contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

blog

Not all Memory Card Readers are Created Equal

John Federico

Anyone with a digital camera has probably used a memory card reader to transfer their photos to their computer. Here's what I learned this week: not all memory card readers are created equal.

I have a Secure Digital (SD) card reader that I use primarily for transferring files between my Treo and my Mac. I manage my storage pretty efficiently on my Treo so I only have a 256 MB card.

Recently, I purchased a 4 GB SD card for my Zoom H4 Handy Portable Recorder. Of course, it was only after I purchased it that I discovered that the H4 only supports SD cards up to 2 GB. Apparently, the SD standard only considers cards up to 2 GB. Upwards of that, SD cards use something called the "SDHC" standard (HC means "High Capacity"). SDHC supports capacities up to 32 GB.

Since the online retailer I purchased it from charges a 15% restocking fee (note to self: read the fine print), I decided to keep it and turn it into a USB flash drive using a mini card reader. I currently have the ioGear Pocket SD Card Reader (GFR202SD).

I like this reader and have never had any trouble with it. Last week, when I finally opened up my 4 GB SD card, I put it into the card reader and mounted it on my MacBook. The computer told me that I only had 1 GB of storage available.

Scratching my head in confusion, I tried inserting the card into my Treo 700p. The Treo recognized it as a 4 GB card. Was it OS X (doubtful) or was it the card reader?

I quickly Googled for an answer but didn't turn up anything substantive.

Yesterday, I was in Radio Shack buying 100 feet of speaker wire so I could set up one of my new Christmas gifts - a home theatre surround sound system - and noticed a new, inexpensive SD card reader. As this was the only component I hadn't troubleshooted, I decided to purchase it and give it a try.

Sure enough, my 4 GB SD card works just fine with my Mac, making the full capacity of the drive available to the OS.

So, a lesson learned: Make sure the card reader you're planning to buy supports the SDHC standard or you could be out of luck when you upgrade to larger capacity flash memory.

[tags]SD Cards, SD, SDHC, Memory Card Reader, OS X, Treo 700p, ioGear[/tags]