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Review: XD Card Adapter to SD Card Reader & Writer

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 4/6/2011

An xD card adapter to SD card reader & writer is what you need to get your photos and other data off your XD card. You can even use these cards for active storage if you want to. Unfortunately, finding one of these adapters is a challenge because they really do not exist.

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    About the xD Picture Card

    800px-XD-Picture Card TypeH 1GB front xD stands for "extreme digital," promoting the fact that these mini digital memory cards could hold a lot of information. These cards were one of the varieties of competing digital storage formats developed primarily for use in the emerging digital camera market.

    xD picture cards were used primarily in Fujifilm and Olympus cameras and MP3 players and were manufactured almost entirely by Samsung and Toshiba to support those Japanese brands. The picture card never developed beyond 2 GB of storage capacity (8 GB was the maximum capacity of the technology) and was phased out, with hardware support for the card being phased out as well, leaving xD picture card owners without a way to read data from them or store data to them, especially if they no longer have their camera.

    Cameras that used xD picture cards would plug into a computer via a USB or Firewire port, allowing the computer to read the xD media directly from the camera.

    If you have xD cards, want to use them and do not have your camera, you may have difficulty if your computer or card reader only accepts Secure Digital (SD) cards because an xD card adapter to SD card reader & writer is something that, quite frankly, does not exist.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/D.328

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    The xD to SD dilemma

    The pinouts for xD cards are proprietary, meaning that Olympus and Fujifilm hold the rights to the interface and the knowledge of their circuitry under wraps. This may have something to do with the reason why there are no xD to SD adapters.

    However, the primary reason is that the pinouts are completely different and incompatible. In addition, the xD cards are "controller-less," meaning that they require their hosts to perform functions such as error correction and wear leveling.

    What is the answer?

    The answer to the xD vs. SD dilemma is to accept the fact that you will never be able to access an xD picture card from an SD slot. That might be sad, but it is probably best that you accept that fact now.

    Our solution to this problem is to recommend an xD picture card reader, which you can connect, to your computer, which will then allow you to read and write the xD format.

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    OLYMPUS MAUSB-10 xD-Picture / SmartMedia USB Card Reader / Writer

    The Olympus MAUSB-10 xD-Picture / SmartMedia USB Card Reader / Writer is a good choice for accessing your xD picture cardsxd001  without a camera. It has one slot for SmartMedia and another for xD. Just connect this device to your computer and then you can read and write to it.

    If you have a SD reader on your computer, you can transfer data between the two cards using this reader.

    Just keep in mind, you will never be able to attach you xD picture card to a device that has only an SD slot.

    This Olympus xD reader is available from Amazon for $38.71. Remember, pricing and availability can change without notice, so be sure to confirm before making any plans.

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    References

    XD Picture Card to SD Adapter

    Screenshots provided by writer

    Source: author’s own experience.