Extra storage - travelling - what to do with photos?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by richt, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. richt
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    richt iPF Noob

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    I'll start with an apology here as I've seen a few posts about adding/accessing additional storage however I've found no definitive answer (poss there isn't one) before going off travelling for a few weeks

    I used my iPad whilst away earlier this year and found its capacity very limiting. I soon ran out of films so have been looking into using the camera connection kit with an external hard disk or pen drive - also considered I'd be taking loads of pics which could be dumped onto a drive so as to avoid filling the iPad. I've read about the Seagate Satellite, and that's probably the best option, but feel I could get a cheap netbook for the same money (then add extra hard disks if necessary). I also found the Hyperdrive - seems a cheaper option but there doesn't seem to be much written about it here

    Then I started thinking, I have loads of external hard disks (powered & portable) and also a couple of Airport Express's. Surely this should give me the same function as the Seagate drive? Current Airport software seems to have removed the Airdisk function but maybe previous software could bring that back. Has anyone tried?

    I know the iPad could be jailbroken but feel this is to complicated a solution for this one problem I have. I do have an LG NAS drive and maybe should look into setting that up for access via wifi whilst abroad - would that give me the options I need? upload some films and download some pics - then delete off the iPad

    If anyone has any thoughts or solutions then I'd be very grateful to read them as this is doing my head in

    Thanks a lot
  2. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I have been looking for an answer for a year and haven't found a really satifactory one. Before I had the iPad, I used a Netbook with an external USB HDD. Frankly, I think that it is probably still the best solution.

    Out of sheer determination to use the iPad, I have developed a sort of solution. I use a very small Linux box called a DreamPlug with X Widows installed. I can use iSSH on the iPad as a console to copy files frm SD card to HDD, via the Linux box. I actually use a Perl script, originally developed for the Netbook, to copy the files. The script copies only new photos and splits the files into JPG and RAW subdirectories. To be honest, there's no real benefit over taking tha Notebook along as well as the iPad.

    I am looking at the Seagate WiFi drive. Be aware that, out of the box, it can't be used to copy files using the iPad, it has a browser based Phoot Viewer and that's is. I would actually have to plug it into the DreamPlug to copy the files the way I do at the moment then view the photos wirelessly as Seagate intended.

    There IS a hack for the Seagate that ditches the photo viewer and provides a full, web based, file browser plus a better photo viewer. I believe that it also makes SMB shares possible so that it should work with FileBrowser. This solution with AirStash (for SD card) might work, altough copying files via the iPad via WiFi would be slowish. There is also WiFi SD card that might work, I think that it's called an Eye.Fi card.

    I find it frustration that the iPad is great for viewing photos but not much use for managing them.

    EDIT: Be aware that you need to check carefully how any device you are considering (e.g. Eye.Fi) functions. They usually have built in firmware with limited functionality. Sometimes a hack is available to open the device up, but not always.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  3. richt
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    richt iPF Noob

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    Thanks a lot for your reply. It's comforting to see others with the same frustration and trying similar avenues
    It is frustrating and I'm the same in that I feel determined to find an answer. I appreciate, from Apple's perspective, that the 'needs' we have here would be easily met by other products - MacBook Air I guess - but it's frustrating in that the iPad was bought for travelling light and it nearly is brilliant. Grrrrr

    I'd read about the Seagate drive not being quite the perfect solution and that's why I've held back up to now. Any thoughts on using an Airport Express? There was a time i used to use it with a hard disk connected for anything on the network.
  4. Bluesjam
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    Bluesjam iPad Fan

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    Everything has its limit, buy an Airbook.
  5. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Or a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet with a USB port.
  6. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    The next time I buy a tablet I will be looking for a device that offers a better solution for managing photos than the iPad does. I am not too concerned whether it will be an iPad, Andoid, etc.

