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Add a TB of storage to your Note 2
In my review of the Note 2 on my blog, I now discuss a new USB drive for use in managing and viewing a movie collection. Here's an excerpt:
"Iíve just become aware of another interesting solution, the Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB hard drive. I have one now, and have tested it. Here is a brief list of its pros and cons, when used wirelessly:
1 Hardware works very well, as does its private WiFi connectivity.
2 Movies in format MP4, AVI and some others play smoothly across WiFi.
3 You can play these movies with the Seagate Media app or with any other video apps you have installed.
4 Downloading movies from the Mac is fast due to its USB 3.0 connectivity.
5 The unit is relatively small and light weight.
6 At 10 hours, battery life is good.
7 You can make and receive phone calls while connected to the Wireless Plus drive.
1 The Seagate Media app won't play MKV movie files, nor will it let you open MKV files with other video apps. This is a deal breaker for me. Apparently, earlier versions of this app did play MKV files, but this capability was taken away in the latest update! Until this is fixed, I can't use this device.
2 There is also a browser interface offered, although it is not recommended for use on smartphones and pads. Through it, you can download MKV (and other) files to your device, and then watch them with your other video players. However, downloading to the device is very slow: e.g., a 4.5 GB movie would have taken over an hour to download, but got stuck at 1.9 GB and never finished. Further, I donít have enough space on my Note 2 available to download large movie files (even though I have a 64 GB micro SD card installed); thatís why I bought the Seagate drive. I want rapid access to my movies. If I decide I donít want to watch one Iíve started, I want to be able to quickly switch to another movie.
3 The Seagate Media app lists file sizes for each video file, but those sizes are often wrong. For example, a 4.5 GB file was listed as 361 MB. This makes it difficult to know whether a file would fit into available space if downloaded to your device.
4 The Seagate Media app does not provide a file/folder view of the Wireless Plus hard drive. Instead, it builds a database of all your media files in all folders on the Wireless Plus drive, and then just lets you see all your movies listed alphabetically. Any folder organization you may have is obliterated. This is a near deal breaker, but can be worked around somewhat through the use of prefixes in video file names.
5 The Seagate Media app does not support video file renaming or deletion.
6 The drive does not work with the Note 2 when connected directly via the OTG USB cable. The Note 2 complains of an unrecognized format and says the drive is blank.
7 As delivered, the hard drive does not support files greater than 4 GB in size. The Mac software provided will reformat the device for larger files. Doing this deletes all the lovely sample videos included on the hard drive, so save them first. Wish I had done that!
Fortunately, there is a pretty good solution to all these problems. Just reformat the drive to ExFAT. Then it will mount via the OTG USB cable and also support large files. It then operates just like the Kingston above. It will not operate wirelessly, but for me this is not a big problem. And there is no need for the Seagate Media app, with all its many pitfalls. The only significant downsides are:
1) There is no indication of the driveís battery charge level, although it is indeed drawing power from the Note 2, so I donít think drive-battery is going to be an issue.
2) The drive does shorten Note 2 battery life by about 71%. Running at full brightness, a fully charged battery will last me about 3 hours with this drive is tethered, or a little over 5 hours without it (or with the Kingston attached, which draws very little power).
3) The drive gets a bit heavy to hold, tethered under the Note 2, while viewing a movie.