I review an short article a pair of mainly ago about Microsoft elevating the Office 365 storage border to one terabyte. Office 365 is a systems where the end user payment a monthly fee for the multiple sclerosis Office suite in addition to hosted storage on OneDrive. Ns really wonder just how much warehouse is enough? have the right to I really generate and also save enough Word, PowerPoint, or Excel records to to fill one terabyte? I determined to dig into it additional to see simply what will certainly fill 1,000 gigabytes.

You are watching: How many movies can a 1tb hard drive hold

Office Documents

It is estimated that 85,899,345 pages of Word files would fill one terabyte. Now, if you deserve to truly create that much content, you have a serious archiving job on your hands. Ns am right now reading the publication “John Adams” by David McCullough; the is about 650 pages long which means I could archive about 132,152 publications of similar size. It has actually taken me practically two month to read this publication so it would certainly take 66,076 months or 5,506 year to review my whole library. I cannot read that fast, nor perform I have that lot life left in me.

Music Files

Assuming that an average song bring away up 5 megabytes, one terabyte can fit about 200,000 song or 17,000 hours of music. How countless songs do you have on her iTunes ideal now?


You might fit around 500 hrs worth of movies on one terabyte. Assuming each movie is around 120 minute long, that would be around 250 movies. I execute know human being who have actually that countless movies in their library, so that is feasible that lock could build a database of movie to fill the space.


You can fit approximately 310,000 picture in one terabyte. You might fit even more if you provided a compression algorithm. Exactly how would friend even brochure that many photos? by time, by subject, by category? Suddenly, we room facing large data problems in our personal lives, and also we are going to need similar tools to be able to make feeling of every one of our potential data stores. With digital photography, it is feasible to take a most photos without ever having come worry around development costs, so probably 300,000 pictures is no out the the question.


With breakthroughs in technology, we have a many potential storage an are available to us. Microsoft struck the opened salvo, but I suppose Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and also others to follow suit. One terabyte tough drives room not uncommon ideal now and also even despite we have the potential filespace, can we to fill it responsibly? If we deserve to fill it, carry out we have the skills and tools necessary to store track of our digital belongings? probably there is a new IT job category—personal archivist—created because that those individuals drowning in their digital “stuff.” My allude is that we should take a step back and assess the data that we space keeping and ask ourselves: “Just due to the fact that I can keep that all, perform I require to? carry out I have the skills and tools crucial to ever find what ns am spring for?”

If we don’t require it and also we can’t regulate it, maybe it is time to clean the end the digital garage. Do you need to clean out your digital garage? permit me recognize your thoughts.

About Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an it professional, adjunct faculty because that the college of Oregon, and academic director of the UO applied Information management Master’s level Program. That writes around IT and business topics that keep him up in ~ night.



78 think on “A Terabyte of warehouse Space: exactly how Much is too Much?”

MUBEEN HAIDER December 7, 2015 in ~ 2:14 am


sam February 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm

I have actually 2,157 movie in 1080p (some room in 4k but not many) and 220 TV shows varying from 720p-1080p.Currently using much less than 18TB of room across a server, NAS, and also external. My “permanent” solution will it is in 5x12TB HDD’s in RAID 5 for storage and 5x12TB HDD’s in raid 5 top top a synology for backups.

Matt February 18, 2019 at 9:12 pm

It beginning to become an issue of exactly how much execute you really require “online” at any given time. Of those 2,157 movies, how many of them go you watch in the critical year?

How numerous of them have the right to be found online at any type of given time ~ above an online streaming website?

Can you simply store most of them on a grasp of external hard drives and have an online catalog of every drive and also plug them in together needed?

In the old work (15 years ago). Tv series dvds didn’t exist, movies often tended to be $10 and up, and also many things just tough to find.

Now things space cheap, readily accessible.

And photos. Human being used to take it 1 or 2 an excellent photos at an occasion like a picnic. Now they take it 20 – 50. But instead the deciding i beg your pardon ones to keep, they store them all. Photos have become the boring house videos of the 80s-90s. How numerous events will someone care about years in the future. I have maybe 1,000 picture from as soon as i was born to period 18. Who who transforms 18 in 2030 will certainly probably have over 100,000. Even at 5 secs a picture, it will certainly take who 8hrs a day, 17 days simply to look at at every one of them. The value of the pics will drop and become something that is always hauled around, but rarely looked at.

