Monday, August 29, 2011

Do You Really Need 64GB of Storage?

When you are ready to take the plunge into the iPad world, there are some decisions to be made. There are the basics, such as how you will set up your communications settings and the color of the carrying case you order. The most important of those decisions, one that will make a big impact on how much value you get from your iPad, is the amount of storage.  Do you need 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB?  Only you can truly answer that, but to help, we’ve put together some stats on the content available on the iPad.

Storage is a variable that was not invented just for the iPad. It’s an important factor in most computing devices. But, each increment of additional storage brings with it another layer of cost, so it is a legitimate question to ask whether you really need 64GB of storage in your iPad or not. If you do not need it, it would be a shame to waste all that money.

For the basic operation of your iPad out of the box, the introductory level of 16GB is just fine. If you will use your device to play a few games and download a few other cool apps, that level of storage will do the trick. You can even easily store some music and videos on your iPad without worry at 16GB.

Of course, the app world is full of some really cool software and you might want to download a bunch of apps.  Most apps are small, but some, like the TomTom can be well over 1GB.  And, if you are a hardcore gamer, some of the apps you are likely to be interested in will be in the 500GB range.  This can eat up a lot of your storage quickly.

For movie fanatics, there are a lot of movies available for download and they can really eat up memory.  Expect to use 3.5GB for each HD movie or around 1.5GB for a SD movie.  If you want 10 movies or more movies on your iPad at any given time, you are going to need a lot more storage than the standard 16GB.

By now you should be starting to ascertain how much storage you are going to need on your device, but to throw a wrench into it, let’s look at your music collection.  If you already have a large library of digital music, check how much you have.  Do you need all of it on your iPad or will you swap music out depending on your mood?  If you have a large collection of CDs, calculate the digitization.   Each 4 minute song equals approximately 4MB of memory.  So 1000 songs is equal to 4GB. 

The final category to consider when determining storage size is eBooks.  The typical eBook is around 2MB, so you can easily store a lot of books.  However, any book with enhanced features like audio or video can eat up a lot of memory.  Recipe books and children’s books are prime examples, but any book can be enhanced.  The largest file size that Apple allow for enhanced books is 2GB.  Most well under that, though, but if you want a lot of enhanced books, expect to average around 100MB per enhanced book.

So, now that you have an idea of how much memory each media type takes, which version of the iPad are you most likely to buy?  Leave us some comments below!

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