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Datel MAX Media Dock For DS & DS Lite Reviewed!!!

Discussion in 'NDS FlashCarts, Custom Mods' started by Zeus, Jul 24, 2006.

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    Zeus

    Zeus MaxConsole News Team

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    Datel MAX Media Dock For DS & DS Lite Reviewed!!!

    Product: Datel Max Media Dock for Nintendo DS/DS Lite
    Reviewed by Jassen Payen
    Official Website: <A href="http://us.codejunkies.com/news_reviews.asp?c=US&cr=USD&cs=$&r=0&l=1&p=17&i=9010&s=8" target="_blank">Codejunkies.com</a>
    Buy Now: <A href="http://us.codejunkies.com/news_reviews.asp?c=US&cr=USD&cs=$&r=0&l=1&p=17&i=9010&s=8" target="_blank">Codejunkies.com</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.es/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=dsl-mmd" target="_blank">Divineo.es</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.es/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=ds-meddock" target="_blank">Divineo.co.uk</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.de/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=nds-mmd" target="_blank">Divineo.de</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.it/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=nds-maxmd" target="_blank">Divineo.it</a>

    Introduction

    Well well well, what do we have here? I kindly received the Max Media Dock from the nice folks at Datel not too long ago...If you’ve been keeping up with the news, Datel have been releasing a flurry of accessories faster than the pace of changing fashion senses. On this continued path, it just makes me think of the high-street store ‘claires’ Soon enough, they would have covered all bases for your favourite handheld, but that can only be a good thing right? One can never have too many choices, and in this particular case, this is no exception!

    <Center><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmdockr1.jpg"></center></a>

    You may have recently read about the PSP equivalent of this product, the Datel PSP Max Media Dock with 2GB Compact Flash, which was reviewed at MaxConsole last month. What this basically does is provide a means of inexpensive large capacity storage for your music, movies, and homebrew, all for your portable pleasure! This is also more akin to the Max Media Player 4GB Version for DS, looking almost identical, and utilizing the same software, albeit an updated version. I reviewed this way back in May, and you can read about my experiences with this here.

    <center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds1a.jpg"></center></a>

    The marked difference between this device and the Max Media Player for Nintendo DS is the enticing fact that the compact flashcard/hard drive can be easily replaced and upgraded by simply removing 2 screws, and sliding off the protective outer shell. Then it’s just a matter of carefully unplugging the old CF, and slotting in the new one. On top of this, the marketing of the item is suggestive of a good looking, touch screen interface for your favourite media and homebrew on the go, similar to the Max Media Player for DS.

    Although the PSP utilises its own media playback features via the software incorporated into its firmware, the Nintendo DS is a whole different ball game. Here we have something designed purely as a games-only console. One cannot deny this curious perversion in extending the capabilities of the pocket friendly gaming companion however…we always just want more, and this my friends seeks out to answer the cries, and the means for fanboys over to have an official product providing the media capabilities to rival that of the PSP and allow them to stick the proverbial 2 fingers up at the haters! Let’s move on now, shall we?

    First Impressions

    To be completely honest, after reviewing the 4GB Max Media Player for DS, I was a bit dubious about this product, because dimensionally, it looks precisely the same, which led me to believe that its capabilities would be identical also, except for the advertised feature of allowing you to change the CF card within.

    Upon receiving the package, I was shocked at the condition that it arrived in. Usually, I would explain about the packaging and aesthetic features of items up for review here, but it seems as if this has been skimped upon this time. The item was received in one medium sized jiffy postage envelope, containing the item instructions, a piece of paper describing how to change the CF card within the Max Media Dock, a USB cable which interfaces with the Dock unit, and 2 smaller stapled up pieces of jiffy squares.

    <Center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds2a.jpg"> <A href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds3a.jpg"></center></a>

    Opening up the small cut up jiffy pieces, one contained the Max Media Dock with the 4GB HD CF unit, and the other contained the Max Media Player DS Cartridge, the same on one included with the previously reviewed Max Media Player package. This is what holds the software and interface to access the media that is stored on the Dock. No box, no presentation, very disappointed. I always try to review from the consumer’s perspective and what they may be looking for in a product when purchasing. It’s not always a case of a product being aesthetically pleasing, but I cannot give a fair qualitative assessment on something received in a jiffy bag as compared to a finalized boxed item that is well presented. Please excuse my rant however, I'm just a box freak and the retail version does indeed come with a very well designed box!

