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Rio Carbon MP3 Has A 5G CF To Be Cannibalized

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the one-way-to-price-shop dept.

Hardware Hacking 256

GlucoPilot writes "This guy bought a Rio Carbon Mp3 player because he figured he could rip the 5GB CF Card out of it. He did, and put it in his prosumer 6MP digital camera. Now he can take 1,500 six-megapixel pics in one sitting. Oy." The card is apparently a 5GB Microdrive, note, not 5GB of Flash memory.

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Wow, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221439)

that's a lot of porn

Re:Wow, (0, Offtopic)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221447)

Well since you are an annon coward, I guess you'd be taking those pictures from the bushes?

Haha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221442)

Slrpr!

Be nice to Rio (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221443)

They've always been nice to us, supporting open standards like Ogg Vorbis and FLAC.

How is this not nice? (5, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221570)

Ok.. maybe I'm missing something here.. Are these things sold with a mandatory music-download-service subscription or something like that, in order to subsidize the price of the hardware? Or what?

Because if they make their money off selling the things.. that doesn't make sense. Why should they care what you do with their product once they've sold it? This could leads to them selling more units.

(Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

Re:How is this not nice? (4, Insightful)

EvilFrog (559066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221629)

Well, ignoring the fact that a corporation is legally a person, businesses do not run themselves. Behind every business there are people making the decisions, and a business is as "nice", "ethical", or "trustworthy" as the people who run it.

The fact of the matter is that there are some companies I prefer supporting over others, because I know what sort of people are behind them.

Re:How is this not nice? (5, Funny)

deacon (40533) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221691)

(Besides which.. The idea of being 'nice' to a business is just ridiculous. It's a friggin' business venture, not a person! They're in it to make money. If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.)

AOOOGHAAA!

AOOOGHAAA!

ATTENTION!

ATTENTION!

An Apple Reality Distortion Engineering team has been dispatched to re-educate you in proper company loyalty pavlovian responses.

Please Stand By!

In a hurry?

Shaving your scalp for the electrodes will save time and fuss later.

That is all.

Yeah, yeah, I dissed apple, mod me down, whatever...

I hate to tell you this, but... (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221714)

Although they're similar, this isn't an iPod. Apple has nothing to do with it!

I hate to tell you this, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221767)

Just as my laughing has nothing to do with the grandparent post.

You can't see? (2, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221728)

If they act 'nice' it's because they believe it's a good strategy to make money. I completely fail to see how that should inspire any loyalties from me.

If a company A is more successful than company B because it acts nicer, that will reinforce company A's nice behavior.

If that is what you value in a company AND it's products, since no product exists in a vacuum, then it SHOULD inspire loyalty from you because that is what you pay for. If you DON'T value niceness, then of course it shouldn't inspire loyalty from you.

Some of us happen to like nicer companies than unnice, or even evil, companies, and choose our 'loyalty' accordingly.

Loyalty may be too strong a word, but our proclivities if that seems better to you.

Re:How is this not nice? (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221731)

Probably, the parts other than the hard drive are really cheap and counting bulk pricing the whole thing comes out really really cheap, so they can make money selling the whole thing at less than the retail price of the hard drive.

Re:How is this not nice? (3, Interesting)

Reverant (581129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221825)

Why should they care what you do with their product once they've sold it?
Because they actually prefer that you walk around listening to music with their player. Why? Because in this way, you advertise their player and their brand, and you will most propably tell all your friends how nice this 5G MP3 player is. But if you just pry it open, remove the microdrive, and then throw it in the trash, all this free advertising goes to, well, the trash.

Re:Be nice to Rio (2, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221579)

He bought there product and now he is helping advertising it by encouraging others to do the same. That's being pretty nice, I would say.

Re:Be nice to Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221836)

Their

Re:Be nice to Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221637)

Your Retarded!

Re:Be nice to Rio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221847)

You're

Gmail (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221649)

I've got 5 invites to Gmail. Send mail to: purple dot meteor at gmail dot com.

michael is a Fag (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221695)

Last night, I was on my way home from work and ran into michael, the famous slashdot editor. I, of course, attempting to be polite, said hello. He, of course, had a different idea.

You see, fellow slashdot readers, michael is a homosexual. We can use logical reasoning (commonly known as modus ponens) to deduce something about this. Let's consider the statement "If you are a homosexual, you are a guy who enjoys having sex with other guys." We have no doubts that michael is a homosexual, and, because the implication stated above is true, we can deduce logically that michael must enjoy having sexual intercourse with guys. Understanding this is important to the rest of my story.

