Join Date: Aug 2004
Clearing up the fog
A quick informative post to clear up some myth surrounding the 4GB 1" HDD.
Before I begin, I've been a HDD-based MP3/OGG/WMA/FLAC/etc player "guru" for longer than I've been involved with Clies. This is why I detest the iPod - if you know something about the market, you would too.
Myth #1 - The hard drive will eat battery when it is being used
This is a semi-truth. The Lifedrive will most likely utilise a RAM buffer for the hard drive. A RAM buffer, as found in HDD-DAPs (digital audio players) is basically there to protect the HDD and save battery. The HDD spins up to fill the buffer, which takes approx. 3-10s. This would contain the next songs in playlist-based order, or in the case of the T|X, the next few minutes of movie or whatever you happen to throw at it.
Obviously the battery life will be heightened by this, even if you are a crazed playlist surfer (though not as much). It is simply not feasible to run a HDD off a battery with continuous spin-up.
Typically, a RAM buffer is about 10-20MB, depending on the player. The size is related to the battery life of the player. This also means that simply letting a HDD-DAP play through till it runs out of battery is not a good test, and why the iPod performs badly in real life.
Now, the good (better) bit: As p1 is so closely related to working with RAM, and they likely have a number of spare modules lying around, what's stopping them from slapping in a 32MB+ RAM buffer for the HDD? This is a logical, and sensical, step.
Myth #2 - The internal memory will be run off the HDD
This for an absolute fact is not true. For the same reason of battery life (in that they cannot be kept running all the time), a mobile HDD must be spun-up from 0 to high T.s-1 (RPM) to actually access the data. Depending on the HDD, this can take around 2 seconds. This is why, upon selecting a song for play in a HDD-DAP which is not in the buffer, one must wait this period of time to actually hear it.
This means tapping on x application, and having to wait longer than if you were using a dated model for it to open. p1 is simply not going to let this happen. Aside from this, imagine the hit to battery life! (The HDD is the biggest consumer of battery power in a HDD-DAP by several orders of magnitude.)
Hope this (slightly technical) disspeller helps.