SanDisk ImageMate USB
Flash/Smart Media Reader
Estimated Price: $49.00
Like Tim, I’ve suffered through very slow downloads when I’ve tried to move the images that are on my Smart Media card from my digital camera to my computer. I had also discovered that my USB capable system (6400/180 with G3 card and Keyspan PCI USB card) would not permit me to hook up my digital camera and download pictures through the USB ports. The camera manufacturer (Toshiba) attributed this to the fact that the camera works with iMac’s, G3s, G4s, etc. but not with a G3 equipped legacy Mac. So I was reduced to unplugging my printer after I had shut down the system, hooking up the serial cable, restarting my Mac and then slowly downloading the pictures through the software provided. Very, very frustrating to say the least, particularly when people want to see the pictures on the monitor right away.
After doing my research and hunting around for other options, I finally selected the SanDisk ImageMate USB SmartMedia reader as the best and least expensive option open to me. Initial installation of the unit was as easy as 1-2-3. Insert the Installation CD in the drive, double-click the Installer icon, follow the directions, then restart the system. Once the system had restarted, I just plugged the unit into the USB hub, inserted my SmartMedia card and then double-clicked on the SanDisk icon which appeared, opened the folder inside and found all my pictures waiting for me as JPEG images. After that it was just drag and drop the images inside to my desktop picture folder and I was done. Less then a minute to insert the card, double-click and then see what the pictures looked like, rather then spending what seemed like forever to download the pictures.
With the folder open on the desktop, viewing is easy, as is renaming each JPEG image. Trash what I don’t want, rename what I want, and then drag the images to the desktop picture folder. Definitely a major time saver as far as I’m concerned! The one thing I did discover is that you must have Apple’s File Exchange extension on if you want the unit to be seen by your Mac, so make sure you have it on when you go to use the reader. SanDisk has a very informative website and even carries the drivers and Mac FAQs on the site, so we’re not forgotten.
Now while the reader comes in the basic computer grey color with Navy Blue accents, it’s not that bad to look at when it sits there on your computer desk, kinda like it’s smiling at you. And while the unit has a suggested retail price of $49, I was able to get my unit for $29. I looked around for the best prices locally, went to the closest store that handled the product (Best Buy) showed them the flyer with one of their competitor’s pricing and they honored the price difference.
MacMice Rating: 5