After I said hello to michael, he ran toward me at full speed and pinned me against a wall in the rest area we were both stopped at. Well, they say that the majority of homosexual activity occurs in rest areas, and this one was no exception. What followed was a brutal anal rape from michael. "But how did he rape you, AC?" you might ask. "Everyone KNOWS michael has a microscopic penis." Well, simple - it was a reverse rape.

He held a gun to my head and said if I didn't rape his ass and cum in his rectum, he would shoot me. Now, I have a wife and kids so I didn't want to die. So, naturally, I began to brutally rape michael's ass. He enjoyed it and prematurely ejaculated before I had the chance to blow holy nigger seed down his holiest of holes. He broke it off and told me if I told anyone, he would have CowboiNeal and CmdrFaggot come chop off my enormous penis and ass rape me with it. That is why I am posting anonymously - I don't want michael and Cowboi to come take anal advantage of me again.

I feel used and utterly ashamed.

So please, slashdot readers, tell michael NO MORE ANAL RAPE FANTASY REENACTMENTS AT THE EXPENSE OF SLASHDOT READERS! The abuse must end someday :(

ROCKIN' (+5, Funny) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221450)

YEAH YOU

ROCK ME ALL NIGHT LONG

As in the words of AC/DC. Long live Angus Young.

Speaking of cameras... (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221452)

I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

Also, I'm glad they didn't copy Apple in this respect -- after all, if I were Rio I wouldn't care what my customers did after I bought it, since I would have already been paid.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (5, Informative)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221461)

" I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?"

Not suitable for continuous r/w operations! Mp3 player/Camera use is a single file being written then the drive is stopped again....

Re:Speaking of cameras... (1)

hernyo (770695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221712)

Most digital cameras are able to shot 600x400-like 30 fps movies. You mean this is impossible with this microdrive thing?

--yeah, i know, my english sucks

Re:Speaking of cameras... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221733)

no, but don't expect great battery life.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (5, Informative)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221471)

I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

A full miniDV tape is 30GB worth. Microdrives are still stuck at 6GB. Additionally, an mp3 player has a very low disk access frequency, which reduces the risks of physical damage while reading/writing. A camcorder on the other hand, is CONSTANTLY accessing the disk.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221484)

Actually, a MiniDV tape is more in the 13 gig neighborhood. But yeah, other than that, you're spot on.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (2, Informative)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221561)

it depends. 13 gigs at normal and about 18-20 on extended.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (2, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221636)

weird : after importing as Full DV with iMovie, i have about 30GB worth of clips.... how come ?

Varying DV formats (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221801)

Raw DV has the video and audio streams interleaved.

Some of the DV "container" formats used on PCs (such as one of the two DV-AVI types) duplicate the audio stream, with the "video" stream actually being the original raw DV (which has both video and audio)

Also, longer tapes might exist now. The typical 60-minute-standard-play tapes are 13 GB. I think that tapes exist that are 75 and even 90 minutes in standard mode now though, although last time I went miniDV shopping they were hard to find and VERY expensive. (Compared to 6-packs of 60s relatively cheap at Costco.)

See above regarding extended play tapes, which I think are 18-20 GB or so (but with a MUCH higher risk of errors) on a 60 minute tape.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221809)

different file formats with different compression ratio's?

Re:Speaking of cameras... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221803)

Who said we had to use MPEG2 (miniDV/DV) to record to the CF disk? Using an MPEG-4 codec that 6GB would allow at least the same capacity as the miniDV tape.

Yes, the cost would be higher, as a 6GB Microdrive is expensive, and you'd also need an MPEG-4 encoder chip, but the size/weight of the camcorder would be significantly reduced, I'd think.

Also, Microdrives are often used in such constant-access situations. For example, anybody who owns a PDA and plays video files off a Microdrive (Or any other type of streaming media).

Re:Speaking of cameras... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221473)

I'm surprised we haven't seen those microdrives in camcorders yet. I wonder why?

Why? DV tape is so much cheaper, with much bigger capacity.

While a microdrive may be faster, with random access, DV tapes are fast enough for almost all camcorder applications, and far more robust than a microdrive.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (1)

Refrag (145266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221618)

How does Apple figure into this? I have no idea what you meant by being "glad they didn't copy Apple in this respect."

