All desktop computers and laptops have some sort of storage medium which lets people store all kinds of files from documents to multimedia. This type of digital media storage falls in the non-volatile category since the data remains even when these systems are switched off. As long as the storage remains internally connected with the rest of the system, you can retrieve the data any time you need to.
However, transferring data to another system has a number of ways each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Network transferring and Internet uploading is convenient but that depends on your Internet connection speed. Portable digital media storage is a more sensible solution since you can take the data with you. Knowing the different types of storage can help you decide which is best for transferring your data.
Optical Media Storage
Optical media storage includes the family of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and other disc formats for storage purposes. One of the earliest forms of optical media data storage is the CDs or compact discs. They are still widely used today for storing audio recordings in high quality. Their high 700 MB capacities were enough to replace the ancient floppy disks as soon as the hardware necessary to write data to blank CDs became cheap.
DVDs or digital video discs are more frequently used for storing data because they can store 4.7 GB of data which is far more than standard CDs. Many desktops and laptops nowadays come with DVD drives with support for burning to DVDs. There are even dual-layer variations which resemble standard DVDs physically but can store 8.5 GB of data. This format is widely used for storing higher quality movies for use with DVD players. But if you use certain video codecs, you may be able to store around 3 to 5 full length movies on a single disc. DVDs are very cost-effective when it comes to cost per gigabyte.
Blu-ray discs have an even greater storage capacity at 25 GB (or 50 GB for dual-layer) which is enough to store high definition video for use on the latest HDTVs. Although the format isn't dominating the DVD market, more people are appreciating the high-definition visuals and superior audio quality that Blu-ray discs can deliver. For data storage purposes, Blu-ray discs are more reliable portable digital media storage for backup than distribution since not all people have Blu-ray players that can read these discs.
The main problem with all types of optical media storage is the time it takes to burn the data on to the disc. With fast drives and fast media, the quick speeds are tolerable but you cannot erase the data that you have burned unless you use the much slower rewriteable formats. Even then, you must clear the entire disc if you want to reuse the space for something else.
This makes portable drives a lot more reliable since you can use them the same way you would as regular hard disks. The flash media drives can transfer data faster and lately, their storage capacities go from 2 GB to 64 GB with the 2 GB to 8 GB drives to be highly affordable. There are also slower portable hard drives that you can plug into USB port but can go from 250 GB to 1 TB which is ideal for both backup and travel. It is expected for these portable digital media storage drives to dominate the market as the cost per gigabyte decreases.
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