I review an write-up a pair of main ago about Microsoft elevating the Office 365 storage border to one terabyte. Office 365 is a systems where the finish user pays a monthly fee for the ms Office suite in addition to hosted storage on OneDrive. Ns really wonder how much storage is enough? have the right to I yes, really generate and also save sufficient Word, PowerPoint, or Excel records to to fill one terabyte? I determined to dig into it more to see simply what will certainly fill 1,000 gigabytes.

You are watching: How many movies can a terabyte hold

Office Documents

It is estimated that 85,899,345 pages of Word documents would to fill one terabyte. Now, if you can truly create that lot content, you have a serious archiving job on her hands. Ns am at this time reading the book “John Adams” by David McCullough; that is approximately 650 pages lengthy which method I might archive around 132,152 publications of similar size. It has taken me practically two months to read this book so it would certainly take 66,076 month or 5,506 year to read my whole library. I cannot review that fast, nor perform I have that much life left in me.

Music Files

Assuming the an average song bring away up 5 megabytes, one terabyte can fit about 200,000 song or 17,000 hrs of music. How many songs carry out you have on her iTunes right now?


You can fit about 500 hours worth of movies on one terabyte. Assuming each movie is about 120 minutes long, that would be around 250 movies. I execute know civilization who have actually that plenty of movies in their library, so the is possible that castle could construct a database of movies to fill that space.


You can fit approximately 310,000 picture in one terabyte. You can fit even an ext if you offered a compression algorithm. Just how would girlfriend even magazine that many photos? by time, by subject, through category? Suddenly, we room facing big data problems in our an individual lives, and also we are going to need comparable tools to have the ability to make feeling of every one of our potential data stores. With digital photography, the is feasible to take a lot of photos without ever before having come worry about development costs, so probably 300,000 images is not out the the question.


With developments in technology, we have actually a many potential storage room available come us. Microsoft to win the opened salvo, however I expect Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and also others to monitor suit. One terabyte difficult drives space not uncommon ideal now and even though we have the potential filespace, can we fill it responsibly? If we deserve to fill it, do we have the an abilities and tools crucial to store track of ours digital belongings? possibly there is a new IT task category—personal archivist—created because that those individuals drowning in their digital “stuff.” My allude is that we must take a step ago and evaluate the data the we room keeping and ask ourselves: “Just due to the fact that I can keep that all, perform I need to? do I have the skills and tools crucial to ever find what ns am feather for?”

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

About Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an that professional, adjunct faculty because that the college of Oregon, and scholastic director of the UO used Information monitoring Master’s level Program. He writes around IT and also business topics that keep him up at night.



78 thoughts on “A Terabyte of warehouse Space: how Much is also Much?”

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


sam February 18, 2019 in ~ 6:48 pm

I have actually 2,157 movie in 1080p (some space in 4k however not many) and 220 TV shows ranging from 720p-1080p.Currently using much less than 18TB of room across a server, NAS, and external. Mine “permanent” solution will be 5x12TB HDD’s in RAID 5 because that storage and 5x12TB HDD’s in raid 5 ~ above a synology because that backups.

Matt February 18, 2019 at 9:12 pm

It starts to become an worry of how much execute you really require “online” at any given time. The those 2,157 movies, how plenty of of them walk you clock in the last year?

How countless of them deserve to be found online at any kind of given time ~ above an digital streaming website?

Can you just store many of lock on a handful of external hard drives and have an online magazine of every drive and plug castle in together needed?

In the old job (15 year ago). Tv collection dvds didn’t exist, movies had tendency to be $10 and up, and many points just tough to find.

Now things space cheap, easily accessible.

And photos. Civilization used to take 1 or 2 good photos at an occasion like a picnic. Now they take it 20 – 50. Yet instead of deciding i beg your pardon ones come keep, they keep them all. Photos have come to be the boring residence videos that the 80s-90s. How many events will certainly someone care around years in the future. I have actually maybe 1,000 picture from as soon as i to be born to period 18. Someone who turns 18 in 2030 will probably have over 100,000. Also at 5 secs a picture, it will certainly take someone 8hrs a day, 17 days simply to look at all of them. The value of the pics will certainly drop and also become something that is always hauled around, however rarely looked at.

