I’ve found myself filming a lot on my iPhone and iPad and now the modern generations of iDevices film in 1080p HD a lot of space can get taken up very quickly. Sometimes it’s not always convenient to hook your iPad up to a laptop and download the footage using iPhoto.
A solution would be to get a wireless hard drive like the LaCie Fuel. This hard drive has only recently been released after being announced at CES 2014. I’ve been testing it out for about a week now.
The first thing to say is that in terms of size, it’s very similar to an optical superdrive. It’s less than an inch thick so it can easily be carried in a messenger bag or something with not a great deal of space.
The outer casing is plastic, although it avoids feeling cheap. It certainly feels like it could withstand reasonably heavy use. It’s not an SSD drive however, so it still has moving parts – I wouldn’t go throwing this thing around. In terms of looks, it’s great though.
The hard drive works by creating a wireless network which your devices connect to. If you still need an internet connection, the LaCie Fuel will connect to any wireless network to allow you to do this – essentially acting as a router.
Once you get the hard drive, you set it up through the Seagate Media app. Through this app you can copy files between your iPad and the drive as well as access files when you need to. When you run the app for the first time you are taken through a wizard that set up the drive including connecting to a wireless network. The app itself looks a bit dated as it still looks like something for iOS 6. At the time of writing the last app update was 9th January 2014 so the developers are active in keeping it up to date, but work still needs to be done here.
It’s important to note that the only way to access files on the drive is through this app. It would be nice if Apple allowed the native Music and Video apps to access content on the wireless hard drive but for now it isn’t possible.
When testing it the app crashed a couple of times during set up, but remained fairly stable after that. When loading an HD video from the drive there is a slight wait whilst the video loads. Content seems to run smoothly from it – buffering in time so that there are no further pauses during playback. The app is generally okay, but an updated UI and improved features such as folder creation would be welcome.
The drive has a USB 3 input so you can also use this as a regular hard drive too. This may be more preferable when transferring a lot of media files in one go.
If you’re looking for a device to take away on trips holding a music and movie collection then this is the hard drive for you. The app is the only thing holding it back with it’s outdated UI and lack of file organisation features – however as mentioned before, this can be remedied by hooking it up to a computer and organising the files that way.
The LaCie Fuel drive is available for around £169 and you can pick one up from Amazon.