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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a consumer experiencing technical issues with your SD product please contact the manufacturer directly for support. As the SD Association is a standards organization and does not make or sell any SD products we are unable to provide product support.

SDXC Standard - (from 32GB to 2TB)

Please note that SD-Audio is only available in the Japanese market today.

What is the SD Speed Class?
The SD Association has established standards that rate the minimum data transfer in SD, SDHC, SDXC, SDHC UHS-I and SDXC UHS-I memory cards and devices. The speed rates were established based on the needs of movie and video companies because video recording requires certain writing speeds when recording the data onto a memory card. The SD Speed Class and UHS Speed Class standardized the specification for both memory cards and devices in order to guarantee minimum writing speeds and deliver the best performance.

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What are the applications for Speed Class?
Class 2 : H.264 video recording, MPEG-4, MPEG-2 video recording
Class 4: MEPG-2 (HDTV) video recording, digital still camera (DSC) consecutive photo shooting
Class 6: Mega-pixel DSC consecutive photo shooting, professional video camera
Class 10: Full HD video recording, HD still picture consecutive shooting

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What is UHS?
UHS (Ultra High Speed), the fastest performance category available today, defines bus-interface speeds up to 312 Megabytes per second for greater device performance. It is available on SDXC memory cards and devices and SDHC memory cards and devices.
What is the CPRM?
CPRM - Content Protection for Recordable Media - provides the method of copyright protection for SD-Audio and SD Binding standards. This content protection and certification/authentication standard was jointly developed by 4C Entity LLC.

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Is CPRM applied to all data types stored on the SD memory card?
No, copy-protection is not mandatory for all data types and can be asserted selectively at the discretion of the content owner. CPRM technology, a copy protection mechanism, is embedded in all SD standards-based memory cards and can be used to protect copyrighted content such as most commercially distributed music and movie files. To use CPRM in SD memory cards, CPRM-compliant products such as SD-Audio players, SD-Video mobile phones or enabled devices such as a computer with CPRM-enabled SD slot or CPRM-enabled USB read/write are also required.

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Can you save data in different formats such as audio, video, still pictures and documents on a single SD memory card?
Yes, you can save data in any format as long as the card has sufficient memory capacity. However, to play or transfer the data you will need a device that is compatible with the appropriate data format such as SD-Audio, SD-Video and SD Document.

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What do you need to transfer data from a memory card to a computer?
Most computers are built with multiple ports for different data connection standards, including SD standards. If your computer is equipped with an SD slot, you can transfer data by simply inserting the SD memory card. If your computer does not have an SD slot, or is built to an earlier SD standard than your memory card, you can use a USB reader/writer or computer card adapter to transfer data from your memory card to your computer. Computer editing software for each type of data such as sound, music and still images also is needed.

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In terms of capacity, what SD standards will be available in the future?
Currently, three different SD memory card standards define a range of capacities from 8MB up to 2 Terabytes. Each memory card manufacturer, and not the SD Association, determines when it will introduce larger capacity cards into the marketplace.

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What is the service life of an SD memory card?
This depends on how your product in manufactured. SD standards-based memory cards, like most semiconductor cards, store information in flash memory. The current technology along with normal usage typically gives the card a lifespan of 10 years or more, allowing consumers to upgrade their devices for many years and reduce consumer electronic waste.

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What is the difference between the SD memory card and the miniSD memory cards/microSD memory cards?
Only the form factor, size, and number of pins and “with or without” of the write protect switch of the miniSD memory cards/microSD memory cards are different from the standard SD memory card. The logic and electronics of both the miniSD memory card/microSD memory card and the SD memory card are identical. 

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Will the miniSD memory card/microSD memory card replace the current SD memory card?
No. The miniSD standards/microSD standards were designed to meet mobile phone manufacturers' requirements for the smallest possible memory card size.

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My SD memory card does not seem work in my device, what should I do?
The SD Association is an organization developing SD standards. The SD Association does not manufacture any SD memory cards, but its members do so you should contact the memory card manufacturer. However, there are basic steps you may take:
  • Make sure you insert your SD memory card per instruction from your device's user manual
  • Note any error messages shown on your devices, and then check the user manual
  • Contact the SD memory card manufacturer for any assistance
  • Contact your retailer where you obtained the SD memory card, if an RMA process is required
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Is there a way to retrieve deleted pictures?
Please refer to your memory card manufacturer's instructions on how to retrieve deleted pictures. The SD Association does not supply the tools for photo retrieval.

