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From CD’s to SD Cards – a Short History of Portable Digital Storage

Compact Discs have been used right since the 1980s. They earlier used to be available primarily as a music listening format. CD burners, then, used to be large in size and expensive.

Towards the end of the 1990s, technology underwent a change and CD burners became more affordable.

The need for storage stayed on an upswing over time, and DVD-R and DVD-DR systems came into prominence. They had a higher storage per disc. After the introduction of dual-layer media and burners, their storage capacity stood at 8GB per disc.

Then, blu-ray discs became popular. They were a preferred alternative for the home entertainment market, and their storage capacity was higher still. From the DVD capacity of 8GB, the blu ray disc capacity of 128 GB was a significant increase. Widespread use of laptops further resolved the issue of portable computer storage.

 If we consider the latest option for portable storage that has been vastly popular through the present times, it is the Secure Disc (SD) cards. SD cards are frequently used in video cameras, still cameras and smartphones.

An advantage that comes into play with using SD cards is data security as enabled by smartSD protocol, password protection, and Near Field Communication (NFC) support which is made available in some versions.

SD cards do not have any moving parts and have a non-volatile flash memory within their bodies. They hence come by as reliable, quicker and also a quieter way of transporting data.

SD cards are versatile and available in varied physical sizes that have different memory capacities. We have postage-stamp-sized cards used in digital cameras and fingernail-sized microcards that are used in phones.

Blu ray discs are characteristically 5¼ media. Size-wise, SD cards are a remarkable improvement, and 256 GB capacity is the norm. Video transmission speeds are better. While hardware has improved, high-speed internet access has diminished the need for removable local storage to an extent.

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The Decline of DVD Discs

It seems like only yesterday when DVD’s were sold for burning purposes in not only office stores but in regular retail supermarkets. Everyone was burning DVD’s – when they first came out they were a revolution. Over 4GB of data on a single CD – this was a big jump from the 700MB per CD that people were used to.

Finally you could burn a high quality movie on a DVD.

But from there things changed – and soon devices were becoming smaller and smaller. It is safe to say that now – as much as we would like to not admit it – that blank DVD’s are officially dead. It is quite unfortunate – and whiel we will still continue to stock blank blu-ray discs – the DVD is headed for the scrap pile – just like vynil records and just like blank CD’s.

This is the rate of technology – and we would like to apologise to our suppliers – those that have been working with us in this field for years – but unfortuantely the lack of demand – and our requirement to provide our cusotmers with the most cutting edge data burning solutions means blank DVDs are officially out.

Right now – in the latest news – we have learned that they have released a mini SD card that holds 1TB of data – every month the amount of data that can be held on a single piece of physical form is getting smaller and smaller. We wonder if one day something as small as a grain of sand could hold all the data the world had ver created.

Maybe that’s a bit of an exagurration but just keep in mind that this mini SD card – which is small enough to fit on the tip of your finger – holds enough data – or the equivalent of 240 DVD’s. That is quite amazing and in fact is basically every single movie that was released in the cinema this year.

It trully is an exciting time as we move into the next century – don’t let the door hit you on the way out – and let’s see what the future comes up with next.

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