Re:Speaking of cameras... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221675)

I'm glad they didn't copy Apple in the sense of making the hard drive interface proprietary so the cannibalized drive would be useless, like Apple did with the iPod Mini.

Re:Speaking of cameras... (4, Insightful)

GoRK (10018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221764)

Apple ipod drives are 'dumber' than your normal 1" microdrive or 1.6" mini-drive. They lack a lot of the logic IC's and firmware that allows them to be used with standard IDE interfaces. Instead, the ipod controlls the drive electronics directly. This essentially does a few things: 1) it makes the drives cheaper for apple, 2) it makes refurbishing/upgrading/recycling/repairing faulty iPods a lot cheaper since you dont have to replace the drive's control electronics when you replace the drive, and 3) it makes the drives unusable in anything other than an ipod.

While reason #3 is often cited by conspiracy theorists to be some kind of plot to prevent people from canibalizing drives out of the ipod to prevent potential loss of iTunes revenue, it is really only a side effect of reasona #1 and #2. If running full-fledged drives in the iPod were actually cheaper or the same price as running drives with reduced integrated electronics, rest assured Apple would do it. It's got to be a fairly difficult/expensive/unnecessary engineering process to integrate drive electronics into your design simply to keep people from buying your product to take it apart.

Why didn't apple use these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221454)

instead of the only 4gb in the iPod mini why not use these drives? the RIO manages to come in under the iPods price but yet still has a bigger drive.

Maybee there is a new ipod mini on the horizon......

Same article, now in color, er I mean contrast! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221456)

Re:Same article, now in color, er I mean contrast! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221521)

Some moderators obviously have no sense of humor... and they wear colors similar to the color scheme of it.slashdot.org

Time for a redesign (0)

ramk13 (570633) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221457)

Sound like Rio might have to reengineer their Carbon, like Creative did with the Muvo.

It's always great when you get a product at wholesale prices by taking advantage of a company's buying power.

Re:Time for a redesign (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221493)

But I don't get it. Why would they want to redesign it? Won't they sell more the way it is now, since both the people that want to play music and the people who want the hard drive are buying?

Also, there's the other side of it: what if somebody wanted the shell? The thing that upsets me about the iPod Mini is that I want an iPod (to sync with my iBook), but I want a flash-based player. I would have loved to buy an iPod Mini shell off Ebay after somebody else took the hard drive, but NOOOO, Apple had to go screw it up!

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221550)

I was going to ask something related to what you said. Is it possible to replace the 'canabalized' microdrive with a stardard compactflash card? I would love to get a cheap cheap cheap shell.electronic from one of these people and sla in a gig CF card. Battery would last for ages longer I am sure, and a gig is plenty for me.

Better yet, mod it up so that a CF card reader slot was put in there, so you could swao out CF cards. So does anyone know if you can do that, and if so, anyone have an mp3 player shell to sell (or better yet donate so I can try and mod it for the saake of the community at large)? :)

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221614)

Well, in the article the guy said he cracked some of the plastic on his, so it would have to be glued back together, but that if you were careful you could avoid that. So I'm sure if you looked you could get a shell of one of these, or of the Creative Muvo thingy (without the 4GB drive) off Ebay.

However, if you'd want an MP3 player that's designed to use CF cards, there's exactly one(!) company out there that makes them, called Frontier Labs. [frontierlabs.com] They make a CF-based player called the NexIA. [frontierlabs.com] I've thought about buying one, but I wish it would sync with iTunes...

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221769)

Well one of my main reasons for wanting to get the shell from one of these is the much vaunted intefaces of the Rio's or even an iPod Mini... Plus, doesn't the Rio play OGG files? BTW, someone mentioned that Apple "screwed that up" with the mini... did they change the way the drive is installed or somesuch

Anyways, seems like a cheap way to get a very nice mp3 player, that you can scale with larger cards as you a) get more money and b) they get cheaper.

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221566)

Yeah, because more expensive and lower capacity flash memory is better...somehow...

I'm totally baffled.

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221665)

Longer battery life, better shock resistance...

Re:Time for a redesign (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221827)

But... aren't CF memory cards anywhere from 3 to 5 times slower?

So even though power consumption of a memory card is about 4 times less than a microdrive (305mA write vs 80mA write, but possibly worse since it will only be reading and the flash is still 80mA read), it will be spending about 4 times as long actually reading from the device, too.

