The need for mass storage devices has never been disputed, however their importance is even more apparent, what with the growing number of multimedia authors.
Those involved in multimedia rely increasingly on digital media--clip art, sound files, digital images, animation and QuickTime or Video for Windows movies to name a few. These files are often huge and unwieldy. They are also difficult to store and transport.
Multimedia authors involved in digital video and audio are interested in storage devices with fast access times and data throughput as well as large storage capacities.
Access times are a combination of seek times and latency. Often latency times are not added to the access time and only seek times are provided. For this reason, access time statistics are not always reliable.
When recording and playing back digital materials, data has to be passed to and from the computer and storage device at incredible rates. Hard drives can, at the most, provide data throughput at 1MB per second. Unfortunately, some digital systems require up to 4MBper-second throughput.
Lastly, large storage size is an obvious necessity. Even 300MB storage devices can quickly become filled because even when compressed, digital files take up a tremendous amount of space. As an example, Avid Technology's Media Suite Pro non-linear editing system can fill a 2.1 gigabyte hard drive with roughly 25 minutes of compressed audio and video.
As covered last year, magneto-optical (MO) rewritable storage systems are helpful because they can record data an almost unlimited number of times on the same disc before wearing it out. They are, however, slower than standard hard drives. MO discs used come in 3.5" …