How to store digital media

14 Nov


Written by

Marvellous Aham-adi




How to store digital media
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The amount of digital media created daily is staggering, and it continues to grow exponentially as technology advances and more people gain access to digital devices. While it is challenging to provide an exact figure, several statistics offer insights into the sheer volume of digital content generated daily.

  • A significant portion of digital media consists of videos. YouTube users alone upload approximately 500 hours of video content every minute. This translates to approximately 720,000 hours of new videos every day.
  • The proliferation of social media platforms has also fueled the creation and sharing of digital media. On Facebook alone, users have uploaded over 10 billion photos to their site. 

While these figures provide a glimpse into the scale of digital media creation, they are just a fraction of the overall digital content churned out within a day. And with billions of connected individuals contributing to the digital landscape, the amount of content generated is continuously expanding. Whether it's capturing breathtaking landscapes, recording family milestones, or archiving important work-related files, digital media has become an integral part of our lives.

However, with this abundance of digital content comes the challenge of effectively organizing and storing it. Without a proper approach to digital asset management, our digital treasures can easily become scattered, disorganized, or even lost forever.

So in this guide, we will look at how to effectively store digital media. We will see practical tips and insights that will help you create a robust and accessible digital media library.

Let's get started.

Assess your digital media storage needs

Here are some steps to help you assess your storage requirements effectively:

1. Take inventory of your digital assets: Begin by identifying all the types of digital media you possess. This will include photos, videos, documents, audio files, and any other relevant files. This will help you determine the total size of your current collection. You should also take note of what format the assets are in. 

2. Estimate future growth: Consider how your digital media collection may grow over time. Are you planning to capture more photos and videos? Try to gauge how much storage space you might need in the near future.

3. Analyze file sizes: Review the average sizes of your digital files. Assess if any exceptionally large files require additional space. For example, raw image files or high-definition videos can occupy significantly more storage compared to compressed files.

4. Assess collaboration and sharing needs: Consider whether you need to share your digital assets with others or collaborate on projects that involve large files. Some storage solutions make it very easy to collaborate and share files with others regardless of location. 

5. Evaluate backup and redundancy: Determine if you need an additional copy of your files for disaster recovery or protection against data loss. Also, factor in the space required for regular backups.

Choose the right storage solution

There are several storage solutions that you can use in storing and managing digital assets. Let's take a look at the main three:

A. External Hard Drives

Source: Pixabay

Using external hard drives for storing digital media offers several benefits. 

External hard drives typically offer ample storage capacity, ranging from gigabytes to multiple terabytes. With this, you can store a vast amount of digital media files in one convenient location. 

They are also portable. You can disconnect them from your computer and take them wherever you go, making it convenient to access your digital media on multiple devices or share files with others.

Lastly, you have direct, offline access to your files at any time, even without an internet connection. This is particularly useful in areas with limited or no internet access.

Here are some recommendations for purchasing and using external hard drives:

Storage capacity: Assess your storage needs and select an external hard drive with adequate storage space. Consider factors like the size and quantity of files you intend to store, as well as any future expansion requirements.

Choose the right connection: Ensure the external drive is compatible with your device(s) by checking the available connection ports. USB 3.0 or USB-C are common connections for most devices. If you have a Thunderbolt or eSATA port, those can offer even faster transfer speeds.

Balance speed and price: Decide if you need the faster transfer speeds of a solid-state drive (SSD) or if a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) with a larger storage capacity would suffice. SSDs are generally faster but costlier per gigabyte compared to HDDs.

Regularly update software and firmware: Keep your external hard drive's software and firmware up to date to benefit from bug fixes, performance improvements, and security patches.

Safely eject: Before disconnecting your external hard drive, remember to safely eject or unmount it from your computer to avoid potential data corruption.

B. Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a specialized type of storage device that is connected to a computer network, typically through a local area network (LAN) or a wireless network. It is designed to provide centralized storage and file-sharing capabilities for multiple devices connected to the network.

Types of storage solutions
Source: GeeksforGeeks

NAS devices are essentially dedicated file servers optimized for data storage and retrieval. They often come in the form of a standalone enclosure or a rack-mounted unit, equipped with one or more hard drives or solid-state drives (SSDs) that provide the storage capacity.

The advantages of NAS include 

Centralized storage: NAS allows you to consolidate your digital media files in one centralized location accessible by multiple devices on your network. It eliminates the need for each device to have its own storage, making it easier to organize and access your media files.

Increased storage capacity: NAS systems typically offer a higher storage capacity compared to individual devices like external hard drives or personal computers. This allows you to store a large collection of digital media without worrying about running out of space.

Easy file sharing: NAS allows for seamless file sharing across multiple devices and users. You can grant specific access permissions to different individuals; this makes it convenient for families, teams, or collaborators to share and access media files.

Data redundancy and backup: NAS systems support various data redundancy mechanisms, such as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) configurations. This protects your media files from drive failures and ensures that your data remains accessible and safe. Additionally, NAS often provides options for automated backups, helping you protect your valuable digital media.

Access from anywhere: Many NAS devices offer remote access capabilities, allowing you to access your media files from anywhere with an internet connection. This enables convenient streaming or downloading of files even when you're away from home or the office.

Expandability: NAS systems are typically designed with expandability in mind. You can start with a smaller capacity and easily add more storage as your needs grow. This scalability makes NAS a flexible option for accommodating future storage requirements.

These advantages make Network Attached Storage an excellent choice for storing and managing digital media in a convenient, secure, and flexible manner.