David Bernazani February 19, 2019 at 3:10 am

Matt- for this reason true. Each time i take a photo with my iPhone, ns don’t take just one, i take 3 or 4. But, unlike some that may simply keep them all, i am continuous deleting most of them except the ideal ones. I have actually maybe 200 or so documenting the last 2 years of mine life, and still i can not use bothered come upload them somewhere, since I have iCloud backup. I don’t pay anything because that extra “cloud” storage, since I don’t need it.And unfortunately, storage modern technology is getting past my understanding. I have actually no idea what “RAID 5” is, and some the the various other stuff Sam composed about.As because that streaming: I’m starting to stream part shows and also movies, yet right currently I just subscribe come streaming Netflix and CuriosityStream. I recognize there room others, yet who has actually time to watch them all, or the enhancing money the takes to pay monthly subscriptions because that ea h one? Oh, and also I additionally still acquire some Netflix dvd’s by mail, because for part mysterious reason, countless of the latest movies room not available to stream on your site. In fact, I’ve done searches of an assortment of movies, both brand-new and old, that I’d prefer to check out (from Casablanca to back to the Future come Gladiator) and also couldn’t uncover a single one! ns had always thought sites like Netflix had actually gargantuan libraries that most any movie you might think of come watch, yet it’s actually quite limited. Anyway it makes me glad that I have my own little video library of all my faves.

PS walk anyone notification that the location to this thread, “A Terabyte of storage Space” is already sounding kinda quaint? Sorry, Kelly! little look how rapid things change in this field!

marlon ferguson December 14, 2015 in ~ 9:20 am

I have a considerable collection of picture (20k) or so and 13000 and growing in music library , my trouble is the i have 300 dvds or so that ns purchased many of which i wish come save, I invested alot of time and also money end protecting these (300 key dvd changer pioneer) and would like to preserve, I store researching media servers because that my self, but if i was going to travel cant really take v me, and if ns was to convert them all digital and also throw dvds away, would like to have a multiple bay form storage and also a cloud option…..any thoughts on mine conglomerated media issue…..use google drive 15 giguse to apologize idrive 200 gighave onedrive for organization 1000 gig

none of which work-related for my complete issue ????

eddie contreras, mpa, ms in it Quinnipiac U. February 28, 2018 in ~ 6:50 am

Two things. First it stand to reason Microsoft’s model gives us the impression that things are complimentary or cheap – this branding strategy is important, due to the fact that IT students and techies prefer to scavenge for deals come by tools – once these tools space branded bundles then they are regarded as good buys – Microsoft appears to make us think that it together a one avoid shop for whatever which is arguably a great marketing idea – my second impression Professor is that people commoditize things thus they seem an ext valuable with more stuff –do friend agree?

Rhea Adams December 24, 2015 at 3:19 am

how many average sized publications can it is in stored in a megabyte, assuming that the files are not compressed?

☺Nick☺ April 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

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

Time will pass, and also you’ll discover this subject a joke. I’m hoping to twin my room in the near future.

PaulG23 April 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

You wrote that a terabyte = approximately 85,899,345 pages of indigenous docs.

Okay, no human deserve to read the much, however what if you to be responsible for reviewing and also determining what is necessary in 1 terabyte that data storage, where some is video, some is documents, some is audio recordings? and also by important, I median that someone’s life or liberty to be at stake.

Such is the dilemma encountering criminal defense attorneys these days in part federal cases. The government dumps that much discovery, and also more, top top the defendant and his counsel. Climate the prosecutors produce at trial just that carefully selected proof which castle think will assist them convince a jury to judge the defendant. Judges commonly don’t call for the federal government to especially disclose their exhibits, or expected trial testimony, or even prior explanation from government trial witnesses, prior to trial. So, the defendant and defense counsel cannot anticipate and also prepare for what is in reality produced.

