have found it a great home Media Server and back up solution.

I am very happy with the ReadyNAS  RN102 and use it daily. It is a great media server for my home – I can back up movies, photos and music and then play them on my Smart TV, computers, Tablets and Smartphones, I love having access to my media library on all these devices without filling up their storage. With the ReadyCloud I can also access my media files when I’m away from home. I like that I am the one storing my files, rather than another company such as Apple for iCloud, plus after the initial outlay they are no monthly storage fees. It also means I can remove some of my media library from my laptop entirely to free up space – very important as my Macbook hard drive was pretty much completely full! It is also a great back up solution for my computer as it is set up with RAID1 so when it is used  for back up it puts a copy of every file on both hard drives, so if one fails my data is still protected. I have found it very user friendly and simple to set up and use, and there is a online forum which is a great source of additional information on how to use it.

READYNAS RN102 is diskless so you do need to add your own internal hard drives to use it, it is available from Amazon and many retailers, RRP $229.99

READYNAS RN102 Review

Giveaway

If you would like to win your own ReadyNAS RN102 by NETGEAR please enter via the Rafflecopter below. Please note the RN102 is diskless so you do need to add your own internal hard drives to use it (more information is in my review), the giveaway is open to the USA only and a valid US shipping address is required. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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