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Old Feb 25, 2004, 09:55 AM   #1
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Smaller Hiatchi Microdrives

CNet reports that Hitachi is working on an embedded and non-removable version of the 1" Microdrive that is currently used in the iPod Mini.

An embedded version of the drive would trim costs and enable manufacturers to make even more compact designs.

The drive used in the iPod Mini is the compact Flash version of Microdrive but there has been little success in utilizing it outside the Mini itself.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 09:59 AM   #2
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Flash version of the Microdrive, I thought it was a hard drive based not flash based?

Edit: Thanks Arn for clearing that up...
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Last edited by Dippo; Feb 25, 2004 at 10:35 AM.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:01 AM   #3
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Bring on the iPod mini mini!!!
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:01 AM   #4
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It is a harddrive but the connector is the same that is used for compact flash.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:07 AM   #5
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that would be "hitachi".
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dippo
Flash version of the Microdrive, I thought it was a hard drive based not flash based?
Compact Flash is an interface... and doesn't imply Flash Memory itself, though that is what is it is often used with

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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:08 AM   #7
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Note that Hiatchi 4GB drives apparently retail for $600 by themselves.

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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by arn
Note that Hiatchi 4GB drives apparently retail for $600 by themselves.

arn
That must be quite a volume discount Apple is getting.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:20 AM   #9
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I bet they buy in such large volumes, that they get them waaaaaay less that 600 bucks.
Quote:
Originally posted by Photorun
That must be quite a volume discount Apple is getting.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:21 AM   #10
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3 inch x 3 inch iPod Micro

...touch screen....
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:21 AM   #11
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Summarizing comments... Folks ARE having success reformatting the drives, but (a) there is a Creative Labs Mupo that uses a similar drive and is cheaper, and (b) because the drive is 4GB (over 2GB) you have to reformat it FAT32, and most cameras won't work with FAT32 in CF. Because the drive retails for $400 or more, folks are buying Mupos, taking out the drive and selling it on eBay.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by arn
Note that Hiatchi 4GB drives apparently retail for $600 by themselves.

arn
Why would anyone buy them at that price, just buy mini iPods and rip out the drives
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Last edited by Dippo; Feb 25, 2004 at 10:37 AM.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:50 AM   #13
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Does the iPod regular use an embedded drive? What size change are we talking about if the mini goes to embedded drive technology? Like 1/16th an inch, or like 1/2 an inch shrinkage?
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:52 AM   #14
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What about a flash iPod Mini?

The flip side of it is that it means that someone could create a flash-based iPod mini, using one of the Lexar Media 4GB flash cards. Be good for longer battery life an shock-resistance.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:58 AM   #15
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Re: What about a flash iPod Mini?

Quote:
Originally posted by NeXTCube
The flip side of it is that it means that someone could create a flash-based iPod mini, using one of the Lexar Media 4GB flash cards. Be good for longer battery life an shock-resistance.
That's the first thing I thought of when I first saw the pictures of the mini ripped apart. The CF interface is still intact, and the hard drive doesn't have a buffer (it uses the mini's built-in memory instead of on-drive memory), so theoretically you could pop a large CF flash card in there.

Although, from what I've read the Hitachi drive is particularly good at handling long runs (45mins+), even when placed on the belt clip... so it may not even be worth the trouble and expense.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:11 AM   #16
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I suspect this could also make the iPod mini marginally cheaper by eliminating the Compact Flash connector and controller overhead. Probably not a big difference, but something...
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:12 AM   #17
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Excellent math skills!

Quote:
Originally posted by 1macker1
I bet they buy in such large volumes, that they get them waaaaaay less that 600 bucks.
Considering that Apple sells the minis for $249, that's a very safe bet.

Self-evident, actually.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dippo
Why would anyone buy them at that price, just buy mini iPods and rip out the drives
I wouldn't be surprised if that's one of the reasons Hitachi is looking to make an embedded version...
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:16 AM   #19
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<sarchasm>Yeah, but if they ripped out the interface electronics, they would have to call it a "storage element"</sarchasm>
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:20 AM   #20
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Trying to take out the HD to use elsewhere...

Here's an interesting thread on DPReview.com about someone who has (so far unsucessfully) tried to use his ipod mini's hd in his (fat32 enabled) canon slr. Link
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:26 AM   #21
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Re: What about a flash iPod Mini?

Quote:
Originally posted by NeXTCube
The flip side of it is that it means that someone could create a flash-based iPod mini, using one of the Lexar Media 4GB flash cards. Be good for longer battery life an shock-resistance.
Ouch. You make an excellent observation, but for all those whining about the cost of the mini, this isn't going to help.

Here's a silly money-making idea. Buy a pallet of minis, rip out the HDs, and sell them for $400 each, which is two-thirds of Hitachi's price. Then put a 1 GB flash card ($170) in the mini, and sell it for $200 as the slickest flash-based player on the market. You would net $180 per unit, which would cover labor and profit.

Who's in?
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:32 AM   #22
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Re: Re: What about a flash iPod Mini?

Quote:
Originally posted by splashman
Ouch. You make an excellent observation, but for all those whining about the cost of the mini, this isn't going to help.

Here's a silly money-making idea. Buy a pallet of minis, rip out the HDs, and sell them for $400 each, which is two-thirds of Hitachi's price. Then put a 1 GB flash card ($170) in the mini, and sell it for $200 as the slickest flash-based player on the market. You would net $180 per unit, which would cover labor and profit.

Who's in?

i'm in
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dippo
Why would anyone buy them at that price, just buy mini iPods and rip out the drives
I believe that's called murder.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 11:56 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~Shard~
Bring on the iPod mini mini!!!
Or should it be called the mini iPod mini?

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Old Feb 25, 2004, 12:00 PM   #25
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Re: Re: What about a flash iPod Mini?

Quote:
Originally posted by splashman
Ouch. You make an excellent observation, but for all those whining about the cost of the mini, this isn't going to help.

Here's a silly money-making idea. Buy a pallet of minis, rip out the HDs, and sell them for $400 each, which is two-thirds of Hitachi's price. Then put a 1 GB flash card ($170) in the mini, and sell it for $200 as the slickest flash-based player on the market. You would net $180 per unit, which would cover labor and profit.

Who's in?
Interesting idea, but it wouldn't quite work. First off, you'd have to spend a fortune just getting certified so you know how to wire the thing, and then you'd have to worry about hooking up the battery to you flash card, not to mention having to re-work the interface so it'll accept the smalelr 1GB capacity.
You'd also have to find enough people to buy useless 4GB drive ripped out of all those iPod mini's. They have no really feasable use, since they are without cases and probably have weird, propriatary interfaces.
Nice idea though.
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