David Bernazani February 19, 2019 at 3:10 am

Matt- so true. Each time ns take a photograph with my iPhone, ns don’t take simply one, ns take 3 or 4. But, uneven some that may just keep lock all, ns am continuous deleting most of them other than the best ones. I have maybe 200 or therefore documenting the last 2 year of mine life, and also still can not use bothered to upload castle somewhere, since I have actually iCloud backup. I don’t salary anything because that extra “cloud” storage, since I don’t need it.And unfortunately, storage technology is getting beyond my understanding. I have actually no idea what “RAID 5” is, and some that the other stuff Sam created about.As because that streaming: I’m beginning to stream some shows and movies, but right currently I just subscribe come streaming Netflix and also CuriosityStream. I know there room others, however who has actually time to clock them all, or the boosting money it takes to pay monthly subscriptions because that ea h one? Oh, and I also still acquire some Netflix dvd’s by mail, since for part mysterious reason, countless of the latest movies space not accessible to present on your site. In fact, I’ve excellent searches of an assortment that movies, both new and old, the I’d like to watch (from Casablanca to back to the Future come Gladiator) and also couldn’t find a single one! ns had always thought sites favor Netflix had gargantuan libraries that most any kind of movie you could think of to watch, but it’s actually quite limited. Quiet it renders me glad the I have actually my own small video library of all my faves.

PS walk anyone notice that the title to this thread, “A Terabyte of storage Space” is currently sounding kinda quaint? Sorry, Kelly! little look how fast things readjust in this field!

marlon ferguson December 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

I have actually a substantial collection of photos (20k) or so and also 13000 and growing in music library , my trouble is the i have actually 300 dvds or so that ns purchased most of which i wish to save, I invested alot the time and also money over protecting these (300 key dvd changer pioneer) and would favor to preserve, I save researching media servers because that my self, however if i was walk to travel cant really take v me, and also if i was to convert them every digital and throw dvds away, would prefer to have actually a multiple bay form storage and a cloud option…..any thoughts on mine conglomerated media issue…..use google journey 15 giguse to apologize idrive 200 gighave onedrive for service 1000 gig

none of which occupational for my complete issue ????

eddie contreras, mpa, multiple sclerosis in the Quinnipiac U. February 28, 2018 in ~ 6:50 am

Two things. First it stands to factor Microsoft’s model gives us the impression that points are totally free or cheap – this branding strategy is important, because IT students and also techies like to scavenge for deals come by devices – once these tools are branded bundles climate they are viewed as good buys – Microsoft seems to make us think the it together a one avoid shop for whatever which is arguably a good marketing idea – my 2nd impression Professor is that world commoditize things because of this they seem an ext valuable with an ext stuff –do girlfriend agree?

Rhea Adams December 24, 2015 at 3:19 am

how countless average sized publications can it is in stored in a megabyte, assuming the the documents are not compressed?

☺Nick☺ April 8, 2016 in ~ 7:37 pm

I run 5TB and it’s full. Uneven you clock 480p, 1080p and also the upcoming 4k videos will certainly eat a TB away.

Time will pass, and also you’ll discover this thread a joke. I’m hope to twin my room in the close to future.

PaulG23 April 10, 2016 in ~ 10:48 am

You composed that a terabyte = approximately 85,899,345 pages of native docs.

Okay, no human have the right to read the much, yet what if you to be responsible for reviewing and determining what is crucial in 1 terabyte that data storage, whereby some is video, some is documents, part is audio recordings? and by important, I average that someone’s life or liberty was at stake.

Such is the dilemma facing criminal defense attorneys this days in some federal cases. The government dumps that much discovery, and also more, on the defendant and his counsel. Then the prosecutors develop at trial simply that closely selected evidence which they think will assist them convince a jury to convict the defendant. Judges typically don’t call for the federal government to particularly disclose your exhibits, or intended trial testimony, or even prior declaration from government trial witnesses, prior to trial. So, the defendant and defense counsel can not anticipate and prepare because that what is in reality produced.

