I don’t normally blog about gadget hardware, but zoomMediaPlus‘ new zoomIt SD card adapter for iPhone and iPod Touch fills a gaping hole of utility. Not only does it let Apple handset owners look at photos, play music, and read documents off an SD card, it has smart software that optimizes the experience.
When you first connect the adapter, it prompts you onscreen to download a free iPhone app that controls the media on your memory cards. For photos, you have pushbutton options to email them, post them to Flickr, or upload them to your Facebook account. For each of these cases, the app will shrink giant photo files down to an email, Flickr, or Facebook-appropriate size to make transfer from the card to the iPhone or iPod as quick as possible without sacrificing any more image resolution than is necessary. (Apple’s proprietary 30-pin connector speaks standard USB protocol, but isn’t as blazing fast as a full-sized USB port. Plus it’s a serious waste of time to upload full-size photo files you won’t be able to see at full resolution anyway.)
ZoomMediaPlus CEO Chris Fisher told me in a phone call today that the zoomIt will also play any unprotected music or video files on an SD card. So it’ll work with Sandisk’s pre-loaded album-on-a-chip slotMusic cards, but not the 1,000-song, DRM-wrapped slotRadio cards. Same for video. If it’s unprotected, it’s possibly playable. But video on SD is much more complicated than the music situation, so I’m wary of overpromising there.
The company takes online orders at $59.95 list, and Fisher says they’ll toss in a 4 gigabyte SD HD card with the first 250 orders. No units in stock at Amazon yet, but my hunch is that will likely change. Fisher says they’re working on enabling future upgrades to the app to play popular forms of DRM-protected music and video. A 16GB card would carry more than enough of my iTunes library, leaving room for me to shoot photos and video onto my iPhone’s built-in memory. I could go for that.