Is Flash Memory the New DVD?

Remember VHS? Laserdisks? If youre lucky enough to remember the chore that was rewinding tape, then you probably have a healthy respect for how quickly media storage can change. From VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray, media storage has gotten smaller, cheaper, and easier to use. So whats next?

In regard to video and film, flash memory may be the answer. Historically, flash memory has taken a back seat to optical media such as DVDs and Blu-Ray. Just recently however, the tide has begun to change. Studios and distributors have realized that flash memory, with its quick read/write times, durability, and small size allows consumers to enjoy their movies without all of the hassles that VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray usually bring. Seriously, how many times have you rented a DVD only to get it home and find out it has more scratches than a good D.J.? Also, how many times have you sat around waiting for a DVD to burn only to have a mysterious error force you to start all over again? These are the kinds of problems that flash memory can avoid.

Recently, flash maker Kingston unveiled a deal with Paramount Studios to start selling movies on flash cards and USB drives, making it easy for those without expensive Blu-Ray players to enjoy movies at home. Even the video rental business has started to see the benefits of flash memory. A company called Portomedia has begun to set up kiosks that will let consumers download movies to a flash memory key or portable hard drive. Ideally, you could go shopping for groceries, and with your flash drive in tow, choose from a catalogue of over 5,000 movies and have it downloaded at a kiosk in a few minutes time.

I personally love the idea of saving shelf space with SD cards and believe that with the price of flash memory dropping exponentially as technology improves, its probably only a matter of time before flash memory takes over as king of media storage.

Daniel Bruns
Daniel Bruns
Dan Bruns is an award winning cinematographer and editor.

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