With 1 Terabyte Hard drives priced so affordable almost anyone can have one now, and 2 terabyte SD cards using the new SDXC spec around the corner, one begs to ask this question “How do we organize and keep track of all of our digital property?”.
The answer isn’t so simple, while there will continue to be better searching and indexing programs for all of your digital media, it will become almost obsolete to use folders and drives to separate out and organize your data. Your data will become one big ball of “Mush” on your drives where you will be almost completely reliant on software to sort it, categorize it and search it out for you. Eventually you will store so much data in your lifetime, that you will long since lose track of everything you have stored.
In the previous generations a person maybe took several thousand photo’s over their lifetime and collected several hundred records, tapes…etc, where you were able to physically sort through everything in a reasonable amount of time and keep what you wanted and discard what you did not.
In the near future, tens of thousands of digital photo’s, music files, movie files will add up to so much information that it would take someone weeks or months to sort through each file/photo and keep/discard. This becomes especially difficult if someone were to keep all of this digital media on several external drives, cards and devices where one might forget the location or even what was stored three years ago or so.
As someone who constantly required all of my applications, photos, music, and information to be sorted into folders, properly titled and labeled. I find myself unable to keep up lately with photo’s, Google Picasa is particularly bad at allowing you to move files as the program doesn’t use physical location structure very well, simply using folders and date/time to keep all of your photo’s indexed. I try to remember every week to physically move stuff around on my disk drive to keep it all properly sorted, like putting pictures of family in the right folders, separating out pet pictures or event pictures and the like.
I wish programs would do this automatically however, that you can simply select and flag certain pictures, categorize them and be done with it, but Google Picasa doesn’t allow you to tag and categorize photo’s and group them by category yet.
So how do my fellow computer users manage their vast archives of digital media? Do you still resort to sorting everything into neat folders, or have you pretty much relied on Google Desktop or other software to find what you need? Do you keep your digital media scattered across many backup DVD’s, or USB Drives, or use a single SAN or large USB external hard drive?
I am always curious about what people are doing to keep track of all their digital media, I would love to hear from you.