Smokin' with the Belkin USB 2.0 Media Reader
by Derrick Story
I typically use a PC card adapter for uploading images to my PowerBook. It fits nicely in my bag and always seems to work without fail.
But a recent book project has forced me to test some new media readers, and one in particular has turned my head -- the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer. Yes, that's quite a lengthy title, but it does a lot of stuff.
It accepts just about every type of memory card on the planet. And in my case, since I use CF and SD cards, I can put one of each in the reader at the same time. The upload speed is incredible. The specs say "480Mbps -- 40 times faster than USB 1.1 media readers." Well, I'm not sure about 40 times faster in real life, but this thing smokes.
It's also quite thin and doesn't take up much room at all in my laptop case. No special drivers are required. My PowerBook has USB 2.0 built-in, and that's all it needs. The only downside is the hefty USB cord that accompanies it. I tried substituting one of my Zip-Linq retractable cords, but the Belkin didn't like it and wouldn't mount on the Mac. So for now, I'm stuck with the hefty cord.
Cord issues aside, I'm really hooked on this $49 device. I just love watching it drain a 512MB card in no time at all.
I've been using the Lexar Firewire flash reader which is probably
very close in speed. One problem I've run into over the last couple of months is iPhoto pauses totally unresponsive for several minutes when I plug it in. During this time the CPU is pegged at 100%. I have a little over 11,000 pictures in my library which iPhoto handles very nicely with the reader is not in use. The pause only occurs right after it detects the device. I was wondering it anyone else has seen this problem.