To USB or Not to USB


USB 3.0 for Digital Video, The Economy, Ski Tech

We shot a video on an HD Sony DVC with an integrated hard drive.  I have to say this is a great prosumer camera.  We shot this video with about 12 takes, then transferred the video to two PCs.

What did we use?  USB of course.

The video was less than 5 minutes, but the file sizes were about 130 MB.  We plugged the camera into each PC. The PC recognized it as a Mass Storage Device (like a flash/thumb/pen drive) and copied a few files over in about 8 minutes.

Of course with USB 3.0 this will be seconds.

I’ve been eyeing the Canon Vixia also because I think this solves the transfer rate problem and because of  the way I use my DVCs.  I like this camera because it uses solid-state media.  It has 16GB embedded and a slot that can accept a 16 GB SD card.  This means that when I drop it (and I will drop it), it is less likely that the camera will be damaged (at least the memory, not the optics).   I am still watching prices on this one, and have recommended it to several friends and collegues.

Also, if you use a removeable SD card, you can take the SD card out, plug it into a Flash Card Reader.  I’m wondering if, when USB 3.0 Flash Card Readers appear, if these will be able to pull data off the Flash Cards faster than a USB 2.0 Card Reader.  I think that it is possible to read data from an SD card faster than USB 2.0 can currently support based on looking at data from this site (  I’m just guessing that read speeds are going to be must faster with USB 3.0 based on the write speed of some files to the cards today for cards embedded in USB 2.0 products.  Read speeds are typically faster.

Also, to keep the economy going, in the past two months I’ve purchased

1) 2 iPod iTouches
2) 2 Dell laptops
3) and I plan to get a 46-52 inch TV for my dad (but share the cost with my sister).

One of those iiTouch’s is for me.  (I dropped my 2nd Gen iPod about 50x.)  I use my iPod every day for an hour or more. I use it for video and I figured a Solid State one would be more durable.  This is a fantastic device, but loading videos onto it at USB 2.0 speeds takes a long time.  It probably took 40 minutes or more to transfer 20GB of video to my new iPod.  Again, USB 3.0 would be great on this device.  (Please note I love my iPod iTouch).

I am also going on a ski vacation. We are going somewhere rustic, and has no internet, and possibly no phone service.  I’m hoping to save a few bucks this way. 

Also, we bought helmets. 

In my day, we didn’t wear helmets, but I’m told “It’s not how you ski, his how other people run over you”   Also, we used to ski in at -10 deg F with -20 deg F wind chill.  Really.  Minnesota.  Thursday night. Ski Club.  The bus didn’t even have heat. (Okay, it might have had heat.  It was definitely yellow.)

Back to helmets.  You can buy Bluetooth earpads for your helmet.  The package made it sound like you could answer phone calls on your helmet with these.  Wow.

ll I need now is Solar Panels on my Helmet/Jacket/Backpack to charge my Bluetooth earpads, iPod, wireless communicators, and mobile phone,  I can ski wirelessly all day.

And you can buy your solar powered backpack here

And I agree with my friend Jay.  All video will go to flash/SSD sooner than I thought.  Hard drives will be used only for the highest capacity DVCs in 5 years.

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