^^^ Also I'm doing my damnest to force echochamber to upgrade to a bigger disk.
What I originally wanted to do was run the maths on floppies vs 16gb micro SD vs iTunes.
One floppy disk = 1.39Mb... assuming the typical 3.5", high density, MSDOS formatted type.
One "16Gb" µSD card = about 15,999Mb
One iTunes = ?!?!?!
We could also for the sake of this exercise presume a 3.5" disk (or 5.25, or
is like a really huge, slow, low capacity memory card, or a microSD is a very small, fast, dense floppy
Doesn't affect the numbers any but it's nice to give your imagination a workout.
15,999 / 1.39 = 11,510 floppies per microSD. Call it 11,000 at the very most because of memory cards tending towards fairly large sectors (upto 32kb), and floppies having 512-byte ones.
Each floppy is 90mm on a side and about 2.5mm thick...... giving us a single line 27.5m long. Or a column 45cm (1' 6") on a side, 1.1m high (3' 7.5"), which with a bit of rearrangement would fit into a fridge quite well. Munroe has done his maths here, at least. It would also take you approximately two weeks to read all the data off them onto the microSD, assuming no errors (on 11000 floppies? hahahahahahaha!) and the occasional toilet break but very little sleep.
The µSD in my phone is unbelievably small. I can imagine they would pack into a drinks can quite nicely, and in great number. Someone fetch me a ruler, a standard 330ml / 12oz coke can, and a scientific calculator.
OK, I couldn't find any of those, but I'm going to try some extrapolation. The example card in front of me fits almost exactly 6 x 7.5 x 4 (=45) times into the space of the example floppy I dug out of my desk drawer. Giving us, incidentally, a data density increase of nearly HALF A MILLION TIMES.
The can holds 330ml of liquid and a bit of air. Take a bit off for packing inefficiency, make it 300ml. The floppy has a volume of approx 20ml (9 x 9 x 0.25, rounded), so you get 15 of them to a coke can if roughly chopped. The memory card (equivalent to a piece of roughly chopped disc) will fit into the can 15 x 45 = 675 times.
675 x 15,999mb = 10,799,325mb = 10,546Gb = 10.3Tb ... call it ten teras, for the hell of it. Or about what the geocities rescue project generated. In one coke can. It's also significantly more dense than current hard disk technology, if also incredibly more expensive (675 x £10 is still £6750... or £675 per tera of course).
I'd hope iTunes is smaller than geocities was, but who knows.
Assuming a four minute song at 256kbit (the quality of download services has increased immensely since whoever it was complaining about it last used them, I think - Amazon also defaults to practically-transparent-settings VBR or 256kbit CBR, whichever is lower), that's approx 8mb per track.
10799325 / 8 = 1,349,915 tracks.
How many does iTunes claim to have? Well.. they don't, other than saying it's thousands in every category, which even my own collection satisfies. Amazon claims "Millions" however, which we must take to mean at least 2,000,001. Plus both services offer Audiobooks on top, and iTunes also has Movies and TV shows (which will use LOTS more data - a 720p mp4 video will consume over 1Gb/hour, meaning you'll only get about 6-700 typical films per tera, not even enough to cover a book of "films to see before you die" which only includes the 5* and interesting cult films instead of all the trash a download service will also have).
So it's maybe pushing it to say we can get all of iTunes in a coke can - but certainly, a well designed drinks can SSD, retailing for about ten grand, could satisfy joe average's media storage needs for quite a few years.
And a fridge full of those cans would make every download service on the planet quake in its boots.
Now, an exercise or two for the reader...
How long would it take to download that coke can from itunes, and how much would it cost?
And if floppies were cans, how long would it take you to drink the data equivalent of a fridge full of cans full of micro SDs?
PS more scariness, thanks to the "the thread has changed" warning: I've crammed at least 220 CDRs full of MP3s (each disk holding 10+ albums and plenty of miscellaneous orphans) onto my 1-tera drive. It's barely touched the sides. Maybe 150Gb in total (it used to be over 160, but the CDRs are degrading). It pales in comparison to a set my dad was given by a guy at work to take his pick from - 350 DVDRs. Bloody hell. Quite possibly more music than you could realistically listen to in a lifetime (the mind boggles at how much bandwidth he has available). But in 5 years time, that'll be but a fragment of a typical hard drive.
And my phone has about as much music in AAC on its minuscule, half-full card as my younger self had in a bulky 10-disk starter rack back in the day.