Solid State

10 Aug, 2005 | Science And TechnologyTdp

I was trying to think about what life will be like 10 years from now, it’s a favourite game for technology commentators (which I’m not). Ten years is a short span though, so I didn’t see many changes, but then one struck me as odd. I got onto movies and was thinking that DVDs will probably be around, but maybe have yet another new standard as opposed to the impending blue laser format, maybe, I reasoned, hard disk drives would be cheap enough that you’d get a film supplied on that, maybe you’ll just be able to download it (not in ten years, I don’t think DVD rental shops will be out of business by then either, too short a time), then I thought that solid state media (memory cards) would be big enough by then, then it hit me.

Solid state cards are big enough to replace CDs already. A typical CD will hold somewhere between 650 and 800Mb of data, 1GB cards are already available. Okay, a CD is much cheaper, at the moment, but how long before you can buy an album on an SD card? Imagine it, you could plug it straight into your car stereo, your computer or your MP3 player (not seen card readers in home hi-fis yet), it can’t get scratched, takes up much less space, which means the players can be smaller (talk about in-dash multi-changers), much easier to store and transport, and also takes up less shelf space in stores. Give it five years and we’ll all be replacing our music collections with another format, again.