Why The Appearance Of A One Terabyte microSD Card Means The War On Unauthorized Music Downloads Is (Almost) Over
from the war-on-video-downloads-over-after-that dept
Moore’s Law is well known. But many people think it’s about how chip processing power keeps increasing. It’s actually about the number and/or density of components on silicon. As such, it applies just as much to memory storage products as to processor chips. It’s why you can now buy a one terabyte microSD card for $449.99. Never mind the price: although it’s steep, it will inevitably tumble in the next few years, just as happened with lower-capacity microSD cards. What’s much more important is what you can store with one terabyte on a tiny, tiny card. Mashable has done the calculations:
About 1,000,000 e-books (at an average size of 1MB per e-book)
About 200,000 photos (12-megapixel iPhone XS Live Photos at an average size of 5MB) or 500,000 photos (12-megapixel iPhone XS photos at an average size of 2MB)
About 250,000 iTunes songs (at an average size of 4MB for an average 4-minute tune)
About 222 Full HD movies from iTunes (at an average of 4.5GB per movie)
Perhaps the most interesting one there is the music. Spotify says it has over 50 million tracks on its service. That means a 256 terabyte microSD could probably hold every track on Spotify, and thus most of the recorded music that is generally available in a digital form. Even with today’s one terabyte card, you can probably store the complete catalog of songs in a particular style or genre, which is what many people will be most interested in.
In any case, assuming Moore’s Law continues to hold, it will soon be possible to buy a 256 terabyte microSD card. Yes, it will be pricey to begin with, but progressively cheaper. At that point, moves to stop unauthorized sharing of music online will be even more pointless than they are now. People won’t need to download lots of stuff from dodgy sites any more; they’ll just find a friend who has a 256 terabyte microSD card loaded up with all recorded music, and make a copy. After that, they just need to update the parts that interest them — or find someone with a more recent complete collection.
The same will happen to videos, although that’s a little way off, since something like a 256 petabyte microSD card will be needed to hold every film that has been digitized. But it too will come, just as the milestone one terabyte capacity has finally arrived, however improbable that might have seemed a few years ago.