Since the millenium, the vinyl, which most thought was a dead audio format, has seen a surprising revival. Tens of millions of copies have offered across both sides of the Atlantic, bucking the trend that saw physical, concrete items being replaced by digital formats.
Like we did for the venerable tape cassette a few weeks back, we let our minds wonder and had a think of what a 2020 vinyl upgrade may look like.
It ends up there was certainly an upgrade to the LP, the 12- inch version of the vinyl medium, but it was used for video, not audio. The Laserdisc was all the rage in South East Asia in the 1980’s and 1990’s, where the capability to access any track on a disc within seconds made it a favourite in thousands of Karaoke bars before the web era.
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The technology utilized in the Laserdisc was improved over twenty years to provide rise initially to the DVD and after that to the Blu-ray.
The Laserdisc’s main successor, the Archival Disc, was initially announced in2013 It is utilized mostly – as the name indicates – for information archiving functions (popular in cloud storage setups as cold storage).
A single disc can store 300 GB, with triple layer Blu-ray discs reaching 200 GB. The data is recorded on both sides for both media and the Archival Disc roadmap introduces 500 GB and 1TB designs in a near future.
They are saved in cases (known as publications) to reduce the threat of physical damage (scratches etc.), similar to floppy discs (or ZIP/Syquest).
Laserdisc upgraded to 2020
Even utilizing the technology of a 200 GB Blu-ray disc, a dual-sided 2020 version of the vinyl would be a powerful competitor to other archival media. A Blu-Ray disc has a size of 4.7 inches, while a Laserdisc is 12 inches in diameter. Without accounting for the non-usable locations (near the edge and in the middle), the “laservinyl” uses a far bigger realty, by about 6x.
So here you have it, if someone (Panasonic, Sony, Verbatim or Hitachi) decided to take a punt and develop a 2020 variation of the Laserdisc, complete with a portable turntable/record players/mange disque, the media would have a capability of about 1.2 TB- and up to a shocking 6TB if they utilized the current technology released on the Archival Disc.
That is still a far cry from the 100 TB SSD( the world’s biggest strong state drive) or the forthcoming 20 TB hard disk drive, but it is most likely that the expense of production would be far more affordable.
A wardrobe-sized cabinet with 200 or two discs would have the ability to keep 1.2 PB of information. Plus, optical discs are a contactless media, resistant to magnetic fields and have a lifetime of about 100 years when saved safely.
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