    This wasn’t what got to me though; it was the fact that my suspicions were confirmed. This unit is an exact replica in all but branding as the Max Media Player!

    Cloning Clyde

    Before reading any further and even though it is mentioned and highlighted already many times throughout this review, I urge you to read up on my previous review for the Datel 4GB Max Media Player for DS. This will cover everything you need to know about the actual unit aesthetics, as well as the software and GUI for the unit.

    <Center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds4.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds4a.jpg"> <A href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds5.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds5a.jpg"></center></a>

    I was surprised further still that the MMP Unit I received in May could also be opened up, allowing for CF upgrades just like the Max Media Dock!! Holy Smokes Batman!! So what is different? The remainder of this review will discuss any relative differences, and/or improvements to its previous iteration.

    Changes

    From May up until now, there has been 1 significant software upgrade for the Max Media Player hardware, and that is to allow MP3’s to run directly from the main interface, rather than previously rely on the Moonshell software that shipped with the unit. It seems that this has also been incorporated directly into the firmware of the Max Media Dock, as I experimented with adding various different MP3’s encoded between 128kbps and 192kbps.

    <Center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds6.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds6a.jpg"></center></a>

    Double-tapping the MP3 file via the touch-screen GUI results in a small control panel which lets you control aspects such as play, stop, forward, rewind and ‘next’ via the touch screen, and all looking pretty swell!

    Another pleasing factor is the fact that you can manage your songs within a directory on the CF card, play the first song, and it will continually play through the tracks in that directory, even with the NDS cover closed! This essentially will allow you to use your unit as a personal music player, only slightly chunkier than the ipods/zens that we are used to.

    The audio quality from the main DS speakers was pretty crisp. Higher encoded files tended to distort more at the highest volume, but this was pretty slight. The only problem I encountered, is that with the included 4GB HD in the media dock, the sound would stutter every 12 to 15 seconds because the hard drive is presumably playing catch-up when buffering the current playing MP3 track.

    This was remedied when I swapped the 4GB micro HD inside the dock with a faster, solid state 1GB CF card.

    To brew, or not to brew?

    Initially firing up to the recognisable GUI, the unit I received already had some homebrew on it, including a drum pad, and a paint program. Both of which worked rather well, except for the drum pad, which crashed when there was too much going on (i.e, drumming up more than one drum at a time). I also decided to try beup, the new messenger client for the NDS, but this would crash just before the regular signup screen shows.

    I feel that although this time it managed to boot the homebrew I tried with it, the software is still unstable and needs improving upon. The fact that there are software updates for the unit is a good prospect for future compatibility of the ‘brew.

    Arrrg, matey!

    Those of you who invested in the Max Media Player a couple of months back may have found a little gem to breath a little life into it, which is a nifty program from some mystery coders allowing you to run back ups on the device! Whoo! Basically, the program, called Maximum Overload patches your rom backup, allowing the respective patched rom file to be read, saved to, and run through the media dock!

    <Center><Center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds7.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds7a.jpg"> <A href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds8.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds8a.jpg"></center></a></center></a>

    When trying this out, I was especially impressed with the interface that is presented. A main program file is copied over to the media dock, along with your patched roms into the ‘Games’ directory, thanks to the supplied USB cable to your PC. The program file is run, and you are then presented with a nice touch screen menu, along with your list of games, and the icons of every patched game, as you would see with an original DS game at startup.

    From the backups I did test, there was a lot of lagging from the 4GB micro HD in the unit. You would notice 3-5 second gaps between segments of a game, for example, in Sonic DS, when going through the menu transition, you will have split second stuttering delays during the menu, and a slight lag during the game.

