Microsolutions RoadStor (2005)
Digital photo storage for photographers
Update 2021: As you may have noticed, this product is way out of date now. There are far better solutions with HD displays for digital storage out there. However, this has been kept on the site for nostalgia/historical technical interest/can't be bothered to do a redirect. So...the Microsolutions Roadstor is somewhat different than the others in that it can even burn CD's on the go. Still here? Read on...
The RoadStor is fully capable of archiving the images stored on your digital media cards whilst in the field. This portable digital storage device houses a portable 24X CD Writer, DVD Player (supporting DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, and DVD-RAM formats) plus a digital image viewer. It also allows the digital photographer peace of mind that he won't run out of memory or have to invest in extra memory cards.
Digital photo storage types
It takes just about every type of memory card available and compatible memory formats include:
Backing up from a memory card is simple. After switching on the RoadStor, insert your digital memory card into the relevant slot, and a blank CD into the CD drive. You will be prompted to begin the process by a display on top of the unit.
To start the process, press the backup button twice. Transferring a 512MB CF card to a CD-R should take around 30 minutes (edit 2018: lol). While this is slower than a PC's CD burner, it is still fast enough to backup your digital media on the go, and to a CD.
The RoadStor creates multi-session CD's. This means you can continue to add content to your CD's until the CD is full. Additionally, the RoadStor supports disk spanning to enable you to backup media cards up to of 1 GB or larger.
The Microsolutions RoadStor is a multi-function device. The DVD playback functionality is limited, although usable. The remote control (Included) can be used for adjusting the volume, menu features, fast forward of the movie (up to 128x) and turning the unit on and off.
Though the DVD player has limited functionality, playback is smooth and crisp. The sound quality is also good as a home DVD player.
Microsolutions have offered many features in this portable digital photo storage device. Connecting a pair of headphones to the audio jack allows you to use the RoadStor as a portable CD player. And as internet music download services continue to grow in popularity, the RoadStor can be used to play a CD of MP3's. It can also play them when stored on a media card.
As there is no volume control on the unit itself, the remote control is needed to adjust volume of the music being played. The unit seems to require MP3's on the CD to be stored in the root of the disc. If your MP3’s are arranged in a directory structure, the unit may have difficulty playing them.
The Microsolutions RoadStor can also act as an external CD Writer/DVD player or Media Card Reader for your PC. Windows 2000, XP, Windows ME and MAC machines automatically detect the Microsolutions RoadStor. This happens as you connect it to your PC via the RoadStor's USB 2.0 port. A while a driver is needed for Windows 98.
Unlike other devices, to review your images you need to connect it to a television. Although this allows you to easily view your images without the use of a computer, or to show off your photographs to your friends and family on the big screen! Viewing can be done in several formats. The remote control allows you to quickly jump between directories, or to sit back and view a slide show of your photos.
What's Included with the Microsolutions Roadstor
The Microsolutions RoadStor comes with a travel case, S-Video, Composite Video, Audio, Power and USB cables. The bag also has room for the included rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. The battery provides about two hours of DVD playback or CD Recording, and about four hours of image playback from media cards.
Where to buy
The Microsolutions RoadStor is available through a variety of channels. These include zipping back to 2005 with your time machine that is currently gathering dust in the cellar. Your local Pound/Dollar shop may have one. Also check out online dealers who used to sell the Micro Solutions for $269.00 US. Amazon.com sells the unit for $251.99 however, you may still find one there for around $50.