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Low-cost NAS gains USB ports, social net sync

Nov 20, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Cloud Engines has released a new version of its Linux-based Pogoplug networked-attached storage (NAS) device, which uses the Marvell SheevaPlug reference design. The Pogoplug is larger and costs $30 more, but moves from one USB port to four, and adds new synchronization, multimedia sharing, and social networking integration features.

To make room for the four USB 2.0 ports, the chassis has been expanded, so instead of looking more or less like the popular Marvell SheevaPlug Plug Computer design, as did the previous version (shown farther below), it appears like a mini tower, complete with a pink plastic framework, which offers underside cooling, and guides the cables to reduce clutter (see image directly below). Instead of plugging directly into a wall socket, the larger device offers a power cable.

New Pogopug design (rear view)

Beyond the USB ports and chassis redesign, the device is, as before, dead simple: it still offers the single gigabit Ethernet port, as well as the Marvell SheevaPlug's 1.2GHz Marvell 88F6000 ("Kirkwood") system-on-chip (SoC). As reported in our initial coverage of the Linux-based Marvell SheevaPlug platform and Plug Computer design in February, the Pogoplug enables remote viewing of external storage devices via a web browser. The device connects to external hard drives or memory sticks via USB, and to a router via gigabit Ethernet.

Pogoplug (front view)

Like the original product (below), the new Pogoplug enables network sharing of storage, remote uploading of multimedia, as well as access from an Apple iPhone. In May, Cloud Engines announced Linux desktop support, 64-bit OS support, and easier searching and sharing software.

Original Pogoplug

Now, the Pogoplug has received a major software upgrade, offering improved transcoding, wider support for video streaming, and the ability to automatically synchronize multimedia content from iTunes, iPhoto, and Windows Media Player. The new software offers tighter integration with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, plus automatic organization of multimedia content.

New Pogoplug interface
(Click to enlarge)

Users can now use drag and drop techniques to create music and photo slide shows, and share them via the web. In addition, global searching across multiple drives and Pogoplugs is now available, and automatic cover art displays are sorted by album, artist, and genre, Cloud Engines says.


Pogoplug is now available for pre-order from Cloud Engines for $130, with shipments expected by mid December. More information may be found here.

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