I check out an write-up a couple of main ago about Microsoft increasing the Office 365 storage border to one terabyte. Office 365 is a equipment where the finish user pays a monthly fee for the multiple sclerosis Office suite in addition to hosted warehouse on OneDrive. I really wonder exactly how much warehouse is enough? can I really generate and also save enough Word, PowerPoint, or Excel papers to fill one terabyte? I decided to dig into it additional to see just what will certainly fill 1,000 gigabytes.

You are watching: How many movies on a terabyte

Office Documents

It is estimated that 85,899,345 pages of Word files would fill one terabyte. Now, if you deserve to truly generate that much content, you have a severe archiving task on your hands. I am at this time reading the book “John Adams” by David McCullough; it is around 650 pages long which means I can archive about 132,152 books of similar size. It has actually taken me practically two month to check out this book so it would certainly take 66,076 months or 5,506 years to review my whole library. I cannot read that fast, nor carry out I have that lot life left in me.

Music Files

Assuming that an typical song takes up five megabytes, one terabyte might fit roughly 200,000 song or 17,000 hrs of music. How plenty of songs execute you have on your iTunes best now?


You can fit roughly 500 hrs worth of movies on one terabyte. Assuming every movie is about 120 minutes long, that would certainly be about 250 movies. I carry out know human being who have actually that numerous movies in your library, so the is feasible that castle could construct a database of movie to fill the space.


You might fit approximately 310,000 photos in one terabyte. You can fit even more if you supplied a compression algorithm. Just how would friend even catalog that many photos? by time, by subject, by category? Suddenly, we room facing big data issues in our personal lives, and we space going come need similar tools to be able to make sense of all of our potential data stores. Through digital photography, that is possible to take it a the majority of photos without ever before having to worry about development costs, so perhaps 300,000 images is no out of the question.


With breakthroughs in technology, we have a most potential storage space available to us. Microsoft struck the opened salvo, however I mean Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and also others to monitor suit. One terabyte tough drives space not uncommon right now and also even despite we have actually the potential filespace, can we fill it responsibly? If we can fill it, do we have the skills and tools essential to save track of our digital belongings? maybe there is a new IT project category—personal archivist—created for those people drowning in your digital “stuff.” My point is the we should take a step earlier and evaluate the data the we are keeping and ask ourselves: “Just since I can keep that all, do I need to? do I have actually the an abilities and tools vital to ever discover what ns am looking for?”

If we don’t require it and we can’t regulate it, perhaps it is time to clean out the digital garage. Perform you have to clean the end your digital garage? allow me know your thoughts.

About Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an the professional, adjunct faculty for the university of Oregon, and academic director that the UO applied Information administration Master’s level Program. That writes about IT and business topics that save him up at night.



78 thoughts on “A Terabyte of storage Space: exactly how Much is as well Much?”

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


sam February 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm

I have actually 2,157 movies in 1080p (some are in 4k yet not many) and also 220 TV shows ranging from 720p-1080p.Currently using less than 18TB of room across a server, NAS, and also external. My “permanent” systems will it is in 5x12TB HDD’s in RAID 5 because that storage and 5x12TB HDD’s in raid 5 on a synology because that backups.

Matt February 18, 2019 at 9:12 pm

It start to come to be an worry of just how much do you really need “online” at any given time. Of those 2,157 movies, how numerous of them walk you watch in the last year?

How numerous of them deserve to be uncovered online at any kind of given time on an digital streaming website?

Can you simply store most of castle on a grasp of outside hard drives and have one online magazine of every drive and also plug castle in together needed?

In the old days (15 year ago). Tv collection dvds didn’t exist, movies tended to be $10 and up, and also many things just difficult to find.

Now things space cheap, readily accessible.

