Modern times call for modern ways of digital photo storage.
So while we're moving away from the world of shoeboxes and under-bed storage containers full of photos, it's still as important as ever to store our treasured family photos and photographic arts in the best way possible.
As a short term solution, copying files to a CD or DVD and storing it at a friend's house, or even in a bank safety deposit box is a good idea as a hedge against disaster. But once you really get into taking pictures you'll find that no matter how much disk space you have, you always need more.
This article will explore four methods of storing digital photos: the iPod, the Sandisk Sansa Media Player, external hard drives, and online digital photo storage.
Storing photos on your iPod
You may not have thought of storing pictures on your iPod, but it is a great option. Not only are iPods tough and reliable, they're usually kept handy, so if you happen to meet someone you've been wanting to show your vacation pictures to, you can do it quickly and easily.
But the first step is to get the photos onto your computer, in their own folder. Next, open iTunes and then plug in your iPod to the USB port. When the iPod icon appears on the left, right-click on it and choose "Select iPod Options." From that menu, choose the "iPod" tab, then scroll down to the "Photos" tab.
From here, select "Synchronize Photos From" and select the folder with the pictures in it. Highlight the folder and and click "OK," and your photos will be transferred onto your iPod. While an iPod is a great place to keep your favorite photos, it should not be your only back-up because of its small size and easy-to-lose nature.
SanDisk Media Player
The SanDisk Sansa e260 or the newer model SanDisk Sansa Fuze is a digital photo storage device that can be had for between $50-$80 and which holds 4 GB worth of pictures. You can expand that memory capacity via the microSD slot. This media player supports gruvi content cards and SanDisk TrustedFlash, which are compatible for sharing with mobile phones.
This device can not only store photos, but it can also play videos, MP3s, and can do voice recording. Users call it a viable alternative to an iPod Nano, with very easy and intuitive transfer procedures for both pictures and video.
External hard drive
The external hard drive is the non-glamorous workhorse of the digital photo storage world. People have used these for years as all-purpose storage devices, and any professional photographer will likely have several of these as storage and backup.
As far as extras, there pretty much aren't any. However, external hard drives with 1 terabyte of storage can be found for around $100. That's 1,000 GB. And there are smaller capacity external hard drives that cost less and may serve your needs just fine. They don't come with a lot of information and instruction, but that's because you basically plug the external hard drive into your USB port and it's a "plug and play" scenario.
Online Photo Storage
Online photo storage is another option worth considering, but like the iPod, it shouldn't be your only backup. Many sites, like Photobucket, Flickr, and Shutterfly have generous allotments of free photo storage. Of course, they want you to use their services to purchase prints and other goodies, but in most cases it isn't required.
Typically, online digital photo storage allows you to add tags, captions and/or descriptions to each photo, and to organize your photos into albums. The great thing about online digital photo storage is that you can get to it even if you don't have your laptop or portable photo viewer handy if you can get on the Internet.
And you don't have to worry about your photos being "out there" in cyberspace. Online photo storage sites allow private albums, though this may not be the default at a particular site, so check to make sure.
Digital photo storage is something that has increased enormously in necessity over the past few years. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that offer a range of options for this task. Perhaps the most important factor affecting your choice should be whether you will actually use it or not.
A photo viewer or hard drive doesn't do you much good if it sits in your desk drawer. Do remember that backing up your digital photos is extremely important. In fact, having both a physical backup and an online backup is recommended for maximum protection of your precious photos.
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