Sony CF Memory Card Compatibility Soon
Work in progressing on a new software driver to enable Compact Flash memory cards to work with Sony Clie models that have the WiFi expansion slot. The driver is currently undergoing beta testing and will work with various CF cards up to 1GB in size. In addition, a patch to enable Memory Stick Pro media is expected soon.
The Sony NX and NZ devices include an integrated WiFi (802.11b) communications slot. The slot is basically compatible with a standard Compact Flash slot. When the devices with the slot were first announced, many enthusiasts speculated whether it could also be used with standard CF memory cards. As it turns out, the only card will work with it is the Sony WiFi Card (WL-100).
Petitions orgainized by ClieSource for Sony to release an official driver went unanswered. Sony only officially supports using memory stick media for memory expansion.
An independent developer is conducting a limited closed beta test and has reported positive results in the development of a CF memory card driver. The initial driver supports reading from CF cards but can not yet write data. A wide range of cards will be supported and early tests show cards from 64MB to the 1GB IBM microdrive are working.
Any Palm OS software that has support for multi-expansion cards slots will likely work with the driver. Some applications that are already reported to be working include: Zlauncher, Kinoma player and AcidImage. Sony’s own media applications such as the Audio Player, Voice Recorder, and Movie Recorder/Player do not work at this time.
The work on the driver is still in the early stages but is progressing. Features included in the driver and application support will improve as testing continues. There is no announced release date or pricing details as of yet.
In related news, SonyStyle has now begun selling Memory Stick Pro cards. Introduced earlier this year in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB capacities, the cards are available for about $150, $320 and $640, respectively.
The new generation of Memory Stick Pro cards feature high capacity, high-speed data transfer, and future expandability. The Memory Stick PRO format was designed to realize continuous real-time recording of high-resolution movies and still images, with recording capacities specified up to 32GB.
Only Clies running Palm OS 5 are capable of using the new format, but require a software patch to do so. The patch is expected to be made available as a free download by the end of April.
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