When choosing a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, there are several important factors to consider. Here are the key ones: 

Connectivity: Ensure that the NAS device has the necessary connectivity options for your network setup. Common interfaces include Ethernet ports, USB ports, and eSATA ports. Consider the speed of the Ethernet connection (e.g., Gigabit Ethernet for faster data transfers) and the number of available ports.

Processing power and RAM: Depending on your intended usage, consider the processing power and amount of RAM (random-access memory) in the NAS. These specifications greatly influence the device's ability to handle multiple users and perform tasks efficiently. Tasks like media transcoding or running additional apps.

File system support: Check if the NAS supports the file systems used by your devices. Common file systems include FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, and more. Compatibility ensures smooth file sharing and transfer between different operating systems.

Security features: Look for NAS devices that offer robust security features, such as user access controls, data encryption, firewall integration, and support for virtual private networks (VPNs). These features ensure data privacy and protect against unauthorized access.

Backup and sync options: Check if the NAS provides built-in backup and synchronization features. Look for support for popular backup protocols like Time Machine (for Mac) or services like rsync. Having automated backup and synchronization options simplifies data protection and management.

C. Cloud Storage

Cloud storage refers to the online storage and backup services that allow individuals or organizations to store and access their data over the Internet. 

Cloud storage
Source: Kinsta

Instead of storing data on local physical devices like hard drives or servers, cloud storage utilizes remote servers maintained by a cloud service provider.

Here are some key features and benefits of cloud storage:

1. Accessibility: Cloud storage allows users to access their data from anywhere with an internet connection. You can retrieve files using various devices such as computers, smartphones, or tablets, making it convenient for remote access.

2. Scalability: Cloud storage offers scalable storage options to meet your evolving needs. You can easily increase or decrease your storage capacity based on your requirements without having to invest in additional hardware or technical setup.

3. Data backup and recovery: Cloud storage providers typically implement redundant storage systems and backup protocols, ensuring data durability and protection against hardware failures or disasters. This provides peace of mind knowing that data is safely stored and can be easily recovered if needed.

4. Collaboration and file sharing: Cloud storage facilitates seamless collaboration and file sharing among individuals or teams. You can securely share documents, media files, or folders with others, allowing for real-time collaboration and easy file synchronization.

5. Synchronization: Cloud storage often includes automatic synchronization features across multiple devices. Any changes made to a file on one device are reflected on other connected devices, ensuring consistency and accessibility.

6. Security and privacy: Cloud storage providers implement security measures to protect your data. However, it's essential to review the security practices of the chosen provider and understand their privacy policies to ensure your data's confidentiality.

7. Cost-effectiveness: Cloud storage offers much better cost benefits than the other storage options since you only pay for the storage capacity you require. It eliminates the need for upfront hardware investments and maintenance costs associated with traditional storage solutions.

Popular cloud storage services include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, among others. 

For large organizations and global companies that create and manage a lot of digital assets, a cloud-based digital Digital Asset Management Solution like Wedia is the best way to store, organize, and distribute digital files. 

Check out this article to see how DAM differs from cloud storage devices like Dropbox. And which is best for your business. DAM Vs. Dropbox: Which is right for you? 

Overall, cloud storage provides a flexible, scalable, and convenient way to store, access, and share data securely over the Internet. 

Organizing and managing digital media files

Organizing and managing digital files efficiently can be a great way to save time, improve productivity, and easily locate and access your files. Here are some tips to help you effectively organize and manage your digital files:

1. Create a logical folder structure: Establish a well-organized folder structure that reflects your needs and is easy to navigate. Create main folders for different categories (e.g., Work, Personal, Projects) and subfolders within each category for specific topics or projects. Avoid having too many layers of nested folders, as it can become confusing.

2. Use descriptive and consistent file names: When naming your files, use descriptive and meaningful names that clearly indicate the content or purpose of the file. This makes it easier to search for and identify files later. Consistency in file naming conventions can also help maintain clarity and uniformity across your file system.

3. Implement a file tagging system: Consider using file tags or labels to categorize and organize files further. Tags provide additional metadata and make it easier to search for files based on specific keywords or criteria. Use a consistent set of tags that align with your organizational needs.

4. Utilize descriptive metadata: Take advantage of metadata options provided by your operating system or software applications. This includes adding descriptions, keywords, dates, or other relevant information to your files. Leveraging metadata can enhance searchability and provide context to your files.

5. Regularly weed and archive: Periodically review your files and remove any unnecessary or outdated ones. Move older files that you don't use frequently to an archive folder or a separate storage location to declutter your active folders. This helps maintain a streamlined and more manageable file system.

6. Backup regularly: Implement a reliable backup strategy to safeguard your digital files. Make sure you have a backup system in place that includes both local and off-site backups to protect against data loss in case of hardware failure, accidents, or other unforeseen circumstances.

By implementing these practices, you can keep your digital files organized, easily searchable, and efficiently managed. This will save you time and reduce frustration when locating and working with your files. 

Final Thoughts

Storing digital media effectively is not just a matter of convenience; it's a way to safeguard our memories and data for the long haul. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you can take control of your digital world. 

Remember, it's not just about preserving the past; it's about ensuring accessibility and ease of use in the future. So, take that first step today, and embark on a journey to a more secure and well-organized digital life. Your memories and valuable files deserve it! 

Want to find out how Wedia can help you store your digital files? Book your free demo today to talk to our team of experts.

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