And photos. People used to take 1 or 2 great photos at an occasion like a picnic. Currently they take it 20 – 50. However instead that deciding which ones come keep, they store them all. Picture have end up being the boring house videos that the 80s-90s. How countless events will certainly someone care around years in the future. I have actually maybe 1,000 photos from as soon as i to be 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 someone 8hrs a day, 17 days simply to watch at every one of them. The value of the pics will drop and also become something that is constantly hauled around, however rarely looked at.

David Bernazani February 19, 2019 at 3:10 am

Matt- so true. Each time i take a photo with mine iPhone, ns don’t take just one, i take 3 or 4. But, unlike some that may simply keep them all, ns am constantly deleting most of them except the best ones. I have actually maybe 200 or so documenting the last 2 year of my life, and also still haven’t bothered to upload lock somewhere, since I have iCloud backup. Ns don’t salary anything because that extra “cloud” storage, due to the fact that I don’t require it.And unfortunately, storage an innovation is getting beyond my understanding. I have actually no idea what “RAID 5” is, and also some the the other stuff Sam wrote about.As for streaming: I’m beginning to stream some shows and also movies, but right currently I only subscribe to streaming Netflix and also CuriosityStream. I understand there space others, yet who has time to clock them all, or the boosting money it takes to pay monthly subscriptions because that ea h one? Oh, and also I also still get some Netflix dvd’s by mail, since for part mysterious reason, plenty of of the recent movies space not available to stream on their site. In fact, I’ve excellent searches of one assortment of movies, both new and old, that I’d prefer to watch (from Casablanca to back to the Future to Gladiator) and couldn’t uncover a solitary one! i had always thought sites like Netflix had gargantuan libraries of most any kind of movie you could think of come watch, however it’s actually quite limited. Quiet it provides me glad the I have actually my own tiny video library of all my faves.

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

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

I have actually a considerable collection of image (20k) or so and 13000 and growing in music library , my problem is that i have actually 300 dvds or for this reason that ns purchased many of which i wish come save, I spent alot that time and also money over protecting this (300 key dvd changer pioneer) and would like to preserve, I store researching media servers for my self, however if i was walking to travel cant really take through me, and if i was to transform them all digital and also throw dvds away, would like to have a lot of bay type storage and also a cloud option…..any think on mine conglomerated media issue…..use google journey 15 giguse apple idrive 200 gighave onedrive for business 1000 gig

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

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

Two things. An initial it stands to factor Microsoft’s model gives us the impression that things are totally free or cheap – this branding strategy is important, due to the fact that IT students and techies like to scavenge because that deals to by devices – as soon as these tools room branded bundles then they are perceived as good buys – Microsoft seems to make united state think of it as a one stop shop for every little thing which is arguably a an excellent marketing idea – my second impression Professor is that world commoditize things thus they seem an ext valuable with more stuff –do friend agree?

Rhea Adams December 24, 2015 at 3:19 am

how countless average sized publications can be stored in a megabyte, assuming the the documents are no compressed?

☺Nick☺ April 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

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

Time will certainly pass, and you’ll find this thread a joke. I’m hoping to dual my space in the near future.

PaulG23 April 10, 2016 in ~ 10:48 am

You wrote that a terabyte = about 85,899,345 pages of word docs.

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

Such is the dilemma encountering criminal defense attorneys these days in part federal cases. The government dumps that lot discovery, and more, on the defendant and his counsel. Climate the prosecutors produce at trial just that closely selected evidence which castle think will aid them to convince a jury to judge the defendant. Judges typically don’t call for the government to especially disclose your exhibits, or intended trial testimony, or even prior statements from government trial witnesses, before trial. So, the defendant and also defense counsel cannot anticipate and also prepare because that what is actually produced.

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

Result: many defendants (95 – 97%) the all commonwealth criminal defendants plead guilty before trial. Those who execute go come trial shed 90 – 95% the the time. Those who lose at trial and also then appeal, lose in an ext than 90% the the appeals. Overall result – in commonwealth criminal cases, the defendant has around 0% chance of gaining acquitted.

