I’ve been looking at the Wolverine MVP as a possible iPod Video alternative that also has the ability to back up my photographs when I’m in the field: amazingly, it reads CompactFlash, SmartMedia Cards, Multimedia Cards, SD Memory Cards, Memory Sticks, Microdrives, xD Cards and Memory Stick Pro devices. My concern: does it work? Is it easy to use?
I’ve had a chance to play with a Wolverine MVP unit myself and I’m somewhat impressed with the unit. It does work, and it does backup the various photo card devices to its own 60MB hard disk, but the interface is a bit clunky, especially when compared to an Apple iPod Video device.
Here’s a publicity shot of the product from Wolverine:
Let me step you through the process I used to backup my CompactFlash card, with about 75 photos from my Nikon D100 digital camera.
First off, obviously, start up the device and insert the CompactFlash card, and it’ll suddenly show up on the first screen, on the lower right corner of the screen:
Notice on the right the CompactFlash card itself sticking into the unit. It gives you a good sense of the size of the screen too: it’s about the size of CompactFlash card itself.
Move down to the CF/MD icon, and click on it by pushing on the micro-joystick on the device, and you’ll be navigating the card itself:
Kind of confusing, but it turns out that the photos are stored in the DCIM folder, so move to that and press Enter again:
We’re getting there. This time, click on the 100ND100 folder:
There we go! There are all the photos. You can now view an individual picture by simply clicking on it:
Notice that it shows all the EXIF information from the photograph (including that this photo is actually from February, 2005) is displayed. Turns out you can turn this off or even start a slide show on the device, as shown here:
Now, here’s where the interface gets confusing. I’m looking at the pictures but I can’t back up the photographs from this point. Instead, I need to back all the way up to the top level of the Wolverine interface and choose a different option by pressing the “menu” button rather than the usual “OK” button while you’ve selected the CompactFlash card or other device:
Ah, that’s what we want. Photo Backup. I choose that and confirm I want to do a backup:
and, finally, we’re backing up the photos onto the Wolverine MVP unit:
After a while the backup finishes (234 5MB files is a lot of data to read off a CompactFlash card) and when I’m ready to view the backed up pictures, I don’t go to the Pictures area of the device, I go to the Backup area:
and there they are, all my pictures ready to display:
I’ll click on one and you can see that the EXIF information was all saved:
and, as you would hope, you can easily hook this device up to your PC or Mac and via USB grab whatever data you want off of it.
So as you can see, the Wolverine MVP works and offers some very nice features. It’s just too bad that the development team didn’t spend more attention creating an attractive interface for the system too. For some people it won’t matter, but for those of us raised on a culture of aesthetics, it’s an obstacle.
Hope that helps answer your question!