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SDXC cards will be available in capacities up to 2TB

The Secure Digital (SD) format has come a long way since its original inception. Originally conceived as an offshoot of the Multimedia Card (MMC) format, SD cards have matured over the years into the Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) versions that are prevalent today for capacities greater than 2GB.

Current SDHC cards are artificially limited to just 32GB, which means that a new standard is being ushered in to boost capacities into the stratosphere. As a result, the new Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) format was introduced today at CES. SDXC cards have a theoretical maximum capacity of 2TB and theoretical maximum read/write speeds of 300MB/sec.

The first SDXC cards will hit the market during the first quarter of 2009; however, these first generation cards will have a maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/sec.

"SDXC combines a higher capacity roadmap with faster transfer speeds as a means to exploit NAND flash memory technology as a compelling choice for portable memory storage and interoperability," said Gartner's Joseph Unsworth, research director, NAND Flash Semiconductors. "With industry support, SDXC presents manufacturers with the opportunity to kindle consumer demand for more advanced handset features and functionality in consumer electronics behind the ubiquitous SD interface."

"SDXC is a large-capacity card that can store more than 4,000 RAW images, which is the uncompressed mode professionals use, and 17,000 of the fine-mode most consumers use. That capacity, combined with the exFAT file system, increases movie recording time and reduces starting time to improve photo-capturing opportunities," said Canon General Manager Shigeto Kanda. "Improvements in interface speed allow further increases in continuous shooting speed and higher resolution movie recordings. As a memory card well suited to small-sized user-friendly digital cameras, the SDXC specification will help consumers realize the full potential of our cameras."

We should expect to first seeing SDXC cards from the usual suspects such as SanDisk, Lexar, and Kingston. SDXC will more than likely carry a hefty premium over current SDHC cards, but expect to see that price differential close with time.

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RE: And of course
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 3:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
Meanwhile, 320kbps CBR is overkill if transparency is sufficient for you.
On the other hand - and the OP's point - is that disc space is so cheap, why not use 320kb/s? If you save a GB, you've only saved $0.25 worth of storage - so who cares about that?

Heck, HDD space is so cheap now that you could reasonably save your entire music collection in lossless, plus also in a couple of MP3 bitrates.

RE: And of course
By UNHchabo on 1/7/2009 3:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I do, myself. Rip to FLAC, use FlacSquisher to convert to Oggs, keep both. I listen to the FLACs at home, and the Oggs elsewhere.

My point was that if he isn't concerned with the space his music is taking up, then he may as well rip everything to FLACs. If he is concerned with the space his music is taking up, then he should rip to a smaller bitrate. For example, the 95% of his collection that he considers "disposable" would take up much less space if it were in MP3 or Ogg format at 192kbps VBR, rather than 320kbps CBR.

RE: And of course
By TomZ on 1/7/2009 4:10:18 PM , Rating: 3
I convert to MP3 mainly for its broad device compatibility, not the space savings. Few devices support WAV, FLAC (or Ogg for that matter), but all devices support MP3.

RE: And of course
By icanhascpu on 1/7/2009 5:27:06 PM , Rating: 1
320 is an overkill. If youre going that high, then just go lossless. It would be in the 500-600 range and much better for archiving. Convert them all later to 128/160 for portable listening. 192 is even an overkill unless you have a massive good system. AAC is much better at the same bitrate as mp3 so even 128 would be usually crisp.

RE: And of course
By Jimbo1234 on 1/8/2009 1:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I do have high end equipment (Theil speakers powered with an Integra DTR6.8), so I can hear the difference. 320 does sound better than 192. I like at least reasonable sound quality for even the disposable stuff. The other 5% is lossless or played off the disc.

Some new CDs however are poorly mastered and even off the disc they sound like crap. One example is Nelly Furtado which made me think something was wrong with my equipment. Well, it sounded just as horrible on $50K of stuff at the audio shop. Now Louis Armstrong, Jerry Refferty, or Dire Straits, those sound incredible.

RE: And of course
By Jimbo1234 on 1/8/2009 1:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
So spell checker.... grrrr. Jerry Rafferty.

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