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What is Portable Digital Storage?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Portable digital storage is a storage solution which is designed to be portable for people who are on the go. It consists of a portable hard drive which is designed to connect quickly and easily with devices such as cameras, laptops, and so forth. Many electronics stores offer portable digital storage devices, including devices which have been designed with specific uses in mind, such as photography or the storage of sound files.

The amount of room on the device varies. Prices for devices with large amounts of memory are always dropping, while the upper ceiling on available memory is constantly on the rise. Many portable digital storage devices communicate with USB, but some are wireless or use other communication methods to talk with the devices they connect to. The features on the device can vary; some have a limited file browser, for example, allowing people to see what is on the device, while others do not.

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The simplest example of a portable digital storage device is an external hard drive or flash drive. In this case, the device may be powered by batteries, the devices it plugs into, or wall power, depending on the setting. When designed to be portable, these devices are lightweight and they may have protective cases so that they can survive drops and other accidents. The device usually has an indicator light to show when it is powered up, and the light flashes during data transfers so that people know not to disturb it.

Digital storage devices for photographers may also add an indicator light to show if the data is corrupted or good, and photography devices often take flash cards from camera memory to transfer images directly from the card. These devices can also include a browser, which on more advanced models allows people to look at the pictures stored on the device. Photo portable digital storage tends to be more costly, but it's still cheaper than buying memory cards with the equivalent memory capacity, and can be a good investment for a professional photographer or someone going on a trip.

It is possible to use a portable digital storage device for mixed media, including audio, video, still photography, and other types of files. Some are also designed to function as media players, combining an audio or video player, or both, with a hard drive which can store data. In this case, the user can select which percentage of the storage is used for media files to be played and which percentage is used to store data, and these percentages can be adjusted to meet varying needs over the life of the device.

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