And I'm fairly certain that the iPod shuts down the hard drive entirely, rather than having it sit idle, to conserve power. If it doesn't, it could, and considering the new 4G iPod got a 50% power boost over the 3G iPod, with no change in battery, I suspect that's what happened.

So you'd get, I am willing to wager, no increase in battery life, better shock resistance, lower lifetime since they have limited read/write cycles, more expense, and maybe lower weight.

4gb microdrive specs [usbflashstore.com]
1gb CF specs [usbflashstore.com]

1500? (5, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221458)

1,500 pictures in one sitting? I hope he cannibalized the battery too!

Re:1500? (5, Funny)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221486)

From a car...

Re:1500? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221552)

Digital SLRS are rated to take about that. My nikon d70 battery can shoot easily 1500 frames with no flash.

Re:1500? (2, Informative)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221651)

The D70 has a hell of a battery life. I've shot over 800 pictures in one sitting and my battery only dropped 1 tick on the meter. There are 5 ticks on the meter. I've read reports where people have shot over 2000 pictures on one charge.

I'm about to take mine out to do some shotting and I've been shooting on the same battery for 2 weeks now.

Re:1500? (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221598)

I hope he cannibalized the battery too!

Not really. The Digital Rebel and 10D both get about 500-600 shots out of the battery if you don't use the flash, AF in servo mode(ie continuous refocusing) or use a lens with image stabilization a lot. Canon and Nikon both make vertical grips for their cameras which hold two standard battery packs.

I've gone to motorsport events and taken 2-3GB of RAW photos on one battery pack, and I use both image stabilization and AI servo focus mode. I have two packs, and I've almost never needed the second one in my year of ownership thus far.

I have an older 330MB microdrive. It's slow as shit. CF cards used to be slower, now it's completely the opposite. Compared to my Sandisk Extreme and Ultra II cards, the microdrive takes 4x longer to offload photos from the buffer.

When you've been shooting pictures of every 4th car going by you and then one of them locks up the rear and starts to spin, you want as many shots out of the 9-shot camera buffer as possible. Shoot continuous at 3fps for 3 seconds and sort the good from the bad on the laptop later.

Most pros don't use anything over 1GB. Why? Because 1GB is almost 120 photos for a 10D- a shitload. So you're not swapping that often. By using 4 1GB cards- if one gets erased, stepped on, lost, or dies on you- you're only out 1/4 of your photos, instead of ALL of them. Furthermore- 1 can be in your 'digital wallet' widget or laptop, while the other is in your camera. Oh, and it's hideously expensive for a 4GB card versus a 1GB card or a bunch of 512's, just like those super-huge memory dimms cost much more per MB than a 512 or 1GB stick.

Re:1500? (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221628)

I have the same camera he has, the Nikon D70, and I can say it is a sweet camera. I have a couple of the high capacity cards and a microdrive card and they do hold a lot of pictures but I question this drive people have to get big and fatter cards.

Sure, you can get 1500 pictures on this card but I ask you is this a wise thing? I know CF card falure is rare but it does happen and the microdrives are more prone to fail than the memory cards are. It seems to me more logical instead of carrying a couple of fat cards to carry the same amount of space in smaller cards. Say 256 or 512 cards.

You can get 256 cards for under 50 bucks now. Seems to me it would be smarter to carry a few of these cards instead of the big ones and rotate them out. Change one a day if you have to. On the D70 you can get 70 or so pictures on a 256 card. That way if you do suffer from card falure you lose at most one day's worth of pictures. I suppose you could lose more than one card but at least you wouldn't walk away with nothing.

No News Here (4, Informative)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221467)

I don't see why this is making news now. Those of us with the high end digital SLR and such have been doing this since we first found out you could get these CF cards in these players. It's cheaper to buy the player and canblize it for the CF than to buy the CF.

Waste of a good player if you ask me.

But this is 5, not 4! (3, Interesting)

quintessent (197518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221763)

You see, every time the spec for something goes up a notch, Slashdot needs to post an article about it, esepcially CPU speeds, as measure in megahertz.

The interesting thing is, I was under the impression that both Creative and Apple have now protected their Microdrives so they're not readable in a camera.

For those who are thinking of doing this, beware, though. I bought a cannibalized microdrive, which worked for about weeks, then died without warning. Now I have no idea how to get the thing fixed.