The defendant and his/her counsel who have the temerity to walk to attempt cannot have reviewed all of the evidence, and also are, therefore, taken advantage of, and surprised, at trial.

Result: many defendants (95 – 97%) the all federal criminal defendants plead guilty before trial. Those who perform go come trial lose 90 – 95% that the time. Those who lose at trial and then appeal, shed in an ext than 90% that the appeals. Overall result – in federal criminal cases, the defendant has approximately 0% possibility of acquiring acquitted.

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

There oughta it is in a regulation – because that example: instances where the prosecutor produces an ext than the equivalent of 100,000 pages of exploration materials, must be dismissed because that violating the due process right that the defendant to acquire a same trial.

That would provide federal defendants a little an ext of a fighting chance.

isaac vacation July 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

I have actually 600 CD’s and also I to be looking to save them ~ above a speed drive. What size flash journey I can to should store maybe

Kelly Brown post authorAugust 19, 2016 in ~ 1:20 pm

A rough estimate the 100,000 songs at ~5 megabytes per track would equally 500 gigabytes or fifty percent a terabyte. Another method to think about this is the a CD holds roughly 700 megabytes so v 600 complete CD’s girlfriend would have actually 420 gigabytes or almost fifty percent a terabyte. In either calculation, friend would require storage equaling around 500 gigabytes.

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm

I have about 800 DVD & Blu-ray movie now, and also by the moment I retire and also move come Romania in a couple of years I expect to have about 1,000. This is a the majority of boxes. I am researching the possibility of carrying them all to speed drives, or some various other kind of storage device.I would require at least 4 Tb of storage to hold them, so simply one Tb doesn’t seem like a lot to me.But I’m worried about long-term storage, data degradation, and accessing them in a convenient way. So plainly I have an ext research come do!Thanks for your info.-Dave BernazaniLafayette CA

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

Dave, thanks for your comments. I have been in the business long enough that ns remember working v bytes and kilobytes so my perspective has partly to do with mine history. It could be the the terabyte is the brand-new megabyte and also I simply need to record up :-). Good luck getting every little thing moved over to storage. I see that they make a 1Tb speed drive now so 1000 DVD’s under to 4-5 flash journey is quite a room savings.

David Bernazani February 15, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Kelly, simply as a follow-up, last year we acquired priced the end of ours lovely apartment and decided to move early on to Romania, so last summer we packed up every those DVD’s (along with numerous other stuff!) and shipped it all there. Looks favor I don’t have to worry about storing mine collection, however who knows? some day I may want to, just as a backup.Meanwhile, a terabyte seems to be growing smaller all the time…I’m also sure the the next layout for movies will be like that that CDs: no a physical item in ~ all, yet digital versions stored on an “iVid”— some new version the the iPod. It still might sound strange come some, yet it’s just a simple matter of storage.

Kelly Brown short article authorFebruary 16, 2018 at 10:13 am

David, thanks for the follow-up. I think you room right about the future that movies. Who claims that you won’t have a 1Tb or 2Tb SSD on an “iVid”. They could even be removable so you store a little collection of drives on her shelf. The other alternative is cloud storage yet you need to have access to the cloud in stimulate to use it. If ns am backpacking in the wilderness area, ns most likely will not have a signal to it is in able to accessibility my movies. If I gain lost however, accessing my cloud storage to clock movies will be the least of my problems :-).

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 in ~ 9:04 pm

Kelly,Yeah, ns remember floppy discs, and even life before VHS tapes. My very first computer didn’t even have memory; every program (read: game) I want to run, I had to insert a floppy to operation it.Heck, i remember my an initial computer course in high school, we conserved programs on a file punch-tape ! The computer wasn’t even actually in ~ school; we were hooked up to a college via some sort of early pre-internet connection, and also used teletype machines to connect with it!Memory to be at a premium. I’m astounded today at exactly how much it’s increased. A terabyte in a flash journey is choose something out of Star Trek! and my iPhone more than likely has much more power than the entire Houston regulate room because that the Apollo moon missions.Cool times, huh?

