Lately, there have been few discernable differences between external storage products. Examples of value-add attempts include Western Digital's addition of fancy lights to its devices. Macpower simply designed an external drive that looks like an Apple Mac Mini. LaCie and Maxtor looked to add value by combining two hard drives to surpass the magical 1 TB capacity threshold. We wondered out loud many times if vendors would ever think outside of the box and design devices that would do more than just backup and store PC data.
Multimedia Player MV-5000U, from the Virginia-based Mvix, represents an ambitious device design that is more than just another storage product. Called a "multimedia player," the MV-5000U is an external hard drive that can also play backed up audio, video and photo files as a standalone unit that works with an IR remote control, while unconnected to another playback device or a PC. It can even broadcast audio content with an integrated short-range FM transmission module.
As a multimedia player, the device has several outputs on the back and an LC display and a set of control buttons on its front side. The MV-5000U can also serve as an ordinary external hard drive, and it is not much bigger or heavier either.