The defendant and also his/her counsel who have actually the temerity to go to psychological cannot have reviewed all of the evidence, and also are, therefore, taken benefit of, and also surprised, in ~ trial.

Result: most defendants (95 – 97%) of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty before trial. Those who do go come trial shed 90 – 95% of the time. Those who shed at trial and then appeal, lose in much more than 90% the the appeals. Overall an outcome – in federal criminal cases, the defendant has around 0% chance of acquiring acquitted.

Data overload is just one of the prosecution techniques deliberately provided by prosecutors come destroy any type of chance that a same trial.

There oughta it is in a legislation – for example: cases where the prosecutor produces more than the equivalent of 100,000 pages of exploration materials, need to be dismissed because that violating the due procedure right that the defendant to obtain a fair trial.

That would offer federal defendants a little more of a fighting chance.

isaac holiday July 21, 2016 in ~ 11:06 am

I have actually 600 CD’s and I am looking to store them on a speed drive. What dimension flash drive I can to must store possibly

Kelly Brown article authorAugust 19, 2016 at 1:20 pm

A stormy estimate of 100,000 songs at ~5 megabytes per song would same 500 gigabytes or fifty percent a terabyte. Another way to take into consideration this is that a CD holds approximately 700 megabytes so with 600 complete CD’s friend would have 420 gigabytes or almost half a terabyte. In either calculation, friend would require storage equaling about 500 gigabytes.

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 in ~ 2:53 pm

I have about 800 DVD & Blu-ray movies now, and also by the moment I retire and also move come Romania in a couple of years I intend to have approximately 1,000. This is a lot of boxes. Ns am researching the opportunity of delivering them every to speed drives, or some various other kind of storage device.I would require at the very least 4 Tb of memory to hold them, so simply one Tb doesn’t seem prefer a lot come me.But I’m worried about long-term storage, data degradation, and also accessing castle in a convenient way. So plainly I have much more research to do!Thanks for her info.-Dave BernazaniLafayette CA

Kelly Brown post authorOctober 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Dave, many thanks for her comments. I have remained in the business long sufficient that i remember working with bytes and kilobytes so mine perspective has partly to perform with my history. It can be the the terabyte is the new megabyte and I just need to capture up :-). Good luck getting whatever moved end to storage. I see that they do a 1Tb speed drive currently so 1000 DVD’s down to 4-5 flash journey is fairly a space savings.

David Bernazani February 15, 2018 in ~ 4:52 pm

Kelly, simply as a follow-up, critical year we acquired priced out of our lovely apartment and also decided to move at an early stage to Romania, so last summer we packed up all those DVD’s (along with many other stuff!) and shipped it all there. Looks prefer I don’t have to worry around storing mine collection, yet who knows? some day I might want to, simply as a backup.Meanwhile, a terabyte appears to be cultivation smaller all the time…I’m additionally sure the the next style for movies will certainly be choose that that CDs: not a physical item in ~ all, yet digital versions save on an “iVid”— some new version of the iPod. That still might sound strange come some, but it’s just a simple matter of storage.

Kelly Brown write-up authorFebruary 16, 2018 at 10:13 am

David, many thanks for the follow-up. Ns think you space right about the future that movies. Who states that girlfriend won’t have a 1Tb or 2Tb SSD on one “iVid”. They might even be removable so you store a small collection of cd driver on her shelf. The other option is cloud storage however you need to have accessibility to the cloud in stimulate to make use of it. If i am backpacking in the wilderness area, i most likely will not have a signal to be able to accessibility my movies. If I get lost however, accessing my cloud storage to clock movies will be the least of my issues :-).

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Kelly,Yeah, ns remember floppy discs, and even life before VHS tapes. My an initial computer didn’t also have memory; every routine (read: game) I want to run, I had to insert a floppy to run it.Heck, ns remember my very first computer class in high school, we conserved programs ~ above a document punch-tape ! The computer system wasn’t also actually at school; we were hooked up to a college via some type of early on pre-internet connection, and used teletype machines to interact with it!Memory to be at a premium. I’m astounded this particular day at how much it’s increased. A terabyte in a flash journey is like something the end of Star Trek! and also my iPhone more than likely has more power than the whole Houston control room for the Apollo moon missions.Cool times, huh?

