Product Review - 6420 Hitch Digital File Transfer System

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Hitch Digital File Transfer System Hitch Digital File Transfer System
By Lawson Wong

11/20/2006

Data Transfer in the Palm of Your Hand

Almost everyone in the world owns an iPod, and a cottage industry has sprung up supplying accessories for the handheld wunderkind. Why settle for waterproof carrying cases and remote-control add-ons when you can have the Hitch Digital Transfer System? This nifty gadget allows you to swap music between two iPods or transfer pictures and videos from a digital camera to a portable USB hard drive.

What It Is

Measuring 4.3" x 2.6" x 0.9", the black and white unit weighs 8 ounces and easily slips into any pants pocket. Looking like an old school MP3 player (remember the Rio PMP-300?), the Hitch sports a 2-inch monochromatic screen with a navigation dial just below that. The SELECT, SEND and HERE/THERE buttons sit on the front for easy navigation. Book ended on either side of the unit are two USB ports for connecting your storage devices.

With no built-in hard drive, the Hitch does not store any data but serves only as a bridge between two USB-enabled massive storage devices, including iPods, camcorders, cameras, portable hard drives and more. The integrated Lithium polymer rechargeable battery in the unit turns the Hitch into an emergency power charger that will replenish any USB-powered device hooked up to it. An AC wall adapter recharges the Hitch battery.

How It Works

The easy and intuitive interface makes transferring files a snap. After plugging your devices into the opposing USB ports, an easy-to-read backlit screen displays a list of folders and files of the device you are transferring from. Just above the screen, a display lights up the two "Here" and "There" icons to indicate to and from which device you are transferring. The HERE/THERE button toggles the direction of the transfer. After selecting the file or folder you want to transfer, press the SEND button and the data will be copied from one device to the other.

Transfer Modes

The Hitch offers two separate modes to transfer your files. By default, the device starts in Hitch Mode and will treat any two devices as mass storage drives. Just image as if you were dragging and dropping files from your computer to any external portable storage.

With a push of a button, you can enter Music Mode. Specifically used for transferring between two portable media players (iPods, Creative Zens or even the Sony PSP), you will be able to transfer media files into the "Artist", "Album" and "Song" database of your iPod. Any unprotected music, photo and video files transferred can be play right away, but DRM-protected songs will need to be authenticated by syncing your iPod with iTunes before you are able to play the files to protect against any media theft.

Performance

With USB 2.0 support, the Hitch impressed with speedy file transfer rates. Running through our gamut of file transfer tests -- from single 4 MB songs to 100 MB image batch transfers -- we got an average transfer rate of just under a MB per second. USB 1.0 devices will experience a significant decrease in performance.

As an emergency battery charger, the Hitch claims the ability to charge two 5GB iPods to full. In our testing, we were able to charge one and half iPods from empty to full - enough juice to solve any iPod emergency.

Who's It For

Although a notebook computer will handle everything the Hitch does, who wants to lug around a heavy laptop when trekking across Europe? Portable and convenient, the easy-to-use Hitch USB Transfer Device is perfect for shutterbug vacationers who want to travel light. Leave that bulky notebook at home and forget packing additional easy-to-lose flash memory cards for your camera. With the Hitch, you will never be short on storage again.

Summary

Hitch Digital File Transfer System
$149.99
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