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  1. #1
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    The Current State of USB Sticks

    I don't know who really uses USB sticks much anymore? I use them mostly as boot devices when I'm working on something, like the HP 11a Chromebook that I'm reloading with Alpine Linux.

    Things I'm looking for in a USB stick:

    - USB 3.x that actually read/writes faster than USB 2
    - Just a stick with a cap, no sliders or rotating covers
    - Activity LED
    - Decent quality, doesn't arrive dead or die within the space of months
    - Assorted colors if possible
    - Capacity is less important to me, anything from 8GB on up is good

    Amazon has a large variety available but once you start filtering on the above criteria, the list shrinks quite a bit. Of those remaining, even if they have a lot stars, you usually see a review like "I bought because all of the 5 star reviews, but ..." then goes on to bash it for being slow, arriving dead or dying early, not being the advertised capacity etc.

    These MicroCenter ones I have a couple of and they are ok, but some of the recent reviews mention that the LED isn't there anymore even though the description hasn't changed. I went into a local Office store yesterday to see what overpriced sticks they had and the shelves were basically bare. I did buy a two pack that I thought met the criteria but I didn't look at them closely enough, they look they have a cap but they are actually sliders.
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    Last edited by sodface; 2022-05-27 at 03:49.

  2. #2
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    I see you haven't had a response, so I'll chime in. I don't have much to add regarding your specific requirements, but I use USB sticks rigorously, where I transfer/convert my library to the sticks for use in my cars. I listen to them almost exclusively, don't have sat radio, don't really listen to local, etc.

    So in my use case they are being actively accessed for hours at a time, repeatedly, for years. I also rewrite at home when I have a significant update to my library. My Library is mostly FLAC, but I convert to mp3 256kbps for the cars. The process takes hours, so I don't want to have to do it often (if a stick fails).

    I tend to only use a name brand, like SanDisk, or Kingston. I am sure some of the other brands are fine, but to me, the cost savings is minimal.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Senior Member Apesbrain's Avatar
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    ^ Agreed. SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB in the car for me. $8 on Amazon. I typically convert FLAC > MP3-V4 on my PC and keep a copy there in case I need to replace/duplicate to another USB.

    Last edited by Apesbrain; 2022-05-25 at 05:39.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies gents. I got these delivered a couple of days ago, no name brand from Amazon. Met my list of criteria and seem to all three work, though the dark blue one's led is impossible to see, the light blue-ish one's led seems to just flash all the time regardless of whether you are writing to it or not and all three are pretty slow to write to, somewhere in the 12MB/s range.

    I guess as with most things, you probably get what you pay for.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member agbagb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apesbrain View Post
    ^ Agreed. SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB in the car for me. $8 on Amazon. I typically convert FLAC > MP3-V4 on my PC and keep a copy there in case I need to replace/duplicate to another USB.


    A big thumbs up from me - my little SanDisks have so far been 100% reliable, for several years. I even use the 500gb version as my LMS FLAC storage on my laptop. And price keeps dropping.
    8.2.1 - 1639114554
    Win11
    Control: Web GUI; MaterialSkin on Android phones / pads

    Machines / devices are in France, in two locations.
    a) Livebox 6
    Internal HDD (FLAC music; mp3 voice), LAN Desktop
    3 x Touch - 1 wireless, 2 LAN. (8.0.1-r16862)
    2 x SB Radios [wireless] (8.0.1-r16881)
    2 x SqueezeAmps

    b) Freebox
    External SSD, WiFi Laptop
    1 x Touch LAN (Firmware:8.0.1-r16862)
    2 x SB Radios, Wireless (8.0.1-r16881)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodface View Post
    .
    I guess as with most things, you probably get what you pay for.
    That's true often, but not all the time. Take groceries, when you can get the generic brand instead of name brand, and generic are made by a name brand company, just a different business model (markup structure, volume, etc). A known brand on the pacage is nice, but you do pay a little for just the name.

    The wafers used are probably from the same foundry as the name brand, just assembled, packaged, etc with a different business model. Here's hopping they work fine for you.

    I just use the little SanDisk like @AB's picture because its small, and trustworthy (as far as my brain is concerned). My use case is different than yours. If I had a little LED flashing in my truck it would drive me nuts!

    Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member Heuer's Avatar
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    +1 on the little Sandisk, easy to lose though!
    Lounge: Transporter>Audio Synthesis DAX Decade>Audio Research LS22>Krell FPB300>Wilson Benesch Act 1's + 2 x Velodyne SPL1000 sub's
    Kitchen: Touch>Topping DAC>Arcam Solo>Anthony Gallo Micro's+Sub, Joggler controller
    Office: DAC32>Acoustic Energy AE1 Active's, Joggler controller
    Garage: Boom>QAcoustics 7000s subwoofer
    Bedroom: Radio
    Shed: Radio
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    Garden 1: SB3>JVC amp>Rock outdoor speakers
    Garden 2: SB3>JVC amp>Rock outdoor speakers

  8. #8
    Senior Member agbagb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heuer View Post
    +1 on the little Sandisk, easy to lose though!
    Maybe I'm imagining this - but the tiny SanDisks seem a much tighter fit than many an USB key..... or maybe they just seem more secure becasue there is so little protruding?
    8.2.1 - 1639114554
    Win11
    Control: Web GUI; MaterialSkin on Android phones / pads

    Machines / devices are in France, in two locations.
    a) Livebox 6
    Internal HDD (FLAC music; mp3 voice), LAN Desktop
    3 x Touch - 1 wireless, 2 LAN. (8.0.1-r16862)
    2 x SB Radios [wireless] (8.0.1-r16881)
    2 x SqueezeAmps

    b) Freebox
    External SSD, WiFi Laptop
    1 x Touch LAN (Firmware:8.0.1-r16862)
    2 x SB Radios, Wireless (8.0.1-r16881)

  9. #9
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    I use couple of those tiny SanDisk usb. Although reliable so far 5ish years they do get quite hot.. And are actually quite slow.. Unless they have new version I'm pretty sure those are on USB2. 0 speed

    I found much faster USB3 running cooler and still tiny stick Samsung fit plus.. Only had it few months so not sure on reliability.
    Don't think it has led though as per OP requirements

    https://www.samsung.com/uk/memory-st...muf-256ab-apc/
    Last edited by Jaca; 2022-05-27 at 04:06.
    3x Squeezebox Touch, 4x Squeezebox Radio, Squeezelite (RPi 3B with HiFiBerry DAC+Pro on OSMC), Material Skin Apk, Squeeze Commander, Logitech Media Server Version: 8.2.0 with Material Skin (Docker in DS218+)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by agbagb View Post
    Maybe I'm imagining this - but the tiny SanDisks seem a much tighter fit than many an USB key..... or maybe they just seem more secure becasue there is so little protruding?
    Yeah both mine feel tight and little bit difficult to remove
    3x Squeezebox Touch, 4x Squeezebox Radio, Squeezelite (RPi 3B with HiFiBerry DAC+Pro on OSMC), Material Skin Apk, Squeeze Commander, Logitech Media Server Version: 8.2.0 with Material Skin (Docker in DS218+)

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