The way we listen to music has changed dramatically over the last decade. The rise of the MP3 and shrinking costs of storage mean that for the vast majority of us, our music collections live on a hard drive somewhere, rather than in crates or on shelves.
It’ll be interesting to see where LaCie takes its product line now that Seagate has acquired the company. Our advice? Don’t mess with the Rugged series of hard drives and flash drives. The LaCie Rugged Hard Disk is still the go-to product for extremists, but now the RuggedKey lets you take your data anywhere and keep it secure without the bulk of a hard drive enclosure.
Moving files: You have a lot of choices, and they all have drawbacks. Emailing files gets unwieldy when you make a lot of changes, and some people worry about the security of cloud services like Dropbox. You can set up file sharing in System Preferences > Sharing, but it can be a confusing process for beginning users, especially using it cross-platform. iTwin combines the ease of using a USB thumb drive with the seemingly magical convenience of file sharing—the company wants you to think of it “like a transfer cable without the cable,” and that’s pretty much how it works.
Cheap, plastic, and good enough: not the best descriptors for something you want to use with your Mac. But AOC’s 16-inch USB monitor, the less than charmingly named E1649FWU, really is “good enough.” It’s an OK second monitor for a laptop. It’s light and the kickstand folds flush with the case, if you want to bring it to a small presentation. It doesn’t need a power cord, the height of convenience. And you can find it online for just $100. But for a price that affordable, you can’t have everything.
An extra charging brick for your iPhone and iPad is technically a want, although it often really feels like a need. Dexim’s Visible Green Smart Charger costs about $5 more than Apple’s replacement 10W USB Power Adapter ($29, www.apple.com), and Apple’s cable even throws in a 6-foot extension cord. But the Smart Charger can shave some pennies off your electric bill, since it shuts itself off when your gadget is charged or disconnected.