The smallest Group Test product was the MSX-256 Memory Stick PRO. It comes in a small, neat, case. The documentation was not very helpful and, had we not used this type of hardware before, we may have become stuck, because the case itself was not that easy to open. Apart from this minor setback Memory Stick compatible hardware is also required, whether using a laptop, PC, digital mobile phone or digital camera. That said, a PC card adapter or a USB reader/writer is all that is needed for laptop use and, given the protection that is afforded, it's a small price to pay.
This type of removable media is ideal for architects, surveyors or music professionals, where photos or digital sound need to be recorded and sent securely. It allows for still and moving images and delivers a high quality digital playback and capture. Optimum transfer rate is 160Mbps, but this will depend on the host device. Sony says 15Mbps is the minimum.
Storage is excellent too, with the capacity for 360 JPEG images at
5-megapixels, equivalent to 10 rolls of film or, if you are storing music,
16 CDs. Sony has a list of other compatible hosts that includes digital still cameras, notebooks, PDAs, digital video cameras and a lot more, which could lead to further piracy with the fast broadband connections now available.
For corporate board meetings, presentations and other business operations, which can be recorded for future reference, using Magicgate, users also get the security of copyright protection technology. It allows encryption and authentication, ensuring correct use is imposed and copyright is not infringed. It certainly differs from other portable media we have looked at and the results were impressive. Whether the MSX-256 Memory Stick PRO will become a 'must have' commodity will depend on the success of compatible products. But what makes it practical is the ability to interchange between laptop to television and camera to mixing desk.