Kal October 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I think this is an interesting article. It looks choose I might be among the youngest ~ above this thread. You said “maybe the terabyte is the new megabyte” and that friend haven’t caught up or other to that effect. I think that’s the nail on the head. You are thinking that data warehouse in an antiquated way. You’re thinking of cds and floppy discs and also how much a common song, movie, or paper takes up without recognizing as that a movie, audio file, or document is no a addressed measure. Someone else discussed 4K video, fine with advances like blue ray, 4K, mp4, upcoming wearable technology, etc we will certainly need more data storage for the same amount of content. Example: 100 song in mp3 layout will be different then the lot of storage because that 100 songs in mp4 format.

Hope the all renders sense I simply stumbled throughout this thread and thought I’d put in mine thoughts.-Kal

Kelly Brown write-up authorOctober 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

Hello Kal,

Thanks for her thoughts. You space correct and I probably need to update this blog post. I was talking v someone the other day around Blu-ray, 4K and mp4. They all require a lot more storage space. I view 1 Tb flash thumb drives now and 2, 3, and 4 Tb back-up drives from reliable carriers such together Seagate. The price is coming under as well. Ns wonder yet whether storage makers are space working to store up through the brand-new content layouts or space content providers developing brand-new formats to take benefit of advances in warehouse technology. The genuine question however is as soon as will we see the an initial consumer 1 petabyte drive? execute you treatment to make any predictions? :-). Thanks for your note.


Bill December 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm

If a petabyte = 1000TB, I would bet 2020.

Do friend remember MS-DOS chose on 256KB because that “base memory” since it was such a high number that customer PC’s would never need more than that? (of course you do…that was a rhetorical inquiry :D) i think that assumption was outdated about a mainly after it to be implemented…

I execute not think it has been all progression though: ms WORD for DOS did just as great a task as my existing WP because that my purposes, and it did it faster and an ext efficiently, and also it to the right on a floppy. However, I operation a music server complete of hi-rez music on one XP machine, and also it sound as good as vinyl (for records that to be digitised native vinyl) and the computer was totally free ( a friend was throwing that out) and the DAC operation rings approximately the ideal redbook CD players and also it costed around as lot as a middle of the road consumer CD player. I already mentioned mine HD… i was simply reading about DACs that perform nearly as good as mine, but are the dimension of a tobacco lighter!

So, there have actually been advances. But additionally setbacks. Not a work goes by that I execute not curse mine Windows an equipment (usually 30 secs be fore the crashes), ns devote around a thousands times much more memory 보다 my first computer had all up just to control viruses, and also whilst styles like mp3 allow people come carry about thousands the “songs” it makes ones ears hurt listening come them…

That said, v a retired xp machine, A$100 portable HD, and also a A$1000 DAC one have the right to have a digital front end for a HiFi setup the rivals a $10,000 turntable!

Kelly Brown write-up authorDecember 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm


Thanks because that the great comments. Yes, a petabyte is 1000 terabytes or 1 quadrillion bytes. So, the question remains, exactly how did we acquire from 256,000 bytes to a sunshine bytes and a future quadrillion bytes. Ns think a most it has to do through the physics and the truth that us can proceed to pack an ext information into the same room and we are relocating from mechanically disk cd driver to solid state drives. I recognize we will certainly hit physical restrictions in the future and will need to think smarter around how big of programs us make. We may have come to be sloppy around how much memory and storage we usage for common programs as your illustration of indigenous points out. Granted we do have actually nice graphical interfaces now that we did not have in MS-DOS versions yet I fear that we have let this programs balloon “because us can”. The physicists and also electrical engineers designing and creating combined circuits have done united state a favor by continuing to push the physical borders but lock have also made us lazy.

I to be envious of her music server. That sounds favor a an excellent setup the serves you really well.