Cannibalized? (5, Funny)

DoctorHibbert (610548) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221470)

Was the guy himself a microdrive? Has the microdrive robot takeover begun?

Re:Cannibalized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221844)

Has the microdrive robot takeover begun?

Begun the microdrive robot takeover has.

(Someone had to do it...)

Er, Duplicate Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221478)

Didn't the 'Rio Carbon Mp3 player' get hacked a long, long time ago?

More importantly, newer models of this device have the microdrive soldered to the circuit board to avoid just this.

Re:Er, Duplicate Article (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221509)

No, that was the Creative Muvo something-or-other, and it was a 4GB drive, not 5.

Re:Er, Duplicate Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221627)

No the creative muvo 2... It now has a 5gb drive, which i've read reports are 'extractable.' still.

Check it out. [vr-zone.com]

Re:Er, Duplicate Article (1)

bhny (97647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221645)

pretty soon there will be an article about a 6MB drive!

To beat the karma whores... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221480)

This camera will hold a lot of pr0n.

5GB Microdrive on eBay: $96 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221483)

If you search completed items on eBay, a 5GB microdrive went for $96 recently. So this guy wasted $150. The days of buying MP3 players and selling them for their parts are over.

Re:5GB Microdrive on eBay: $96 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221516)

it's true. it's been confirmed by netcraft.

So microdrives are dying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221543)

What should we get then. Sugar cube based drives?

Re:5GB Microdrive on eBay: $96 (4, Informative)

sigma (53086) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221845)

I would assume you were looking at this auction: here [ebay.com] .

This drive is PC Card sized, which is not usable in any modern consumer digital camera. The seller was simply keyword spamming. "Microdrive" is actually a marketing name created by IBM (and then sold to Hitachi) for a hard drive with a CompactFlash interface, so neither this auction nor the Seagate drive can be legally called a Microdrive.

Article Text - Server Super Slow (5, Informative)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221485)

Carbon Cannibal: Breaking it down for the hard drive

As I described yesterday, I bought a very nice MP3 player, the new Rio Carbon 5GB model. It's awesome, and I already like it a lot. My original intent, though, was not to buy an MP3 player to listen to music, but instead to rip apart for its 5GB hard drive, for use in my Nikon D70 digital camera. But once I saw the Carbon, I decided it was time to own an MP3 player, so I got two.

Rather than eating lunch today, I decided I would share my story of destruction. In part two of our saga, I tear into the second of the two Carbons I bought, pictures included.

Note: If you decide to spend $249 on one of these things and tear it apart yourself, you do so at your own risk. It's value to Rio and the store you bought it at will instantly become $0, and your warranty will be a thing of the past. At your own risk, your mileage may vary, do not pass go, please tip your waitress. Oh, and whatever you do, don't come yelling at me. It's your own damn fault. In fact, you will probably end up with $249 worth of useless junk. You have been warned.

Okay, so first of all let me tell you right up front that I broke the thing to the point where I will have to use a little glue to put it back together. The Carbon has a metal back plate, and a plastic front plate, with a rubber surround. What I did not realize is that the front plate is in sections, as well. Not realizing this, I didn't remove the front plastic facing (the silver plastic with the LCD window and the Rio logo) from the body of the MP3 player. It is held in place with some adhesive. Just be careful while you remove it and it will come right off. Once off, it may be that there is a better way to get this thing apart than the method I used. If I will have to use some glue inside where it used to have screws holding things together, because I broke a few plastic threads on the plastic case where the screws were attached as I pried it apart.

While it looks from the outside like the rubber portion is a section all on it's own, it in fact is not. The rubber part is just glued to the plastic front plate, which is under the silver plastic front cover just mentioned.

How I got it apart (your mileage may vary, be careful): I started by working a small screwdriver around the case, prying very gently between the metal back plate and the rubberized section. There are a number of metal tabs that you will see inside as you go. Those hod the drive in place. Be careful and don't go too deep or apply too much pressure inside with your screwdriver, you will break things if you do, or you might crack the case. If you don't care about reusing the Carbon, you can afford to be a little more indiscriminate, but things are packed together pretty tight in the small case, so caution and taking one's time is warranted.