    <center><Center><a href="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds9.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.maxconsole.net/content_img/mmd_nds9a.jpg"></center></a>

    Of the games I did test out, half of them seemed to work, mainly those that I purchased closer to the start of the year, compared to the most recent games. Running these through a faster CF card installed removed the lag, and made for a good experience. Certainly a promising and more convincing start for things to come!

    Conclusion – slow and steady, late?

    Overall, the Max Media Dock, like the Max Media Player is a solid, promising unit, that still feels as if it is having a hard time in its infancy. I reckon there is a lot more we can expect from the Media Dock, but one can’t help feeling that it may all be too little too late. A lot of people can already do everything this does more stably with the likes of the M3, Supercard, and Neo Team offerings, albeit in a more compact form suited to the DS, and DS Lite.

    What keeps me watching out for Datel, is that they are increasingly trying to appeal to the masses in some way, and I am still looking forward to the prospect of being able to watch my movies on the go with a better looking interface, and quality than that of Moon Shell. The audio player is a very nice looking addition…but this little beastie has its work cut out for it right now!

    Positives

    + Nice looking GUI interface, fully touch screen and functional
    + Working MP3 player, even with the lid closed in sleep mode!
    + Maximum Overload patcher allows running of backups
    + Able to easily swap out the CF card inside the unit for faster future variations
    + Not too obtrusive compared to other flashcard solutions
    + Upgradeable software/firmware

    Negatives

    - Carbon copy of the Max Media Player for DS with updated software
    - Still no 1st party movie player, the one big thing that will appeal to the masses
    - Homebrew works, but still rather unstable and limited
    - No indicator light on HDD to show when active/data transfer

    Buy Now: <A href="http://us.codejunkies.com/news_reviews.asp?c=US&cr=USD&cs=$&r=0&l=1&p=17&i=9010&s=8" target="_blank">Codejunkies.com</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.es/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=dsl-mmd" target="_blank">Divineo.es</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.es/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=ds-meddock" target="_blank">Divineo.co.uk</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.de/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=nds-mmd" target="_blank">Divineo.de</a> / <A href="http://www.divineo.it/php/affstart.php?affcode=66623&prod=nds-maxmd" target="_blank">Divineo.it</a>
     
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    MR_COW

    MR_COW Loyal Member

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    I wish datel would stop making main stream flashcarts you can buy in stores. Now nintendo is going to start making an effort to block it :(.
     
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    knux896

    knux896 Loyal Member

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    Just thought I would mention that the Max Media Dock that you can purchase from Datel does not include a HDD and it says "Max Media Dock" on the back of the plastic case instead of "Max 4GB HDD".
     
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    FifthE1ement

    FifthE1ement Guest

    Its crlappp captin crlappp I tell you! :eek:

    FifthE1ement
     
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    Retroboy

    Retroboy Banned MaxConsole Troll BANNED FOREVER

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    this product like many other datel products is crap.

    its is so faulty one day it works, the next its gone forever.

    Ive sent 2 back to datel and decided to do my own.

    finds out its the cheap CF card they use.

    LOL what you all think of the new DS action replay.

    have you seen how it works, god you insert the AR like a ds game turn it on, then when its loaded you take it out and insert your game.

    funny we all know carts arent meant to be inserted/removed when the power is turned on so lets all give datel a big warm corrupt my save data welcome:D

    it would have been easier to make it just like the max media dock.

    AR cart goes in DS port, DS game inserts into a dock that inserts into your GBA port, then turn on this way theyres no inserting/removing cards, and no corrupted data.

    even the game manuals tell you not to remove carts when the power is on.

    but what do we expect, ITS DATEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2006
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    FusionXN1

    FusionXN1 Guest

    I'm looking for a cheap solution for my DS, I have a flash card spare (1gb) from an old camera i sold a couple months back. If i buy the media dock - can i insert my card and start to play brews and backups (just got the new super mario bros would love to back it up if someone will tell me how i back it up).

    Should I get one?
     
