Hard Drives

Two common storage media for digital audio are the computer hard drive and the CD. Inexpensive drives with storage capacities of hundreds of gigabytes are common right now in home digital music studios, but by the time you read this capacities may have doubled, since storage capacity seems to increase faster than almost anything in the computer world (just think back to your old Apple IIs with floppy disks that held a giant 250 kb of data!).

Just for fun, let’s figure out how much sound can be stored on a tiny 4-gigabyte hard drive. Our drive has room for 4,000 (4K) megabytes of data, or 4 gigabytes. 4 gigs divided by 10.5 megs a minute gives us room for about 381 minutes of sound on the drive. That’s over 6 hours of sound! We’ll leave it up to you to figure out exactly how many bits that is... .