Digital media is a term that covers a wide range of products – both physical and data-based. Overall, the phrase is used to describe storage devices and files, and the information can be physically transferred or sent over a data network. For the physical transfer of digital media, the storage device needs to be passed from one person to another. For data transfer over a network, users can upload or download content to a remote location, or use dedicated file transfer services for the task. Whatever the type of media that is being used, the ability to store and transfer content digitally has revolutionised the entertainment and business sectors in the last 20 years.
From a physical point of view, DVDs and CDs have been two of the major technologies that have driven changes in the digital media industry, and they have provided a cheap method of transferring digital content. Blu-Ray discs represent the next generation of these discs, and the technology involves ‘burning’ or ‘pressing’ large amounts of digital data on to the disc, before it can be read by a laser within a DVD or CD player. Inevitably, home and office computing caught up with this trend, and it wasn’t too long before individual users were able to burn their own CDs and DVDs. For the storage of general data, the humble CD represented a major leap forward for the industry, and its 700 or 800 megabytes of data eclipsed its nearest rival – the floppy disc with 1.44 megabytes. Being able to write to DVDs allowed users to burn 4.7 gigabytes in one go, and this trend will continue with Blu-Ray discs being able to hold up to 25 gigabytes per side.
Digital media can also refer to the files themselves, and high-bandwidth broadband connections now allow users to obtain digital content without having to visit the local store or online retailer. Downloading a movie over a fibre-optic service can take just a few minutes, and users are also able to begin watching while the rest of the movie is downloading. Legitimate movie download services allow the user to store their purchases on an internal or external hard drive, and the latter allows them to take their content away with them. Unauthorised file sharing is prevented by attaching an individual license to each video file, and the technology also offers safeguards against accidental loss of the hard drive. While DVDs need to be re-purchased, digital media can simply be downloaded again with the correct username and password. As an additional marketing tool, customers that buy a DVD or Blu-Ray of a movie can be given a license to download the same content from the Internet.
With the technology progressing to bigger and bigger storage capacities and access speeds, it may be impossible to predict the next ten years in the industry – it could be just as tricky to think ahead for the next twelve months! However, it is very likely that broadband Internet speeds will increase in line with file sizes and video quality, as consumer demand will usually force the market to act.
For more informations about digital media please visit the page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_media