updated 08:15 pm EDT, Mon May 31, 2010
Software, hardware reviews mostly positive
MacNN has reviewed four new products: CoverScout and SongGenie software from equinux, along with OWC's Elite-AL Pro mini and eSATA card. The Elite-AL Pro mini is a 2.5-inch disk drive running at 7200rpm with available capacities up to 1TB. The drive has ports for eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections, with eSATA tests revealing real-world speeds of 63MB/sec using the APIOTEK EXTREME Dual eSATA SATA I/II ExpressCard/34 adapter in a MacBook Pro circa 2006. The component adds two physical eSATA ports via the ExpressCard/34 port.
Using eSATA does require external power to the Elite-AL Pro mini. Other than that limitation, it was found to be small, rugged and fast. The eSATA card offered fast transfer rates but had power requirement issues.
CoverScout allows users to add cover art to iTunes collections, while SongGenie fills in metadata for songs with missing info. Both software titles are protective of a user's iTunes library. SongGenie was significantly faster than iTunes. The software was able to analyze a large folder of music in the time it took iTunes to analyze one song. CoverScout took longer to investigate the same folder of audio files - it analyzes albums and has manual input available. The utility also allows users to create their own covers.
CoverScout costs $40 while SongGenie can be purchased for $30, with both titles offered in package discounts or family packs. The Elite-Al Mini external hard disks range in price from $140 to $270, with higher-priced SSD disks also available. The eSATA card costs $40.
Elite-AL Pro mini
APIOTEK EXTREME Dual eSATA SATA I/II Express Card 34 Adapter