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Where can I get the best SD memory card for my device, and what brand do you recommend?
SD standards-based memory cards are widely available at leading consumer outlets worldwide. You should follow your device's user manual for best capacity and speed class suitable for the device. The SD Association creates standards for SD memory cards but does not recommend SD memory card manufacturers.

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What is the right size SD memory card for me?
Please follow device's user's manual for best size (capacity) and speed class card suitable for the device.

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Are SD memory cards waterproof?
The specific characteristics of an SD standards-based memory card are dependent on the SD memory card manufacturers. Some card makers use unique manufacturing technology to make the cards waterproof as an added feature while others do not. Please check with the specific SD memory card manufacturer for card features.

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What is the warranty of my SD memory card?
Please check with the specific SD memory card manufacturer for product warranty.

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SDXC Standard

What is the SDXC standard?
The SDXC standard is the newest SD standard. It supports memory capacities above 32GB up to 2TB. Devices (cameras, video cameras, computers, etc.) that are compliant to the SD Physical Layer and File System 3.00 version specs can support SDXC memory cards as well as SDHC memory cards and SD memory cards.

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Is the SDXC standard compatible with existing SD devices?
Existing SD devices and SDHC devices are not be compatible with new SDXC memory cards, but existing SD memory cards and SDHC memory cards will still continue to be offered by card manufacturers for the foreseeable future. Existing SD memory cards and SDHC memory cards will work in SDXC devices.

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How does the SDXC standard change or improve devices?
The SDXC standard changes and improves how much the device can do. The faster bus speeds will enable improvements like professional-level recording in compact consumer camcorders and exponentially increase the number of frames shot in a second with SDXC cameras. With an SDXC slot, downloaded content can turn car navigation systems into a media center. More music and photos can be stored on a card, allowing for greater freedom and longer playing times. Consumers have the ability to upgrade their devices for years and reduce their electronic waste.

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How will the SDXC standard change or improve the user experience?
The SDXC standard is enabling the development of higher performance devices like 3D video cameras that store more multimedia content for better user experience. Faster transfer speeds and up to 2TB storage will enable fast high-def video recording and downloading in any SDXC device. It also provides the capability for improved consecutive photo shooting – 60 frames per second – in SDXC standard-equipped professional cameras. Mobile handset users will be able to download more music, high-def videos and graphic-heavy games more quickly via side-loading with SDXC memory cards.

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What is the meaning of copyright protection - SDMI compatible - that often appears in explanations of SD-Audio?
SDMI is a conference established by hardware manufacturers, the Recording Industry Association of America and major music companies in the United States (UMG, BMG, EMI, WMG and SME) to provide copyright protection for artists' works. SDMI compliant means various music content can be enjoyed without problems such as illegal copying.

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What is the meaning of Check-in and Check-out that often appears in explanations of SD-Audio?
Check-out means to write music data that has been recorded to a personal computer from CDs and EMD (and compressed by AAC and MP3 systems) to an SD memory card. Conversely, returning music data from an SD memory card to a personal computer is called Check-in. The number of times for checking-out music content recorded to a personal computer is limited to three. However, if the music content checked-out once is checked-in to a personal computer, it can then be checked-out again.

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Are SD-Audio players manufactured by different companies mutually compatible?
If the SD-Audio players adopt the same compressed audio format standard, the players are compatible and can replay music.

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Can SD-Audio record from MD?
No, not directly.

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Can ATRAC3 format files be used with SD-Audio?
No, they cannot be used because the compression systems are different.

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Check-out with an SD-Audio player is said to be up to three times but what does this mean?
Under the SDMI standard, except for music content added under conditions related to special usage methods, when copying music content, four copies can be made at one time. Therefore, with an SD-Audio player, the specification is such that one copy is saved in the personal computer and the remaining three copies can be checked-out to the SD memory card. Also, three copies or more can be rewritten by Checking-in from a SD memory card to a personal computer.

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