External Data Storage: Dane-ELEC So Speaky Mediaplayer

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DaneElec-So-Speaky-320GB-FrontThe Dane-ELEC So Speaky Mediaplayer as can be seen from the pictures, is not your standard run of the mill external hard drive.  Dane-ELEC have expanded the functionality of the drive to provide full mediaplayer functionality independant of a PC.  The hardware is able to play a variety of formats for both music and video:

  • Audio: MP3, WMA,AAC, AC3, DTS
  • Video: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (XviD, DIVX, VCD, DVD-MPG, DAT, AVI, VOB, MJPEG
  • Photo: JPEG (up to 5120 x 3840 pixels)

Additionally files can be transferred to the drive (in addition to the standard USB 2.0 interface) using a range of multimedia cards through the media card reader:

  • Supported memory card formats: Compact Flash I / II, SD Card, Memory Stick, xD Card

Also the external hard drive can be used independantly of a PC and can display on various screens and monitors, or Hi-Fi systems using the provide VGA output, video composite output and analogical audio output.  Cables for each output are provided except for VGA.

DaneElec-So-Speaky-320GB-RearAll of the mediaplayer functions of the drive can be controlled using the included remote control, allowing integration in to existing media equipment.

The enclosure to the drive is manufactured out of pressed aluminium allowing for reasonable heat dissapation and in our tests, the drive casing did heat up, but not excessively.  The included hard drive is SATA and has a 16mb cache which is fast enough for the purposes of this drive.

When displaying on screen the mediaplayer interface is very easy to follow with four options for viewing: Photos, Music, Video and Files menu items.  We found the interface a little slow to load at times (however we did have ~60GB of media files loaded on to the drive).  Though the slight wait was more than made up for by the functions.  All audio and movies played flawlessly and the sound quality was good.

Dane-ELEC also provide a software CD containing installations for Roxio Easy Archive for setting up the one touch backup (OTB) function of the drive, Roxio Back Up My PC which allows the creation of a perfect image of a hard drive for security purposes, PC Tools Antivirus and PC Tools Antispyware.

As with other Dane-ELEC the design and function of the device is over and above the specification of similar markets on the product and the product comes with a 2 year warranty for extra peace of mind.

The Dane-ELEC So Speaky Mediaplayer definitely gets the Computer Takeaway seal of approval.