Digital Storage Update 2007

It has been well over a year since my last digital storage update, and though there has not been any earthshaking new technology announced within that time, there has nevertheless been some advancement in several areas that I would like to address.

The Future of the Hard Drive

On (roughly) the 50th anniversary of the invention of the hard drive, Tom's Hardware interviews Seagate's Senior Field Applications Engineer Henrique Atzkern (Quo Vadis, Hard Drive? The 50th Anniversary of the HDD). In it, we catch a glimpse of some of the ideas being explored for increasing hard drive density, speed, and reliability, among other things. Parsing through the acronym alphabet soup and surface technicality, one thing remains clear: hard drive manufacturers are not running out of ideas for increasing storage capacity, so we can expect to continue seeing dramatic leaps in storage capacities.

Audio Encoding Project Resumes (or, a funny thing happened on the way to 300 GB)

It's been a while (almost 8 months, to be exact) since I have updated this forum on the status of my audio encoding project. I could cite the usual life delays and an unusually busy Summer as excuses, but there is more to it.

So, a funny thing happened on my way to 300 GB...

New Mass Storage Technology and Research

In the CHAT digital video preservation plan I presented an overview of digital archives technologies that includes metadata, digital storage, file formats, and repository systems and software. Of these, digital storage technology is the most rapidly developing and changing area, with constant change in price per giga-(tera-, peta-)byte and media formats. In the plan I hint at the fact that optical storage media (DVDs, CDs, etc) fall far short of the storage capacities of currently available hard disk drives and arrays. The gap is quickly closing, however, as improved storage media are announced with increasing frequency. In preparation for a revision of the technology review as a standalone digital video technology primer, I'd like to document some of these recent developments.