Palm LifeDrive Chronicles: Ch 5 - Audio Shuttle and Player

by Derrick Story

I've been working a lot lately with recording voice and other audio on the Mac in my studio. After the session was over, the challenge was, I wanted to take those files with me for review at home or on the go. At first I considered the iPod as my shuttle. But if I wanted to listen to the files, as well as transport them, I had to work through the iTunes application. That seemed a bit cumbersome.

Then it dawned on me that I had a better device right there in my briefcase -- the LifeDrive. All I had to do was connect the Palm LD via the USB2 cable, drag the audio file to the Music folder on the LifeDrive, then disconnect.

With this scenario, I could listen to the audio on the LifeDrive -- either with its built-in speaker or plugged-in ear buds to the stereo mini-jack -- or upload the file to another computer via the USB 2 cable. Since the LifeDrive is a Mass Storage device, I can connect it into any modern Mac or Windows PC and transfer data. No additional applications are required for this process.

Another handy benefit is the Files app on the LifeDrive. It displays all of the MP3s I transferred in a easy to navigate file manager. Once I locate the particular audio file that I want to listen to, all I have to do is tap on it, and the LifeDrive presents me with an audio controller right there in file view. I can listen to the recording without having to use additional software.

The 4GB hard drive seems roomy enough to manage my current projects. Once they're completed, I offload the files to my computer and external archive drives so I can then free up that space on the Palm for new endeavors. The entire workflow is has been easy to manage. I don't have any compatibility issues with any of my production computers, and no proprietary software to get in my way.

If I somehow forget the USB 2 cable... I can send the file via Bluetooth to the computer. A 24MB MP3 took 22 minutes to transfer to my Apple PowerBook using wireless transfer. Not the fastest method of upload available, but a nice option to have in a pinch. (In a future installment I'll show you how to use 802.11 for file transfer that's quite fast!)

The bottom line is, the LifeDrive makes an excellent shuttle because of its versatility. I can even open a text app while listening to the audio file and make notes for reference later.

The LifeDrive Chronicles

Ch 1 - Internet Radio

Ch 2 - Gmail Instead of POP

Ch 3 - A Versatile Photog's Assistant

Ch 4 - The Perfect BT Phone Companion

Ch 5 - Audio Shuttle and Player