Once I worked all the way around with the small screwdrivers (I used 2, it helped keep things working along), I peeked inside to become a little bit familiar (there's a lot you just cannot see, though). Then I used a screwdriver inserted from the bottom of the case to get good leverage as pictured below, and worked the case looser.

In the end, I used my fingers, after loosening with the screwdriver, to take the case apart. Again, note that I broke the plastic threaded screw posts in the process. The end result was a front plate, a loose power button (just insert it back in place later), the top chrome-like trim plate (that has the holes in it for USB, earphones, etc), and the back plate with all the electronics attached. The front panel navigation button is loose when you disassemble it - it's held in place by the front plate.

There are two screws that you will need to remove from the face of the circuit board (the side with the LCD screen), and then you can start to swing the circuit board away from the hard drive. Below is the view from the side, pulling the circuit board up and away from the battery (lower left) and hard drive (in the lower center of the picture under the circuit board). The white block on top is the LCD.

Using a small flat-head screwdriver, I gently released the frame holding the micro drive from the back plate by prying the tab clips away slightly.

Taken apart, with the electronics removed from the meta back plate:

The black frame holding the hard drive simply pulls off. The 20-hour battery is show folded away in the foreground of the below image, and the ribbon cable attaching to the Seagate 5GB micro-drive is visible and accessible:

I used by thumbnail to gently disconnect the drive from the ribbon cable, releasing each side of the connection a little at a time. Be careful not to bend the pins of you intend to reuse the Carbon.

With the hard drive removed:

You simply peel the copper foil away from the drive, along with the foam padding:

In the end, parts parts parts:

The whole point of the exercise was to get a 5GB hard drive that I could insert directly into my Nikon D70 camera. I tentatively took the drive, crammed it in the CF slot of the camera, powered it up and formatted. After a nervous little period of flashing screen on the camera (FOR-FOR flashing over and over), the screen changed, as pictured below. That's showing the number of pictures I can take now using the hard drive. I was a little confused when it read 1.4 on the display, but then I noticed the "K" above the number. That's 1,400 images estimated at 6 megapixels. Wow!!! Cool!!! After taking a few pictures, I confirmed it works. Nice!!

Re:Article Text - Server Super Slow (3, Informative)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221513)

Coralized [slashdot.org] link [nyud.net] .

Nit picking (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221495)

Don't really buy that 1,500 picture number, but it is in the right range. I have a 2.2GB Microdrive in my 5 Megapixel camera and can only shoot 550-600 pics. But really, how often do you need that many pics? I have shot a couple hundred when using the autodrive a lot, but I could cull those down in the field if I started running short on space. The problem with CF hard drives is they are a LOT slower than flash on playback, so wading through the contents is not fun.

Re:Nit picking (1)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221528)

Let's see. 5/2.2=2.2727* 2.2727*x600 = 1363. Seems bout right to me.

Re:Nit picking (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221535)

2200MB/600pic=3.66MB/pic*1500=5.5GB.
So his camera makes 10% smaller jpegs/raws(didnt rtfa) then yours, which is more then possible given the different compression strategies used.

Re:Nit picking (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221576)

well, I assume they are 6 Megapixles with very strong Jpeg compression. do you use Tiff for yours or RAW? now everyone does.

Re:Nit picking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221580)

I have a 2.2GB Microdrive in my 5 Megapixel camera and can only shoot 550-600 pics. But really, how often do you need that many pics?

You've never worked a wedding or other professional photography, have you?

Pro photographers take a lot of pictures. Being able to take 1,000 photos without changing memory cards is very handy.

There's a saying: amateur photographers want every photo they take to come out very nice. Pro photographers are happy if they get one good shot per roll of film.

When you look at the cost of everything else (hiring a photographer, lenses, cameras), film or memory cards are very cheap, so you take a lot of photos. You are much more likely to get a really good shot.

Re:Nit picking (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221587)

don't for get, on the speed side, that the recycle time is way longer unless you have a huge cache to buffer the writes which means continuous mode is out of the question as is getting a quick shot right after the first.

this is kind of cool but ... (2, Informative)

mAIsE (548) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221500)

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=5gb+microdrive &btnG=Search+Froogle

its about $180 for a 5G drive with some sort of warranty

Re:this is kind of cool but ... (5, Interesting)

JawzX (3756) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221624)

The Kingston drive is cool kit and nicely priced, but its PCMCIA not CFII.

