Miniature Mobile Storage Media Devices Essay


A storage device is computer hardware that is able to store or record a certain amount of data - Miniature Mobile Storage Media Devices Essay introduction. Miniature mobile storage media device refers to this type of storage device which are miniaturized for mobility. According to the PC Magazine encyclopedia, Miniature mobile storage media device refers to flash memory cards, USB drives and tiny hard disks (2007). Although in a broader sense, miniature mobile storage media also includes mobile devices capable of simple functions such as mp3 players and mp4 players. Since year 2000, there has been rapid increase in capacity relative to size allowing capacities from hundreds of megabytes to several gigabytes. This has led to the rise of popularity of these miniature mobile storage devices.

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The purpose of this document is to discuss and describe how miniature mobile storage media devices are used in conjunction with a computer. This document also includes how it works, what the functions are, and why they are so popular.

Usage in Conjunction with Computers

CompactFlash (CF), Smart Media, Secure Digital (SD), xD Picture Card, Memory Stick, and Microdrive

Figure 1. Smart Media (Wikipedia, 2007)

These miniature mobile storage devices are consist of just the memory itself. There is a need to be plug into other devices like digital cameras, video camcorders, PDAs, cellular phones, or card readers in order for them to be useful. The data are stored in these memory devices which can be downloaded to a personal computer (PC) through a certain interface. In most cases, it uses USB interface to connect to computers but there are other devices that uses Firewire. In modern operating system (OS), like Windows XP, and most recent Linux operating systems, these devices are automatically detected and accessible upon connection to the PC. The stored data, like pictures from digital cameras or video streams from camcorders, stored in these mobile storage devices can be downloaded to PCs for storage, viewing or printing. In older windows OS like Windows 98 or Windows 95, a driver must be installed in order for these devices containing the said storage device to be accessible. These compact flash, smart media, secure digital, and memory stick are becoming popular not just because their capacities have increased rapidly over the years but the demand has increased due to the increase of usage of devices that utilize them. For example cellular phones have grown rapidly over the years, and digital cameras have basically overtaken the market of cameras over the analog type of cameras. Another thing that makes them popular is the convenience of carrying them due to their very small sizes. Excluding microdrives, these flash memory devices are also resistant to shock and vibration due to the lack of moving mechanical parts which makes them more attractive to consumers.

USB Flash Drives, Pen drives or Thumb Drives

Figure 2. USB Flash Drive (Wikipedia, 2007)

These groups normally have USB interface that allows them to be connected directly to a PCs USB port. They do not require external power. The main purpose of these devices is to store data storage and transport them from one place to another. They can also be used to backup important files. In a world were every corner has an internet café, people no longer carry laptops with them when they travel. They simply go to internet café and use pen drives to store and read files. These may include files they need to send over the internet, files they need to store from the internet or files they are currently working on.  Pen drives are referred to us plug and play devices. Meaning in modern OS, like Windows XP or recent Linux releases, pen drives are automatically detected and appear to users as ordinary drives. Pen Drives have basically replaced floppy disk to store small to medium size files for data transfer. Pen drives are also used for system recovery for computers. Small operating system can be installed to these devices and most modern PC can boot through these USB pen drives. Pen drives are becoming very popular aside from the rapid increase of capacities but because of convenience of use. They are very convenient because of their very small sizes, durability due to the lack of mechanical parts and the ability to be powered directly by the USB port. All of these conveniences make them a must for almost every person who uses a computer. Another reason why pen drives have become popular is the speed of data access. USB 2.0 pen drives can now be accessed at blazing speed of “480Mbits/second” (Chiu, 2006).

Mobile MP3 and MP4 Players

Figure 3. Apple 60 GB iPod Photo (, 2007)

Mobile mp3 players and mobile mp4 players are devices with certain storage capacities that are able to perform some other functions. An example would be the iPod Photo shown in figure 3, with a capacity of 60 GB. The functions of these devices ranges from simple mp3 players, photo albums, video streaming to AM/FM radios. These devices normally incorporate USB interface or Firewire to connect to computers. Once connected, they act as simple drives like pen drives which allow you to transfer file to/from the device. Other mp3 or mp4 players include software to manage files. Within the device, others may incorporate additional functions to organize songs, photo or video streams. For example, the iPod Photo shown in figure 3 “can hold up to 15000 songs, 25000 photos and has 15 hours battery life” (, 2007). Mobile mp3 and mp4 players are becoming very popular, again, because they very convenient in terms of size and capacity. Previously, handy mp3 players comes in a small CD player time but now mp3 players can range from the size of a palm to the size of a thumb. This makes mobile mp3 players more convenient compared to traditional mp3 or handy dvd players.


Unknown. (2007). Miniature Storage Media. PCMAG.COM Encyclopedia Website. Retrieved April 01, 2007 from,2542,t=miniature+storage+media&i=55620,00.asp

Unknown. (2007). Smart Media. Wikipedia Website. Retrieved April 01, 2007 from

Chiu, I. (2006). USB 2.0, Hi Speed USB FAQ. Everything USB Website. Retrieved April 01, 2007 from

Unknown. (2007). USB Flash Drive. Wikipedia Website. Retrieved April 01, 2007 from

Unknown. (2007). Apple 60 GB iPod Photo (4th Generation). Website. Retrieved April 01, 2007 from


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