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    Retroboy

    Retroboy Banned MaxConsole Troll BANNED FOREVER

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    yes it will work, but new super mario bros wont unless you have a donor card (another DS cart for it to save)

    Have fun, im sure buying an empty shell cant be that bad :)


    touch wood
     
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    FusionXN1

    FusionXN1 Guest

    What "empty" card do you suggest? I got yoshi touch and go.
     
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    Retroboy

    Retroboy Banned MaxConsole Troll BANNED FOREVER

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    any game that saves, pref that you dont actually play, i think if you saved a diffrent game to it, it would say its corrupt when you try and play it as the save data doesnt belong to the actual cart.
     
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    handyguy

    handyguy Loyal Member

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    No, you cannot use any game that saves. I took several trips to the store to try numerous games with saves only to find this is not the case. Eeprom saves have always been tricky with backup units as far back as I can remember.

    Btw, my money is on Datel being behind Max Overload! I bet they put it out themselves!
     
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    tashmeister

    tashmeister Loyal Member

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    I just got mine today, and i aint yet got a CF card, but im a bit concerned, cos when i turn it on all i get is the datel screen, then it turns White....is this normal without my cf card in or is this a fult with the whole unit?
     
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    Retroboy

    Retroboy Banned MaxConsole Troll BANNED FOREVER

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    Id say so too, erm max tv, action replay max, max overload, im also wondering if max console was founded by datel because the time datels forum whent down and datels xbox action replay came out i found Max Console which funny enough has datel members, so is this datels off site for xbox codes.

    Just sounds soo familiar all this max stuff.

    Anyways im very suprised datel making a device to allow people to play roms, i hope nintendo get to know and sue there asses.

    well my view max overload is datel, funny they make a product and hey theyres illegal software to patch your roms to play on your media dock.

    but hell what do i care at least i can play games for free.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2006
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    KSOVII

    KSOVII Guest

    They say it is meant to play backups, not illegal ROMs. So if you bought a game, you can back it up incase it becomes corrupt or you lose it.
     
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    Retroboy

    Retroboy Banned MaxConsole Troll BANNED FOREVER

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    Yea course, so how do you back your DS carts up, do you have the software..........no.

    this is used illegaly, no matter how datel can look at it they are selling a product that will cost nintendo DS game devs lots of money.

    So say i give you a Media Dock, what will you do with it, download roms and play them? or waste your money on buying the origional game to then back it up as a rom then play...........................i know youd save your cash and download the game for free.

    Lol, I do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2006
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    reluttr

    reluttr Loyal Member

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    it whouldent surprise me if mushroomb and kingpin work for datel. thats why no one know their emai and such cause they work for datel. and Ive heard rumors that maxconsole is like datels forum. or was, they dont like to be associated with maxconsole cause we talk about backup roms and such.
     
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    handyguy

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    Datel makes the GS. They don't have a forum at their site now, it wasn't active when I looked at it.
     
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    knux896

    knux896 Loyal Member

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    Datel had an official forum but they closed it about 2 years ago. I assume it was mainly because with the release of AR Max for the PS2 there was a lot of talk about Roms and Backups due to the included Genesis emulator. It was at that time that it went down and they obviously don't seem to think it is important enough to put it back up since it has been down for about 2 years. This along with a lot of other things is making me have less respect for Datel. They can release as many products as they want, but if they don't provide proper support and troubleshooting then they are going to hit problems very soon.
     
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    Retroboy

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    Well id like to inform y'all that my 2nd Media Dock has Fuked Up.

    This time it was because i was playing a game, turned my DS off and had to go pay a bill, when i got back i turned it on and all i get is no device found in port 2.

    if i take the launcher out of the DS cart port the DS says GBA pak detected.

    So what can we expect of datel every product they make fukes up.

    Any body else got a diffrent type of storage device that hasnt buggered up.

    Ive only had my 2nd one for i think 2 weeks.

    God theyres more chance of a prostitute keeping her knickers on than theyre is datels products not breaking.
     
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    Primeboss

    Primeboss Loyal Member

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    what is a donor card

    What is a donor card
     
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    Cucucachoo

    Cucucachoo Guest

    retroboy, well said. i'm currently on a mission to kick some datel ass.
     

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