Kal October 13, 2016 in ~ 5:05 pm

I think this is an exciting article. That looks favor I may be among the youngest top top this thread. You stated “maybe the terabyte is the brand-new megabyte” and that friend haven’t captured up or other to the effect. Ns think that’s the nail on the head. You are thinking of data warehouse in an antiquated way. You’re reasoning of cds and floppy discs and also how much a typical song, movie, or record takes up without recognizing as that a movie, audio file, or paper is no a fixed measure. Who else stated 4K video, well with breakthroughs like blue ray, 4K, mp4, upcoming wearable technology, and so on we will need much more data storage for the exact same amount that content. Example: 100 songs in mp3 style will be various then the amount of storage because that 100 song in mp4 format.

Hope that all provides sense I simply stumbled across this thread and also thought I’d put in mine thoughts.-Kal

Kelly Brown short article authorOctober 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

Hello Kal,

Thanks for your thoughts. You space correct and also I probably need to upgrade this blog post. I was talking through someone the various other day about Blu-ray, 4K and mp4. They all require a lot an ext storage space. I watch 1 Tb flash ignorance drives now and 2, 3, and also 4 Tb backup drives native reliable suppliers such as Seagate. The price is coming under as well. I wonder but whether storage makers are space working to keep up with the new content layouts or space content companies developing new formats to take advantage of advancements in warehouse technology. The genuine question however is once will we see the very first consumer 1 petabyte drive? perform you treatment to make any type of predictions? :-). Many thanks for your note.


Bill December 2, 2016 in ~ 10:00 pm

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

Do friend remember MS-DOS determined on 256KB for “base memory” since it was such a high number that customer PC’s would never need an ext than that? (of food you do…that was a rhetorical inquiry :D) ns think that presumption was outdated about a main after it to be implemented…

I perform not think it has actually been all development though: ms WORD for DOS did just as good a job as my present WP because that my purposes, and also it walk it faster and more efficiently, and also it fit on a floppy. However, I operation a music server full of hi-rez music on one XP machine, and it sounds as good as vinyl (for documents that were digitised from vinyl) and the computer was cost-free ( a girlfriend was throwing it out) and the DAC runs rings roughly the best redbook CD players and it costed around as much as a middle of the road customer CD player. I already mentioned my HD… i was simply reading around DACs the perform nearly as an excellent as mine, but are the size of a tobacco lighter!

So, there have actually been advances. But additionally setbacks. Not a day goes by the I carry out not curse mine Windows an equipment (usually 30 seconds be fore that crashes), ns devote around a thousand times an ext memory than my an initial computer had all up simply to manage viruses, and also whilst formats like mp3 enable people come carry roughly thousands of “songs” it provides ones ears hurt listening to them…

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

Kelly Brown article 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 inquiry remains, just how did we get from 256,000 bytes come a sunshine bytes and also a future quadrillion bytes. I think a many it has to do through the physics and also the reality that we can proceed to pack an ext information right into the same space and us are relocating from mechanical disk cd driver to heavy state drives. I recognize we will hit physical constraints in the future and will need to think smarter about how huge of programs we make. We may have come to be sloppy about how lot memory and also storage we usage for typical programs as your illustration of native points out. Granted we do have actually nice graphical interfaces now that us did not have in MS-DOS versions but I fear that we have actually let this programs balloon “because we can”. The physicists and electrical engineers designing and creating combined circuits have actually done united state a favor by continuing to push the physical limits but they have also made us lazy.

I am envious of your music server. The sounds like a good setup the serves you an extremely well.

