At the back you’ll find a small power button that’s easy to locate thanks to its six Braille-like protrusions. However, what you won’t find is a headphone socket for use with a monitor, though you could get a stereo-phone to 3.5mm adapter. Finally there’s USB and the 12V power brick and cables. The supply can switch between 100-240V and the device supports both PAL and NTSC, so that you can use the Traxdata all over the world.
Though a driver is included for older Windows versions, users running Vista or XP don’t have to install it, making installation a breeze. Just make sure to install both included applications before hooking up the drive, otherwise they won’t work. These two pieces of software consist of the Playlist Manager and Private Folder Manager, and are well-explained in the supplied digital manual.
The Playlist Manager is not exactly rocket science, and while it isn’t particularly powerful or flexible, it does what it says on the tin (or CD, in this case). It allows you to add music, photographs and video files to one or more playlists (up to 2048 files per list), and decide their order and how often they are to be played. Like Windows, it lets you sort media files by name, date, type and size, but it also adds Tags to the mix, which does make things easier. Pity it only works on the Traxdata – it simply didn’t recognise other drives.
Private Folder Manager is arguably more useful. It lets you mark certain folders on the Traxdata or any other drive as private, which after inputting a four-digit pin of your choosing become invisible to anyone browsing the Media Drive either on the PC or in its ‘multimedia mode’ using a monitor or TV. Now what kind of files would anyone put under password protection on a multimedia station, I wonder?
In use the Traxdata performed pretty much as expected. Once you’ve filled the device with media content of your choosing, you have to disconnect it from your PC before it will go into what I refer to as ‘multimedia mode’ (basically the mode that allows you to play back your content on your display). We can’t think of a good reason why it should do this, though to be fair it’s not something that will bother the average person. A few other hiccups include all aspect adjustments being found under ‘component out’ – even when connected solely through HDMI! – and being forced to go to the ‘home’ screen before it’ll let you access the adjustment menu.