Energy consumption (5, Interesting)

hernyo (770695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221505)

It's nice to get a 5G 'memory card' for just $250. But does this microdrive suck the battery faster than regular flash memory card? This is quite an important issue because - as far as I know - digicams and batteries 'hate each other'.

-- yeah, i know, my english sucks

With this you can store the movie named... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221506)

... Blame it on Rio!

Anyone who's tried, please post this find... (4, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221524)

I wish anyone that has tried this with a Rio Carbon or more specifically the iPod mini - do you get better battery life with a compact flash card in these things?

And to note... I recently spoke with someone at Hitachi. They said the MAIN reason the iPod mini is a closed device where you can't just remove the drive easily is solely to protect it's market for the drives otherwise.

Re:Anyone who's tried, please post this find... (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221582)

"I wish anyone that has tried this with a Rio Carbon or more specifically the iPod mini"

Can you not "upload" data from a digital camera to the iPod over firewire? I thought that that was one of the features of an iPod, although I'd be interested if anyone actually knows how well it works.

Re:Anyone who's tried, please post this find... (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221615)

Yeah, but you have to buy a separate add-on - something like $60.

my wish list... (4, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221529)

i wonder why digital camera's don't come with internal hard drives, and better battery packs. size could be an issue, but if they can make 512 meg usb keychain drives (imagine it without the plastic casing and it is even smaller), i am sure they can put a gigabyte on a camera and still leave a slot for a memory card. also, why not have better batteries? if my laptop can get 4 hours, with a 14.1 screen, then on scale a camera should be able to do better with a much smaller battery. even if they expand the battery pack on camera's by 50%, that would be that many more pictures i could take. and one last thing, add on a better optical zoom, and get rid of the digital zoom.

since we are talking cameras, i might as well ask. i have a 2mp camera which takes good pictures, but i am thinking about getting a 3 or 4mp as prices have fallen (paid over $250 for my 2mp 18 months ago). what digi camera's do people have, and how do they like them? my 2mp is fuji, and i have been happy with them. the 2mp takes nice pictures, but a guy at the photohut told me that for anything larger than 4x6, i should get a better camera.

Re:my wish list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221556)

In serious Canon DSLRs the batteries are comparable in size to a laptop battery and even with IS lenses and AF can last more than 1500 shots on a single charge. And they haven't been updated in *ages*.

Re:my wish list... (2, Informative)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221569)

Get a Canon PowerShot A80 (not to be confused with the A85). It's the best camera you can buy for the money. Just be sure to use quality (2000 or 2300mAh) rechargables with it, otherwise you'll get about 10 minutes of usage rather than hours.

Re:my wish list... (1)

Refrag (145266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221646)

My Canon Digital Rebel can take pictures for days before I need to recharge the battery.

Re:my wish list... (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221671)

why in gods name are you promoting that spam site in your sig?

Re:my wish list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221677)

It's because you have a shitty camera or you don't know how to use it. Probably both.

First thing, you don't leave it on more than needed. If your camera has a sleep mode, use it. Most batteries can't power a camera more than 4 or 5 hours. That's why you use power management.

Second thing, most good cameras (i.e. not bottom of the barrel) have much better life than these dinky little cameras that use 2 AA's or a tiny Li battery. Owing a lot to better power management. Cameras like the Canon G5, Sony 828, Olympus C5060, or SLR's can take up to 500 or more shots on a single charge provided that you don't leave the LCD running for long periods of time or take every picture with a full flash.

Re:my wish list... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221703)

one last thing, add on a better optical zoom, and get rid of the digital zoom
You think good zoom lenses are cheap to design and make? The bigger the zoom range, the bigger the compromise and the more complex the design is, more expensive too. You're expecting simply way too much for a $250 camera. If you want more, spend more. At least $1000 for something that might satisfy your criteria. Oh did you know that no currently available digital SLR camera has digital zoom?

Re:my wish list... (4, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221813)

Sure, they could have internal storage, but you pay for the camera without that, so why should they increase their costs? Sure, they could have a better battery, but then you would buy the $70 secondary battery. Sure, they could improve the optical zoom, but it's cheaper for them to add digital zoom and fool most consumers with it.

They're trying to make money, not help you.

Creative redesigned theirs after cannibals (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221542)

Creative redesigned theirs after cannibals bought too many of them for camera use. The new MuVo2 has a proprietary connector now. Why should creative care - they got their money! Fcukers!