    Something that woul interest me is a battery powered, WiFi portable HDD with an SD Card slot (or USB port) and embedded, browser based, file manager and photo viewer, basically an "Image Tank" that is accessed via a tablet computer. To me this would be better than connecting a portable HDD to the tablet directly simply because wires and handheld devices aren't a good mix.
  7. Czevski
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    Czevski iPad Addict

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    I use online storage - photobucket - as backup for my photos from my iPad and my computer. I also have an eye-fi card that sends my photos to my iPad, their online (7 days only unless you purchase longer storage) site, photobucket and my computer. In photobucket they are by date and so far I haven't been able to get movies. There are lots of online sites to choose from.
  8. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    Quite right, there are lots of cloud solutions (including iCloud) but I, and many others, aren't quite ready to ditch our portable hard drives just yet.

    The iPad situation has improved slightly. It used to be that getting photos onto the iPad was easy enough, using the Photo/Camera Connection Kit but getting them off when got home wasn't quite so simple. You couldn't simply use Windows Explorer or Finder. The official way to do it was to use iTunes, hated by many, including me.

    Now when you connect via USB, the Canera Roll is visible in Wndows Explorer. The folder names are meaningless but the files (raw and jpg) are clearly identifiable and I assume that they can be copied elsewhere. I assume that this became possible with iOS 5.

    Even on an extended trip, taking lots of photos, I don't fill up my 16 GB SD card, so perhaps the iPad is now suitable as a photo backup viewing device while traveling.
  9. richt
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    richt iPF Noob

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    Thanks a lot for your replies - some great ideas that I haven't thought of
    I started thinking I was asking too much of my iPad and the simplest solution was to get a few more sd cards for pics and accept the limited number of movies for the plane etc. I've come up with an answer though - and for a loyal Apple fan of years, it hurts! I'll get a cheapo netbook off eBay. less than a £100 and I can control my iPad just as I wish and easily hook up an external HD if required. That's much cheaper than the Seagate Satellite and I get all the function and control I need ...... Can't believe I'm about to buy a PC
  10. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    My cheap Netbook does the job quite well. The only shortcoming may be viewing photos, the iPad is superior there.
  11. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    I also use a cheap netbook while traveling for this exact purpose. The iPad is not the best tool for everything, unfortunately. And iTunes only makes it worse.
  12. epb
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    epb iPad Junkie

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    Won't the Camera Cnnection Kit work with your current external drives?

    My solution was an AirStash, which gives me wireless access to the SDHC cards my camera uses and any other files I put on them. With two 32GB cards, I've got double the capacity of my iPad 64GB, which has been plenty.
  13. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    Firstly, the amount of power available from the CCK is not sufficient for most external drives. Secondly. there is no file manager to access or copy files anyway.

    The options seem to be AirStash or the new Seagate GoFlex WiFi drive, which has limited file management functions.
  14. epb
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    epb iPad Junkie

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    A file manager wouldn't be necessary for the OP's requirements, as the iPad automatically detects image files.
  15. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I haven't got an external drive that will run off the amount of power that is available via CCK. With such a drive (or perhaps one that is powered separately) the next thing that is required is for a directory called DCIM to exist in the root of the drive. The iPad should then copy all raw and jpg files (perhaps all files) to the Camera Roll.

    That's fine for viewing photos on the iPad but then there was the problem of getting files off the iPad later. I think that the only option used to be iTunes (ugh), but with iOS 5 it now seems to be possible to copy the files by connecting USB and using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder, Hooray!!!!.
  16. Swati.Siddharth
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    Hi. I have just posted separately on this ... But, anyway, ... If you have access to a Mac, then try the image capture app that comes with Snow Leopard. It's amazingly fast to transfer files from the iPad to the Mac and vice versa. Just select the files you want to transfer or copy all. You can choose a destination / source folder in the Mac. It's far easier than syncing through iTunes!

    The real issue is what happens if you do to carry the Mac around?

    There is some sorts of card reader hyperdrive that I once saw that transfers photographs amazingly fast - raw format too! There are versions available that also have a small display unit that lets yu skim through the pictures on the HDD directly without having to plug into the computer at all. Of course, in such an option, the iPad is completely dispensable so far as transferring photos from camera to storage device is concerned!
  17. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You can always use iCloud for storing items that you want to view on the road.

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