Forget the Cloud, Go Get an SD Card

VW Headunit with SD Card
It seems the business model these days is to get us consumers to pay monthly for something we didn’t used to need to pay monthly for. Take music for instance, we all love music but a monthly subscription to a music service is an ongoing cost and it requires you to stay wired all the time. I could see using something like Xbox music if you can’t stand listening to the same tracks often. I prefer to hear my favorite tunes unless I’m in the mood for new music. When I’m driving isn’t when I’m in that mood. The solution for me is the SD and I’m really happy with it.

I’m a big nerd. I have an iPhone, iPad, Macbook and a Hackintosh. Mind you, I don’t have the latest and greatest and all these devices. NSDS grew up poor – not underprivileged – but poor. Don’t get me wrong I love to spend money but I don’t like to spend money that gets me nothing in return. One thing I really hate is monthly service charges. Remember when we all had cassettes and we could trade music? Now only the tech savvy of us know how to trade music and it probably violates the EULA (End User License Agreement – the thing you click “Accept” on while installing software) The EULA killed the mix tape. Well, iTunes killed the mix tape, and iTunes has a new EULA every time I turn around. I’m off topic.

My 2011 VW Tiguan has an SD card slot. It’s used to update the maps in the nav system but the system can also play back music from it. Turns out it can play MP3’s and M4A’s. (M4A’s are most likely what iTunes is storing your library as.) Did you realize that a 32Gb SD card is about $20 on Amazon? The interesting thing about that to me is that my iPhone and iPad both are only 16Gb. That means twice as much space is available for under $20 and the SD card doesn’t require an OS on it either, so you gain another 1.5Gb over an iPhone. Plus with no moving parts there’s no disc access time like a CDROM. Many of you that don’t have SD card slots could just burn their library to a CDROM and have almost the same user experience as the SD card, just a little more delay between tracks on playback and another disc to keep up with. You know those aren’t recyclable, right?

By default your iTunes is storing the music in these locations:

  • Mac OS X: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\
  • Windows 7: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
  • Windows 8: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\

All you need is an SD card reader to be able to copy your music to the card. This is also a great way to make sure your library is backed up safely in the event that you need to format, reformat or upgrade your computer. Some of the other bonuses of using an SD card include that the start-up and playback is virtually instantaneous and there’s also a lot to be said about not having to fumble with your phone each time you get into and out of your car.

[Original Image by NSDS]

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