Are Slashdotters retarded (3, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221571)

Why else would they always put the link in the most useless part of the text? To keep me on my toes? The link does not point to 1,500 six-megapixel pics, so the link text should not be "1,500 six-megapixel pics." The link text should be the "rip the 5GB CF Card out of it."

In other Digital Camera Storage News.. (4, Interesting)

cflorio (604840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221611)

The price of Compact Flash really took a nose dive in the last month. You can now get a Sandisk Ultra II 1 GB solid state card for under $100. [jr.com]

With the ability to take so many 6MP pictures... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221616)

You think he might have put some larger images on the site so that people could follow along with his mod...

Batteries? (2, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221623)

What kind of camera can take 1,500 6 mega pixel pictures without a change of batteries? If you can change batteries, you can change media as well.

I've got a Sony DSC-V1, and I love it. But getting a > 256mb memory stick won't do me too much good without extra batteries.

Re:Batteries? (1)

QuasiDon (215923) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221828)

With My Canon Rebel Digital, I can take about 500 pictures on a charge. If I do Raw format, they are between 6 and 8MB per picture. So with two batteries (I keep a spare with my camera), I could come close to filling up that card. Plus, If I am traveling, it is not much of a hassle to bring along my battery charger, but much more of a hassle to bring along my computer do unload my CF card. For people who travel and take lots of pictures, this is great news.

Lifespan (1)

dioxide (149116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221633)

Does anyone know much about how long these drives are supposed to last? Is there a maximum number of writes, like flash memory, or is it equivalent to a 2.5" hard drive?

I've got a few i-openers and I also want to build a small router type machine out of a soekris board, these drives would be ideal, as long as they aren't going to stop working after a month of writing logs.
Read and write speed is not an issue with what I have in mind.

Re:Lifespan (1)

quintessent (197518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221835)

Juding from my experience with one of these, the lifespan, under light use, is about 3 weeks.

Rio Return Scam? (-1, Flamebait)

iamatlas (597477) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221647)

So what would stop me from buying one of these things, removeing the CF drive, and then playing the part of ignorant customer and taking it back to the store you got it from saying "hey, it doesn't work, give me a new one." Or "I don't want it now, give me my money back."

Seagate Drive Will Soon Be Released As Standalone (4, Informative)

Techie2000 (517233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221740)

http://www.seagate.com/cda/newsinfo/newsroom/cover age/article/1,1113,2320,00.html Soon you won't have to buy the MP3 player to get the drive.

Prosumer...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10221741)

Prosumer: It's a revolting, horrible stupid word which sounds nasty, isn't real and is just plain ugly. I really wish people wouldn't use it.

Seagate says drives will ship in September (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221776)

Seagate is backlogged a bit, but they're increasing capacity and these drives should be available shortly. "We're a bit oversubscribed. We're looking at ways of increasing capacity." -- Rob Pait, Seagate's director of global consumer electronics marketing. Pulling these things from consumer products will be unnecessary very shortly. After all, the version they put in the Rio Carbon was packaged for retail sale. A USB-keychain format is coming. There's also an ATA version for OEMs.

The drive was designed in Singapore and manufactured in China. Seagate, once a California company, is now so multinational they barely have US operations. They've closed plants in Ireland, Mexico, Mayalasia, and Singapore because those places weren't low-cost enough.

Here's the ST1 drive manual [seagate.com] . Expect a glut of these things in January, once the holiday season business has been fulfilled and the production lines are running at full speed.

Compare: (-1, Flamebait)

MOMOCROME (207697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10221806)

Disposable Income of a "geek" taking on a "project" and complaining about missing his "lunch" so he could post about it on his "personal website" and obtain "geek cred" when he gets linked on "slashdot":

Price of a Rio Carbon [amazon.com] Mp3 player: ($225) x2 $450

Price of a Nikon d70 [amazon.com] 6 mega-pixel camera: $999.95 (without lenses)

Price of his Digital SLR Zoom Lens [amazon.com] : $974.95

Total for just this one disgusting wankoff: $2424.90

Compared to the Average Annual Wage [worldvision.org] in Indonesia: $3,971

Congratulations. You just blew 62% of the annual wage of the poor saps that have to make this electronic gizmo shit, sitting all day in closed rooms full of mercury vapor and pain, all on a pile of crap you'll likely toss in the trash inside of a year or two.

Happy 9/11 day, motherfuckers.
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