Conserving hard drive space is a concern for any computer user. Hard drives are limited as to the amount of data they can store, and although hard drive capacity has gone up and prices have decreased, hard drive space is still a valuable commodity.
The average user accessing the internet, writing emails, and browsing social media might not need that much space, but anyone who loves to have a large library of music, pictures, movies and videos finds themselves running out of hard drive space quickly.
To address this issue, engineers and software developers are on a never-ending mission to decrease file storage size while maintaining the quality of the file.
There are several different file types designed to conserve hard drive space, but the type of data you use and the type of file you want to hold on to really determines the type of file you need to chose.
Here’s some options for some of the most common file types to help you maximize your hard drive space and squeeze more movies, songs and data onto your hard drive.
Documents and Presentations
Most software packages have default file saving formats. Microsoft Word, for example, saves files in either the DOC or DOCX format. Generally speaking, these files are automatically saved in the most space conservative manner.
That being said, a document filled with graphics and photos, such as a PowerPoint presentation or a Word Newsletter, will increase in size with each added media element. Once they become too large, these documents can’t be emailed and might not even open and ru
The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is designed specifically to compress these files. Making them easy to save, share and run. Nearly everything can be saved in the PDF format, including documents, emails and presentations. If you’re looking to maximize your hard drive space, compressing flies in .PDF format is usually your best bet.
Another hard drive space hog is video files. It requires a tremendous amount of data to translate and play the picture and sound in any video, so these files naturally take up a lot of space.
This is why video service providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon store videos on cloud servers and only allow users to stream the picture.
Creating videos is a whole different story- if you don’t have a computer with a very large hard drive (preferably with a internal or external hard drive solely dedicated to store your videos), you’re going to run out of space.
There are several space-saving file formats for home or business videos that compress the video file to make it easier to share and view across the internet. Some of the most common include MPEG-1, RealVideo, WMV and QuickTime.
Be careful on which file format you choose- picture and sound quality will depend on the file format chosen. If space is a concern, any of these formats should give you a watchable video file and save you some hard drive space.
Another format that takes a large amount of disc space are formats used for music files. Again, to save space and avoid copyright infringement, many music providers such as iTunes, Pandora and RealRhapsody save music files on an external server for users to stream.
If you have music on your mobile phone or iPod though, you probably understand that you have to sacrifice some quality to get more music on your device.
Saving music files requires a format that will not only save hard drive space, but also translate into a compatible format for the playing device.
The most common music file formats are MP3 and the iTunes audio extensions (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p)- these are also some of the best space savers.
WAV is another space-saving format, but is generally exclusive to PC usage. Music files can also be saved into the MPEG video file format even if there isn’t video associated with the file.
Pictures and Photographs
Photo files- especially high quality photo files– are inherently large. This is because the images are made up of dots. The more dots per inch – or DPI – in the photo, the clearer the image is, which increases the file size.
A high-resolution photo might be saved as an uncompressed TIFF. This file type usually takes up quite a bit of space, but provides some of the better quality compared to other digital photo file types.
Saving the photos as a JPEG or JPG will usually maintain the initial quality of the photo while reducing file size significantly. If you’re using the photo for a blog or website, the GIF file format may be the way to go.
Storing and Backing Up Files
No matter the file format you need a solution for backing up your data.
For large volumes a tape rotation service will keep your data for disaster recovery.
Another option is to use a cloud storage service to keep your data on the cloud. Always avoid keeping all your copies in the same location.
Eliminate your Hard Drive Space Issues- Use A Cloud Storage Solution
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