Do CDs and DVDs Have a Long Term Future as Digital Storage?

So where does this leave the transient CD and DVD?

Well, in just the same way that a printed book (with the pages in the right order – but let’s not get side tracked into entropy) is much better than a collection of scrolls or loose bound pages, because the unit you’re interested in is the whole bible or the whole novel or the entire history book… still with me? – in the same way – an individual CD or DVD is just a fragment of your entertainment and information environment. More like a song or a film scene.

If you can pack the whole entertainment library into a little nugget that’s phsically smaller than a CD – then that’s what you’re going to do. It’s tidier and there’s less risk of not having what you need when you need it.

In reality advances in communications technology and wireless networking will speed up the process of discarding digital scrolls such as CDs – because they supplement the beneficial effect of oneness, and help speed up the move from scrolls to book.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that the storage needs of a typical consumer (movies, music, camera archives, books etc) will be significantly bigger than the amount of data deployed per user by the organisation they work in. (Unless you work or the CIA – or its replacement.) So sometime in the next 5 years the home is going to overtake the office as the biggest repository of storage gizmos and networking.

The computer games market has already shown that the supercomputer processing capacity from one generation can cheerfully be taken for granted as the average kid’s plaything in the next. And so it will go for storage too. But on the way – businesses will still have to manage their customers, web sites will still have to deliver the right content. The road will be messy and criss crossed with false turns and blind alleys. That’ll be interesting… Stay tuned to STORAGEsearch. You ain’t seen nothing yet!