Western Digital has introduced a new line of external hard disks featuring dual drives and 2TB, 4TB and 6TB capacities. Called the My Book Studio Edition II, the new storage line will provide creative professionals and Mac enthusiasts with 33 percent more storage than the previous hard-drive models while maintaining the same footprint, the company said.
Thanks to advancements in the latest HD video devices -- including digital SLR and HD video cameras -- the quality and quantity of video content being produced by professionals and enthusiasts has grown at an astounding pace, noted Western Digital Vice President Dale Pistilli. My Book Studio Edition II is designed to provide content creators with the storage capacities they need "to effectively shoot, edit and safely store their video productions without the need to compress their videos or reduce the overall quality of them for the sake of available space," Pistilli said Thursday.
Mac or PC
My Book Studio Edition II drives are compatible with Apple's Time Machine data-storage software, which automatically saves up-to-date copies of everything on a user's Mac, including photos, music, videos, documents, applications and settings. Though My Book Studio Edition II ships formatted for Mac machines, the device also includes software and instructions for reformatting and partitioning the device for use on PCs running Vista and Windows 7.
Though Western Digital's new high-capacity drive ships as Mac-compatible, the device is also compatible with PC formats, noted Western Digital spokesperson Heather Skinner. "You can just reformat the drive to FAT 32 in order to use the device on machines running Windows," Skinner said.
Apple's data-backup software is also compatible with both operating systems, according to Skinner. "Apple's Time Machine will recognize the drive and you can back up the drive using Apple's Time Machine instead of the automatic backup software we provide," Skinner explained.
However, neither Windows XP nor Mac OS X 10.4.x offer support for hard drives with capacities above 2TB. So only the 2TB model of My Book Studio Edition II will work with computers running these older operating systems.
My Book Studio Edition II ships with a quad interface that provides users with plenty of connectivity options, including FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Moreover, users who require even faster performance may elect to connect using the machine's built-in eSATA and FireWire 800 interfaces, which will enable users to transfer and save enormous blocks of data in a fraction of the time.
For those content creators who need to perform fast, smooth video editing or render complex 3D objects and special effects, Western Digital recommends using the FireWire 800 interface in combination with a RAID-supported configuration. The high-performance RAID 0 mode, for example, enables the user's computer to quickly access the full capacity of the drive.
By contrast, the mirrored RAID 1 mode accesses half the drive's total capacity. In this case, one drive in the system is used to automatically and instantaneously duplicate or "mirror" the user's data in real time for additional data protection.
Available with a five-year limited warranty, My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems with 2TB, 4TB and 6TB capacities are available from Western Digital's online store. The 6TB model is priced at $549.99.