The difference between the various types of blank and writable media can be confusing. If you add in flash media storage devices, youâ€™ve got quite a conundrum! Some flash media cards can work with some equipment, but not with others. Some CDs can be written to only once, others over and over again! And then thereâ€™s the slew of writable, readable, and now high resolution DVDs. But fear not! This guide may give you the know-how necessary to make the right decision regarding your digital and blank media needs!
Blank Media Forms and Functions
There are some types of equipment that require no blank media at all. Instead these equipment designs use different kinds of built in (called â€œfixedâ€) memory for storing audio and video data. Video Recorders featuring hard disk recording have hard disk drives just like computers. Many cellular phones and some portable music players use permanently imbedded flash memory devices to store compressed audio files and phone numbers.
There are several different forms of blank media. Within these forms there are different types and formats:
Blank Discs Recordable and rewritable CDs (denominated as CD-Rs and CD-Ws) MiniDiscs, and Recordable DVDs.
Blank Tapes VHS (Video Tape Cassettes) S-VHS, Mini DV, and Audio Cassettes (Sometimes called Cassette tapes.
Flash Memory Media These come in the form of Flash Memory Cards or Sticks like CompactFlash, Secure Digital, Memory Sticks, Etc.
How Should I Determine Which Format To Choose?
On of the most important considerations when shopping for writable or blank media is what kind of disc or flash card your equipment uses. Because blank media formats vary significantly, you should take the following factors into account when choosing both blank media and the equipment that you use it with.
Price- Blank Media ranges from inexpensive to fairly costly. Keep your budget in mind, but know that you can lose durability and storage space when opting for a lower price.
Size- â€œThe smaller it is the more portable it is.â€ This is a fairly straightforward maxim to remember. This means youâ€™ll be able to bring more storage media with you, full of your movies, pictures, and music. However, you might be sacrificing storage capacity per disc, card, etc. Also, the smaller a piece of equipment, even blank media, the more it tends to cost.
Compatibility- You can attempt to save time and money by only purchasing devices which use the same media as other equipment you already own. For example, an MP3 player and digital camera that both use similar flash memory devices might keep you from having to switch back and forth. Some rewritable media can do double duty. But not all your applications will be compatible with the same media. Youâ€™ll have to mix and match somewhere: choose wisely.
Ease of Use- Disc-based medias like CDs and DVDs are fast and simplistic to use. The offer no hassle â€œeasy accessâ€ to stored data, but on the other hand, not all disc formats are rewritable, so make sure you look before you attempt to burn.
Durability- This category should always be cross referenced with price. Regardless of what type of storage device youâ€™re shopping for, thereâ€™s bound to be price differences in similar products. As always, cheaper products are, well, cheaper! Some types of media are very, very sturdy. Flash cards and minidisks, to name a couple. Others are finished if you simply scratch them, like CDs and DVDs. Audio cassettes do not typically have a long lifetime, even if treated perfectly. Itâ€™s important to weigh the environment that your media will likely endure: a quiet multimedia library is perfect for fragile discs, while the rampaging maelstrom of a teenagerâ€™s room might be a better place for flash memory.
Connectivity, Blank Media, And You
If you are like most modern consumers, you require whatever blank media you use to back up data and store photos, movies and music to be compatible with your PC! There are many roads you can take to achieving your goal.
Many digital cameras, camcorders, and digital music players can connect directly to your PC. You can transfer audio, video, or photo files. Newer computers may even have a special port that accepts certain types of flash media! Sometimes, however, your PC just doesnâ€™t have the hardware for a specific type of connection. Thatâ€™s why memory adapters are becoming widely available. These affordable solutions allow your PC access to data stored on Flash memory cards that are not compatible with its physical components. They function via USB, serial port, parallel port, or even PCI card slots!
When choosing the type, size, and relative quality of blank media, itâ€™s important to consider these and any other details specific to your particular needs and equipment. We hope this brief overview sends you in the right direction when shopping for your next batch of burnable CDs, DVDs, or even the newest flash media card storage devices!