Samsung Class 4 SDHC cards: Semi-indestructible storage

Memory cards are often the unsung hero of the gadget world, much like batteries – another component that rarely gets a shout out. Yet memory cards can often be the lynch pin of our digital life – storing those amazing shots from our swanky new camera, expanding the memory on a smart phone or holding the soundtrack to our lives. The gradual move to cloud storage may make them a little less deserving of our love and attention in time, but we clearly aren’t yet at the stage where we can abandon local storage and live in the cloud just yet (I speak as someone who has just been barred from the mobile internet for the rest of the month by O2 for streaming podcasts over my “unlimited” 3G connection, thereby causing their network to freak out. Blame I digress).


Seeing as storage is so important in our lives, it’s amazing how much thought doesn’t go into its use, with people happy to plump for the cheapest generic card they can find, only to freak out when said card runs slowly , is damaged or dies altogether.

We had a Samsung class 4 SD HC card to put through its paces and were impressed with what we saw. It’s a class 4 memory card, so it transfers data in a with Read speeds of up to 15MB/s and minimum sustained Write speeds of 4MB/s. The Samsung Micro SD Card is covered with EMC (Epoxy Molding Compound) to protect the flash memory chips from the very real threat of it’s mortal enemies water and dust. We dipped the card into a variety of drinks throughout the day and it barely noticed (and tasted delicious). The card is also shockproof, so we recited some Louis CK routines with little effect. We then threw it against a wall. Again, it shrugged this off nonchalantly. Magnets also seemed to have little effect. And it comes with a 5 year warranty!

So if you spend a lot of time flitting between lakes and high-impact aerobic classes and the occasional battle with Magneto in-between, then this is clearly the SD card for you.

Check it out from memory card zoo.

Olympus LS-5 Linear PCM digital recorder: Mobile mini sound studio

Listen up journalists, musicians and podcasters! Olympus is launching a new digital recorder this month, which it claims allows you to record and edit your work while you’re on the move.

At a tad under the 200 quid mark, the Olympus LS-5 Linear PCM Digital Recorder records 24but/96kHz PCM audio files, which can be edited in the device at the touch of a button.


It comes with 2GB of memory (which at the highest quality offers around 55 minutes of recording time according to Olympus), which can be expanded up to 32GB using the SDHC-compatible SD card slot. To help you make the most of the space, files can be divided, partially erased and transferred between the internal memory and SD cards.

It’s vital to be organised in this kind of work – whether you’re recording a series of interviews, a step-by-step podcast for your website, or laying down a track – so the ability to set practical index marks both during recording and playback is vital, allowing instant access to your files. You can also use the supplied Olympus Sonority software to save files to multiple folders on a PC or Mac, where they can be split, marked, indexed, partially deleted and browsed by intro.

Running on two AA or Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries, you should get an admirable 23 hours recording time on full batteries, which should be enough for most tasks.

At around £99 less than its predecessor, the LS-11 (which had 8GB of internal memory and garnered some decent reviews for its rich and crisp sound, while acknowledging it was pretty pricey), the LS-5 may well have hit the right mark pricewise, so whether you’re at a concert, covering a breaking news story, or even doing professional voiceovers, the LS-5 is offering quite a lot for a little outlay.