David Bernazani October 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Kelly, carry out you mean flash drive or difficult drive? I believe the highest-memory difficult drive (as of 2015) is/was 16 terabytes. It shows up that Moore’s law is getting to its theoretical boundaries (computer memory doubling every 18 months), but it should organize for at least a few more years, which means that 16 Tb hard drive have to reach a petabyte in approximately 9 years. Yet I wouldn’t it is in surprised if we have actually a 1petabyte hard drive lot sooner. Together for a flash drive, ns imagine it might take a small longer, together flash drives constantly seem to lag behind hard drives in memory space.And by then i think we will certainly be draw close the borders of memory storage– what perform you think? ns think a petabyte to be what Arthur C. Clarke figured would organize the entire lifetime’s worth of memories, emotions and also all other data indigenous a human brain (as written around in 3001: The final Odyssey). Or perhaps it was 5 Pb? Must check on this…..

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Bill December 2, 2016 in ~ 10:33 pm

Like you i think we will view acceleration in storage size increases. (See my prediction above) therefore many world want to have the ability to carry every video ever made roughly in your smart phones! The just thing the will slow it down will be if civilization decide the cloud storage is a good idea. (I do not…) i guess there will be an additional limitation resulted in by the size of an electron, yet although i really have no idea, i imagine we are not nearby to that yet! i think by the moment that we acquire 1 PB consumer storage, though, it will certainly be flash. The an innovation is diminishing in price exponentially (I mental lashing out and buying, ns think a 640MB, thumb drive because that $130 in Singapore, wherein were cheap. This was a most money (I could have bought a cheap laptop in Singapore for 3X that), however it was a substantial amount of storage (I still use it as an archive for old WP files) yet it to be a bargain at the time. Currently I hesitation to pay A$30 for a 32GB ignorance drive, because I think following week I can get a 64GB because that that!) and also really ns hope in a year or two moving parts for storage will be old history! I would certainly think, probably naively, well-built solid state would have to be more reliable 보다 motors and bearings?

David Bernazani December 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Bill,Yes, I additionally want to see the finish of moving parts because that storage devices. This is why I’m waiting to get a new laptop/tablet till the 500gb SSD prices come down a little more.But your idea that human being want “every video ever made” in your phones made me think:It’s no as crazy together it first sounds.First of all, no one desires EVERY movie or video; anyone has certain tastes and “filters”, selecting just the ones the really like. (And think of exactly how many negative movies there are out there!) That’s why I have actually 800 DVDs in ~ home and also not thousands, which I could easily have actually these days, now that friend can find literally countless them for sale online for as tiny as 75 cents. I’m selective (picky) around which persons I want to own.

And I already DO have about a thousand song on mine 64g iphone– again, only ones ns like. This particular day there are phones that might hold, what, ten thousand? Twenty? More? If not that many yet, there soon will be. And 20,000 song is most likely the max nearly anyone might possibly desire on a phone.Now apply the analogy to video. It’s all just a question of storage, and also if phone warehouse keeps doubling prefer it has been, in a couple of more years, your “crazy” idea of putting a thousand movie on your phone sounds downright inevitable!And as I don’t understand many people who would have actually the time come watch much more than a thousand movie on their phones, i don’t think many would desire much an ext than that. Which way your “crazy” dream that “every video ever made” top top a phone would, in a sense, end up being reality. And also not too far in the future at all, mine friend.See you there!

Bill December 4, 2016 in ~ 12:40 pm

Hi David

Yea, ns probably already have much more music 보다 I can ever listen to in my music server–3TB, probably 300K song (mostly Hi-rez–I prefer quality over quantity!)

It is funny though, I have music albums (vinyl–lol) that ns may have actually listened to numerous times yet I can probably perform in a couple of minutes the variety of movies I have actually watched twice, and also I think there are possibly a half dozen I have watched much more than twice. Also though storage is cheap, it would certainly seem a waste for me to have too many movies. Most of the movie I have watched twice are because I have actually wanted to share v my daughter (who choose me has eclectic tastes) cult classics I love. That is pretty straightforward for me to find movies like those in the library…

My question–and that is simply curiosity–do you really watch numerous movies over and over again, or do you have actually a experienced interest that provides it valuable to have all those videos? I have actually a friend who wrote a publication on philosophy and also film: the owns an ext movies than I have ever before watched!