A Memory Card Reader is a device that allows quick transfer of your digital files from your memory card to the computer. A memory card reader in combination with a memory card acts like a hard drive. There are also they so called Memory Card Players or Photo Viewers where you can play and view the content of your memory card directly on a TV, Audio or Video system without the need of a computer. Once the memory card Player or photo viewer is connected to a computer it turns to a regular memory card reader.
Why do I need a Memory Card Reader?
There are two ways to transfer your digital files from your memory card to your computer. One is to connect the electronic device, a digital camera or a mobile phone, direct to your computer by a USB cable. The other way is to use a Memory Card Reader where you plug in your memory card and transfer your digital files. By using a Memory Card Reader the access to the digital files is much quicker and much more convenient. Since you don’t have to connect your electronic device, a digital camera or a mobile phone, you save battery time and avoid dealing with cables.
Different models of Memory Card Readers
Memory card readers are available as internal and external models. The internal memory card readers are build-in the desktop or laptop computer. A build-in memory card reader, which fits into a 3.5¨ drive bay, is expected to become standard in every desktop and laptop computer.
The external memory card readers can further be split into three categories. Regular, mobile and memory card players / photo Viewers. The regular memory card readers can be found from a single-card up to 15-card. The Mobile ones are almost only single-card readers. They can also be found with intergraded USB flash drive. The memory card players have been developed to be independent from a computer. You just need to plug the player to the TV, Video- or Audio player to play or view your files.
Connecting the memory card reader to the computer is simple; you just have to plug the reader to the computer’s USB port, and then plug in your memory card. The memory card will then show up on the computer as a separate drive. You do not need to install any additional software on the computer for the memory card reader and non electricity cable has to be plugged since the power is supplied from the USB port.
The latest memory card readers are using USB 1.1, USB 2.0 or FireWire as connection to the computer. Older memory card readers are using a parallel connection. We recommend you to choose a memory card reader with a USB 2.0 connection since it is the most compatible, every new computer has at least one slot, and has the fastest transfer speed.
A fast connection will allow you to faster transfer your files from your memory card reader to the computer. The parallel connection has a transfer speed of 115 KB/sec, USB 1.1 has a transfer speed of 1.5 MB/sec, FireWire has a speed of 50 MB/sec and USB 2.0 has a speed of 60 MB/sec. You can always connect your USB 2.0 device on an USB 1.1 connection, but the transfer speed will be the one of USB 1.1.
There are readers available from reading one single memory card and readers that can read up to 12 memory cards. In spite the fact that multi-card readers can accept 12 or more memory card formats, they have no more than four memory card slots. Thanks to the fact that many memory cards fit into the same slot. The most common memory cards on the market categorized by slot:
• Compact Flash type I and II
• SmartMedia Card and xD-Picture Card
• SD memory card, mini SD, micro SD, TransFlash, MultiMedia Card (MMC), mobileMMC and microMMC.
• Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick Micro.
Memory Card Readers compatible with USB Flash Drivers and Microdrives can also be found. Notice that the MMC memory card will fit into a SD memory card slot, but not vice versa.
Memory card readers can be found in all possible sizes and designs. The portable and the single-card readers are the smallest available. Then the multi-card readers are the biggest and the less removable.
Since the built-in memory card readers will become a “De Facto” standard in all desktop and laptop computers the demand for external memory card readers will fall. In any case the demand is expected to grow for memory card readers to be used directly by TV, Audio or DVD players without the need of a computer. :