The first time I held in my hand the smallest flash memory card existing today is when I took the TransFlash (picture after link on left) out of my Samsung a920 phone. That phone, its various features and the TransFlash card have been reviewed here on Gadgetnutz. A couple of days ago I was sent a microSD (picture on the right) for review. And, ya know, it’s looks JUST the same as the TransFlash!
SanDisk decided to ‘confuse’ me by creating what it first called a ‘T-Flash’. Then it renamed it a ‘TransFlash’. The SD Card Association (SDA) wanted to introduce a flash card that had the capability of supporting NFC. NFC is used to configure and initiate other wireless network connections such as Bluetooth or WiFi on a compatible microSD-enabled phone. So microSD cards are made in the same dimensions as the TransFlash cards, but with some extra mojo. They both fit those cute SD adapters. They both can fit in phones that have TransFlash slots. So, when I received that one GB microSD I was delighted to plug it into my phone and start taking advantage of the HUGE amount of space I could now play with! It was seen by the phone immediately. No fuss, no muss. Did I mention it’s a HUGE one GB??
I had plenty of room to record video with the a920. The highest quality movie is 30 seconds in the 3g2 format. This is an mpeg-4 video with a res of 176 x 144. And if you take the microSD out of the phone and put it in a USB card reader you can watch the videos using Quicktime 7 and MPlayer. In both cases the card played the videos smoothly, easily and with no trouble. Now, I’m having Fun! Of course, a 30 second video isn’t very large. So, I decided I needed to watch some larger videos on my phone. I have the trailer to King Kong and an episode of South Park. That’s got to be at least 20 minutes! In order to watch these and other video clips on my a920 I had to convert them to 3g2 format. For that I found Super
For those with Quicktime Pro file conversions and editing are also possible. Super is a very easy to use free program with a fairly easy to understand GUI. Basically, examine the files your phone makes and duplicate the particulars. Of course, the conversions happen fairly quickly so you can experiment to get the best quality for your phone. I would suggest not ‘Stretching It’ (on the right side in the Green Video box), for example. You may not be able to see that the King Kong trailer is letterboxed, but to play on my phone I want to keep that aspect, so I let Super keep it’s default 16:9 aspect. In any case, it looks great on my phone. Trust me.
The South Park episode played just great. This may not be the way I want to regularly watch this or most shows, but it’s not to know I can. And it’s convenient being able to bring a film/TV show/presentation on a small device to show to friends or business associates.
Which brings me to the next interesting idea – and device. The V-MATE is a Video Flash Memory Card Recorder. Record from your TV or cable. I’ve got satellite TV, so that’s what I’d record from. You can record from DVD players, TiVo’s and VCR’s. Whatever the original device the data gets recorded to the flash memory card that’s inserted into the V-Mate. Then you take the card and place it into your phone. Play video. Be happy! The V-Mate supports a large variety of cards including SD (and therefore my microSD card. Yippy!)
You can play those videos in any devices which will accept memory cards – and these days there seems to be a lot of them! PDA’s, PSP’s and of course, your basic computer in addition to lots of phones. The V-Mate will be available for sale next month (October) and will be an amazing $130 !!! Wow, so cheap you can three!
And all this is possible because of the very very small but ubiquitous flash memory card! And the fact that the storage is getting larger – did I mention I’ve got the one GB size?? And there already is a 2 GB size. And bigger storage is one the way. Imagine carrying the entire six seasons of The Sopranos on one microSD card??? Anything is possible!