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-   -   Rio Carbon Player - Seagate 5GB Microdrive (

steve Sep 29, 2004 10:28 PM

I got my Rio Carbon MP3 player today and of course I wasted no time in taking it apart to extract the Seagate ST1 5GB drive from within. The most difficult part was getting the darn Rio Carbon player out its bullet-proof retail plastic packaging - it could thwart terrorists let alone thieves :O

Unlike the Creative Labs Muvo2 player, the Rio Carbon's case is not held together with screws - it is strictly creative engineering using four inner clips. If you're careful you can open it up without damaging the player and can re-use it with a smaller Microdrive -- or if you were one of those that bought the iPod Mini to get the Hitachi 4GB Microdrive and then found out that it won't work in a camera - it does work in the Rio Carbon (at least I have been told that it does anyway.)

The Seagate ST1 worked fine in a Canon G6 -after- being formatted in the camera. When first inserted it did display a "Card Error" and that had me worried but a quick FORMAT solved the problem and the drive works fine.

I bought the Rio Carbon from for $224 and got it within a week from placing the order even though it wasn't showing as being "in stock" yet.

Cautionary Note from Seagate:

"The Seagate hard drive inside these players was manufactured and qualified for use specifically in these music player applications. It is not designed to be removed from the music player, and removing the drive voids the warranty on the music player and on the hard drive.

Also important to note: because these drives weren't designed or tested for uses external to the music players, they may not operate correctly (either short-term or long-term) in other applications.

To date, Seagate has not completed the design and testing of, and has not made available, a 1-inch hard drive for use by consumers in CompactFlash slots.

Seagate is working on a consumer version of its 1-inch CompactFlash Type II hard drive, the "Seagate CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive," that will be priced very attractively for the mainstream photography market. Seagate announced this drive in June 2004. We'll have more news regarding a launch date later in the holiday season.

Best to you and to everyone at Steve's,"

John Paulsen
Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications
Seagate Technology

NHL Sep 30, 2004 8:30 AM

From the few posts that I've seen it looks like this drive is not as fast as the Hitachi... With the Lexar 1G (x40) going for about ~$60-70 lately is it worth the effort though? ;)

Rumour has it that the Seagate will retail around $200, not as big an incentive as when the price was almost double for the Hitachi... :cry:

Sep 30, 2004 10:41 AM

I saw 2 versions of the Rio Carbon at Best Buy last week. The 5Gig version was about $249.00 & the 2.5 Gig was $149.00.

dragonx Oct 5, 2004 1:27 PM

Hi Steve, I've got the ST1 drive working with my Digital Rebel just great.

I'm wondering if you've ever tried putting the Carbon back together with other flash CF cards? It would be nice to have a big storage, shock resistant mp3 player.

However, so far none of the flash cards I've tried have worked. I figure you must have a bunch of cards, could you give it a shot and see if you can find any that do work?

All the ones I've tried will work when plugged into the USB, but once disconnected, they work fine for 10 seconds then reboot.

NHL Oct 5, 2004 8:34 PM

You need a CF device that can be configured as and IDE device...

There's a link on dpReview if I can find it -> the drive from the iPod for one and most microdrives (except for the older series) will work as well. Most CF flash cards will not do it for you, ie this Rio is built just like the iPod except for the Seagate ST-1 drive which can be configured as both CF and IDE devices ;)}

Here's the link:

steve Oct 5, 2004 9:08 PM

dragonx wrote:

Hi Steve, I've got the ST1 drive working with my Digital Rebel just great.

I'm wondering if you've ever tried putting the Carbon back together with other flash CF cards? It would be nice to have a big storage, shock resistant mp3 player.

I put the Carbon back together with an OEM 4GB Hitachi microdrive and gave it to a friend. All I wanted was the Seagate drive - no interest in further experimenting, I went through that with the Muvo2 and we never found any flash card that worked.:cry:

NHL Oct 6, 2004 8:00 AM


The 'original' Muvo2 works with any CF cards (it was shipped with a 4G CF configured microdrive) - I tried several Sandisk and Lexar; However, at this moment I stuck my antique 340MB IBM microdrive in the Muvo2 while keeping the flash cards for the cameras...

sjms Oct 6, 2004 8:37 AM

J&R has the 4gb MD travel kit at $219 w/the $50 rebate that brings it down to ~$170 with the rather tiny 1 yr hitachi reliability warranty. that at least gives you a year get out jail free card for it.

NHL Oct 6, 2004 10:03 AM


I jumped on it except it's out of stock!


sjms Oct 6, 2004 10:11 AM

just order it it will eventually come. JR is good and won't charge until shipped. by the way really no one has them in stock at that price right now. just wait and it will come

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