David Bernazani October 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Kelly, perform you average flash journey or tough drive? I believe the highest-memory hard drive (as that 2015) is/was 16 terabytes. It appears that Moore’s legislation is reaching its theoretical boundaries (computer memory doubling every 18 months), however it should hold for at the very least a few more years, which way that 16 Tb hard drive must reach a petabyte in approximately 9 years. Yet I wouldn’t it is in surprised if we have a 1petabyte hard drive much sooner. Together for a flash drive, ns imagine it may take a small longer, together flash drives constantly seem come lag behind difficult drives in memory space.And by then i think we will certainly be draw close the limits of storage storage– what do you think? ns think a petabyte was what Arthur C. Clarke figured would host the entire lifetime’s precious of memories, emotions and all other data native a human mind (as written about in 3001: The last Odyssey). Or perhaps it to be 5 Pb? Must inspect on this…..

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Bill December 2, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Like you i think us will check out acceleration in storage size increases. (See my prediction above) so many world want to have the ability to carry every video clip ever made roughly in your smart phones! The just thing the will slow it down will certainly be if people decide the cloud warehouse is a good idea. (I perform not…) ns guess there will be one more limitation led to by the dimension of one electron, however although ns really have actually no idea, ns imagine we room not nearby to that yet! i think by the moment that we gain 1 PB consumer storage, though, it will certainly be flash. The technology is diminishing in expense exponentially (I mental lashing out and buying, ns think a 640MB, ignorance drive because that $130 in Singapore, wherein were cheap. This was a the majority of money (I could have to buy a cheap laptop in Singapore because that 3X that), however it to be a substantial amount of storage (I still use it as an archive for old WP files) but it to be a cheap at the time. Currently I hesitate to salary A$30 for a 32GB ignorance drive, because I think following week I can get a 64GB for that!) and really ns hope in a year or two relocating parts for storage will be old history! I would certainly think, probably naively, well-built hard state would have to be an ext reliable 보다 motors and bearings?

David Bernazani December 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Bill,Yes, I also want to watch the finish of relocating parts because that storage devices. This is why I’m waiting to acquire a new laptop/tablet until the 500gb SSD prices come down a bit more.But your idea that civilization want “every video ever made” in their phones do me think:It’s no as crazy together it an initial sounds.First that all, no one desires EVERY movie or video; anyone has details tastes and also “filters”, picking just the people the really like. (And think of exactly how many negative movies there room out there!) That’s why I have 800 DVDs at home and not thousands, which I can easily have these days, currently that girlfriend can uncover literally hundreds of them because that sale digital for as tiny as 75 cents. I’m selective (picky) around which persons I desire to own.

And I already DO have around a thousand songs on mine 64g iphone– again, only ones ns like. Now there space phones that might hold, what, ten thousand? Twenty? More? If no that plenty of yet, there soon will be. And also 20,000 songs is probably the max nearly anyone can possibly desire on a phone.Now apply the analogy come video. It’s all just a inquiry of storage, and if phone warehouse keeps doubling like it has actually been, in a few more years, her “crazy” idea of placing a thousand movie on her phone sounds downright inevitable!And as I don’t know many people who would have the time come watch more than a thousand movie on your phones, ns don’t think plenty of would desire much more than that. Which method your “crazy” dream the “every video ever made” on a phone call would, in a sense, end up being reality. And also not too far in the future at all, mine friend.See friend there!

Bill December 4, 2016 in ~ 12:40 pm

Hi David

Yea, i probably already have an ext music than I can ever listen to in mine music server–3TB, most likely 300K songs (mostly Hi-rez–I favor quality end quantity!)

It is funny though, I have music albums (vinyl–lol) that ns may have actually listened to numerous times however I could probably list in a few minutes the variety of movies I have watched twice, and I think over there are maybe a half dozen I have actually watched more than twice. Even though storage is cheap, it would seem a waste for me to have actually too numerous movies. Many of the movies I have actually watched double are since I have wanted come share with my daughter (who like me has eclectic tastes) cult classics I love. The is pretty basic for me to uncover movies favor those in the library…

My question–and that is just curiosity–do you yes, really watch numerous movies over and over again, or carry out you have a professional interest that provides it helpful to have actually all those videos? I have a friend that wrote a publication on philosophy and film: that owns more movies 보다 I have ever before watched!