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Western Digital My Passport vs MyBook

This is a good look at how far companies like Western Digital have come in the storage game. The small, black device is a new 2TB My Passport portable hard drive. The larger silver device behind it is a 1TB MyBook that's probably about 4-years old. Yep, the new My Passport is probably 90% smaller than the older MyBook, and holds twice as much data.


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Western Digital has announced the availability of its new My Passport line, which tops out at 2 TB of storage. Yup, you read right, 2TB. WD VP Jim Welsh went on the record saying, "It's the perfect blend of monstrous capacity, reliability and user-friendly technology in a sleek form factor." Also, the storage devices come in five colors, so you can have your storage device color coordinate with your shoes, if that’s a selling factor for you. The hard-drives are priced at $250 and feature USB 3.0 for quick transfers. There are other sizes as well, if 2TB is overkill. Pricing is as follows: $129.99 for 500 GB, $149.99 for 750 GB, $179.99 for 1 TB, $199.99 for 1.5 TB, and $249.99 for the new 2 TB edition. Check out the entire line on Amazon. You can read more from the press release after the jump.

Click to continue reading Western Digital My Passport portable storage line hits 2TB


TiVo Premiere 500 GB

TiVo has just announced that its replacing the 320 GB TiVo Premiere with a newer 500 GB model, netting buyers an additional 65% more storage. The new units start shipping on March 25th. In addition, the company has also lowered prices on the rest of its hardware lineup, as well as on the service plans as well. Here's the new pricing for the Premiere, Premiere XL, and Premiere Elite:

As for the service plans, here are the new, lower costs:

  • The TiVo monthly service fee is now $14.99 per month, with a one-year commitment, making it lower on a monthly basis than most cable offerings
  • Multi-service discount pricing is now $12.99 per month

The new 500 GB TiVo Premiere can be purchased in stores, or directly from TiVo.com.


iWork Beta ends icloud

Apple has just announced that it's closing down the iWork.com beta in light of the fact that iCloud has become the company's de facto standard for cloud storage and sharing. It's certainly interesting, since iCloud doesn't yet have all the features that iWork.com has, namely talking about document storage and sharing, as well as the ability to download the stored document in a variety of formats on the fly. Maybe that'll be changing soon? iWork.com users have until July 31, 2012 before the service is shuttered. Full text of the email that Apple sent to iWork.com users after the break.

Click to continue reading Apple closing iWork.com beta on July 31, points users to iCloud


Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a version of its SkyDrive cloud service for Windows Phone and the iPhone.

The move, Microsoft said in a blog post, comes as people increasingly need access to files on-the-go.

"As devices proliferate, having a great experience on the Web is only one piece of a pretty complex puzzle," Microsoft's Mike Torres wrote. "People are choosing where to put their files based on how portable and accessible they are across the various devices they use; therefore, it's critical that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day."

To that end, the most recent version of Windows Phone, known as Mango, included deep integration with SkyDrive via the Pictures and Office hubs, allowing for the sharing of photos via text, email, or IM, for example.

But users wanted more, Torres said. "Many still want the full SkyDrive experience from Windows Phone, including tasks like browsing their entire SkyDrive, sharing links to folders or files, deleting files, and creating folders." As a result, phones running Windows Phone 7.5 can now download the SkyDrive app from the Windows Phone Marketplace and do just that.

For those on iOS, the same app was also released in the App Store. See the video above for more.

Click to continue reading Microsoft releases SkyDrive app for iPhone, Windows Phone


seagate momentus xt

Seagate began shipping its next-generation hybrid drive on Tuesday, the Momentus XT, which Seagate claims is three times faster than a "traditional" hard disk.

The drive, which combines solid-state storage with a traditional rotating hard disk, holds 750GB of data and caches 8GB of data on the built-in SSD. It builds on the original Momentus XT, which was awarded with an Editors' Choice, adding the 6 Gbps SATA interface that was one of the original's weak points.

Seagate claimed that the new Momentus XT drive is nearly 70 percent faster than the prior Momentus drive version. It uses adaptive memory—moving frequently used data to the SSD cache—and a related technology that Seagate calls FAST Factor.

Consumers can buy the 2.5-inch drive for $102 at Amazon, Canada Computers, CDW, Memory Express, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect, or buy an OEM notebook with a built-in drive. Seagate said it had six OEM partners, but didn't name them. It's also difficult to say whether the drive's availability and price will be affected by the Thai floods, which has caused evidence of price gouging, even as Seagate's outlook has slightly improved.

Click to continue reading Seagate: Momentus XT hybrid SSD-HDD drive is 70% faster


iCloud iDisk accessToday my brother asked me how he could access his MobileMe iDisk now that he had upgraded to iCloud. I told him that he should just look in this Finder, without realizing that iDisk is gone for many MobileMe users who've migrated over to iCloud. However, there's still a way to get to your iDisk (at least, until Apple pulls the plug on MobileMe for good next year!):

  • Open Finder and press ⌘K (Command + K)
  • Enter 'https://idisk.me.com/yourMobileMeName' as the Server Address (without the quotes)
  • Click the Connect button

Your iDisk should mount in the Finder, although it may ask you for your MobileMe password first, if it isn't saved to your Keychain.


Google on Wednesday officially unveiled its music product, dubbed Google Music, which will let users store songs in the cloud for free and buy tracks directly from the Android Market.

Google's Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Android, said Google Music is an expansion of Google Music Beta, introduced earlier this year, making it a "full end-to-end service."

"It's about the cloud, about the Web and about mobile," he said.

Google Music, accessible via music.google.com, is open to everyone in the U.S. now on the Web and will roll out to mobile users in the coming days. Users can store and stream up to 20,000 songs in the Google cloud for free, and add any selections they don't have by buying them from the Google Music store.

Google Music will allow users to share songs with friends, who will be able to play that song in its entirety once.

Google said it has sealed deals with more than 1,000 music labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI, as well as indie labels, like those from Merlin. In all, Google promised access to 13 million tracks, 8 million of which are available now.

Click to continue reading Google Music brings MP3 store, free cloud storage for your tracks


iTunes Match

The first member of Apple's iCloud family that requires separate payment is here: the $24.99-a-year iTunes Match. The service will store any and all music in your computer's iTunes library up to Apple's servers and make it accessible to any of your iOS devices or computers running iTunes.

Though the free iTunes in the Cloud has existed since the launch of iOS 5 on Oct. 12, that service only covers music you've bought through the iTunes Store.

Apple's iTunes Match examines your song collection and determines whether Apple's servers contain a copy of each tune, in which case no upload on your part is required, and you can download a high-quality 256 Kbps AAC iTunes Plus version of the songs onto any device or computer you've signed into using the same Apple ID.

But for those who still have lingering questions about iTunes Match, here are a few more details:

Click to continue reading 5 things you should know about iTunes Match


iTunes Match now available

Apple his finally released iTunes Match, alongside the iTunes 10.5.1 update, which allows subscribers to store their entire iTunes music library in iCloud, accessing it from any Apple device that they're signed into. The release comes about two weeks later than excpected, as Apple had announced that the feature would go public before the end of October. You're limited to 25,000 tracks, although iTunes purchases don't count towards that limit in any way, and all your music will be upgraded to DRM-free 256 kbps AAC files. Who's signing up?


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