484 of 560 people found the following review helpful
Needlessly bad. Small, simple cures could have made this so much better.
, June 24, 2011
This review is from: Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage 500 GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive STBF500101 Black (Personal Computers)
Out of the box. The unit itself looked slick and simple. The cords needed to connect and charge this thing kinda baffled me. By that I mean they seemed redundant. Why not charge, and sync all through USB. There's probably even a good reason for this, and it didn't lessen my excitement any.
The first disappointment came when I found out the drive was ( and has to remain in ) Windows NT format requiring the installation of a special driver on my Mac to run. Not a big catching point, but as I had an older (G5 running 10.4) laptop as a media server made it unusable on my current setup. Not a deal breaker. I even kind of expected it not to run as it is an outdated computer and system. Just the reason why kinda threw me.
So to my main computer I hooked up the drive storing all my media, and my new GoFlex Satellite. What followed was a consistent string of disappointments created by this 'product'. Running a Mac means I had to install a special driver that would enable "write" permissions on NTFS (windows NT) drives. Luckily the software is on the drive when you plug it in. Separate from that is a piece of software you have to download from seagate's site that allows you to sync files over to the drive. At least that's what you are instructed to do. So with the second piece of software installed I begin the arduous task of syncing my music library over.
I'm a bit of an audiophile it's well over 300 gigs of just music so I knew it was going to take a while. But here we come to the first of many needless impediments in the system. I opted out of straight up syncing as there are some files I didn't want. And instead pointed the software to the folder containing my music on my external. This syncing software gives you absolutely no indication how far along in the process it is. No transfer rate. No percentage completed. All it gives you is a spinny wheel. So I just have to sit there watching the tech equivalent of Schrödinger's cat. Hoping it's actually doing something without really being sure. Because if it isn't I'll have to repeat a process I expect to take many hours.
I walk away (a watched pot never boils) and when I get back I see a warning. "such and such file cannot sync" would I like to continue? Immediately I grasp the future stupidity I have to wade through. The file won't sync because the file type isn't supported. I'm guessing it's because of the obscenely outdated NTFS format of the drive. Could be the seagate's software. Either way. Silly problem made worse by the fact that now I have to hit a button every time it encounters this format (wasn't really keeping track m4a was definitely one I think FLAC was too). It doesn't bother me that I'm not getting those files. At least it doesn't really bother me. What's unforgivable is that I have to actually sit there and babysit this process. Because this software is going to come to a complete stop every time it encounters this format. Why not just give me a warning at the end with a list of the files that couldn't sync. Or even an option to ignore syncing certain files types. Or an option to treat all errors of this type the same way. Or even just move the files, and if they don't play, then they don't play.
After 7 or 8 hours I stop it. It's after 4 AM and I'm going to go to sleep. No idea how far along it is. No clue if it will pick up where it left off. Just want to be able to use it the next day.
So I got... I don't really know how much of my library (some?) on my seagate and I'm out the door. So I got less sleep than I'd like, but despite that still excited to listen to a vast library of music while in the signal free abyss of the new york subway system.
There is a struggle to connect. Turning off. Turning on. Files not loading. All the files on the screen suddenly disappearing for no reason. I should say that despite all the silliness with the syncing I wasn't really disappointed until right then. Having issues actually connecting.
It does actually start to work. Uhhhhhhh. Do not let the categories in the app fool you. The way it organizes your "music" is alphabetically by song title. Think about that. However many thousands of songs you got all in an alphabetical list. Forget that.
So I go to folder view. Better. At least it's something that's understandable. Even if it's unnecessarily nested by the silly syncing software. Once you get a few folders in to what should be the root I can browse Artist > Album > Song as god intended. Forget playlists in case you were wondering. It quickly becomes apparent that seagate learned nothing from apple as far as user interface is concerned. This is purely a simple file hierarchy. One that only loads 20 or so of whatever on any given page. So if you have more than 20 artists with their own folder. You've got to go to the bottom of the list and prompt it to show you more. So if I want to listen to "The Ramones" I have to scroll down and prompt (no exaggeration) over a hundred times. SEAGATE: You have this proprietary syncing software. What does it do? Why not have a copy of the directory move onto the ipod for quicker access to files? At least give us the option. I would gladly sacrifice a even a gig of space on my iphone to have a usable file hierarchy.
Then once I'm in. Listening to "A Perfect Circle" cause it's in the "A"s. I realize more fun things. You can only play the one song you select at a time. When the song is over you have to hit "done" to get back to the folder containing your songs, and select the next song. This prevents you from ever putting your iOS device (pod, pad, or phone) in your pocket or backpack. Which is fine because get this... the songs only play in the foreground. You can't turn off the screen. You can't run any other app. That's crazy, I can even get YouTube to run sound on in the background.
The final straw. About 20 minutes into my frustrating listening experience I lost signal on the drive, and couldn't access it. This happened a few times. This last time, however, the drive would't turn off. Press the button. Wait a minute (it takes a minute at least to turn off) nothing. Wait. Press the button again. Nothing. Wait. Off the train now. Walk to the movie theatre. Nothing. During previews hit the button again. Nothing. It's starting to get noticeably warm now. Still. Nothing. So I sit through the movie warm hard drive whirring contentedly in my pocket. My only option for turning it off slowly playing out. I just have to let it run out of batteries. Which it does just after the movie lets out.
I will be returning this. What I can't get back is the 8 to 10 frustrating hours I wasted on this. I'm a patient man with a pretty good sense of humor. And I work customer service for a tech company. So I realize customers want the impossible sometimes. But some of this stuff is so fundamental. I am surprised at how flawed this is. Really just blown away at how bad a device this turned out to be. I got to believe the department that designed this was under impossible constraints or just hates people.
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