Data overload is simply one of the prosecution approaches deliberately offered by prosecutors come destroy any type of chance the a fair trial.

There oughta it is in a law – for example: cases where the prosecutor produces more than the identical of 100,000 pages of exploration materials, need to be dismissed for violating the due process right the the defendant to acquire a fair trial.

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

isaac holiday July 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

I have 600 CD’s and also I to be looking to keep them on a flash drive. What dimension flash drive I could to must store perhaps

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

A turbulent estimate of 100,000 songs at ~5 megabytes per song would same 500 gigabytes or half a terabyte. Another method to take into consideration this is the a CD holds around 700 megabytes so through 600 full CD’s friend would have actually 420 gigabytes or almost fifty percent a terabyte. In either calculation, you would need storage equaling around 500 gigabytes.

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm

I have around 800 DVD & Blu-ray movies now, and also by the moment I retire and move come Romania in a few years I mean to have approximately 1,000. This is a the majority of boxes. I am researching the opportunity of delivering them all to flash drives, or some various other kind of memory device.I would require at least 4 Tb of memory to organize them, so just one Tb doesn’t seem choose a lot to me.But I’m worried about long-term storage, data degradation, and accessing castle in a practically way. So plainly I have more research come do!Thanks for your info.-Dave BernazaniLafayette CA

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

Dave, many thanks for your comments. I have been in the business long enough that i remember working v bytes and kilobytes so my perspective has actually partly to execute with mine history. It could be the the terabyte is the brand-new megabyte and I just need to catch up :-). Good luck getting every little thing moved end to storage. I view that they do a 1Tb flash drive currently so 1000 DVD’s down to 4-5 flash drive is quite a room savings.

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

Kelly, simply as a follow-up, critical year we acquired priced out of ours lovely apartment and decided come move beforehand to Romania, so last summer us packed up all those DVD’s (along with lots of other stuff!) and also shipped it all there. Looks choose I don’t have to worry about storing mine collection, yet who knows? some day I might want to, just as a backup.Meanwhile, a terabyte seems to be cultivation smaller all the time…I’m likewise sure that the next layout for movies will certainly be choose that that CDs: not a physics item in ~ all, however digital versions stored on one “iVid”— some new version of the iPod. That still might sound strange come some, but it’s only a an easy matter the storage.

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

David, thanks for the follow-up. I think you are right about the future of movies. Who states that you won’t have actually a 1Tb or 2Tb SSD on an “iVid”. They might even it is in removable therefore you keep a tiny collection of drives on her shelf. The other option is cloud storage yet you need to have access to the cloud in stimulate to make use of it. If ns am backpacking in the wilderness area, i most likely will not have actually a signal to be able to accessibility my movies. If I obtain lost however, accessing my cloud warehouse to clock movies will be the the very least of my worries :-).

David Bernazani October 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Kelly,Yeah, i remember floppy discs, and also even life before VHS tapes. My very first computer didn’t even have memory; every routine (read: game) I wanted to run, I had actually to insert a floppy to operation it.Heck, i remember my first computer course in high school, we conserved programs ~ above a document punch-tape ! The computer system wasn’t also actually at school; us were hooked approximately a university via some type of beforehand pre-internet connection, and used teletype devices to connect with it!Memory to be at a premium. I’m astounded today at how much it’s increased. A terabyte in a flash drive is favor something the end of Star Trek! and also my iPhone most likely has an ext power 보다 the entire Houston control room for the Apollo moon missions.Cool times, huh?

Kal October 13, 2016 in ~ 5:05 pm

I think this is an interesting article. That looks choose I may be among the youngest on this thread. You said “maybe the terabyte is the brand-new megabyte” and that friend haven’t captured up or other to that effect. I think that’s the pond on the head. You are thinking of data storage in one antiquated way. You’re thinking of cds and also floppy discs and how much a common song, movie, or record takes up there is no recognizing together that a movie, audio file, or paper is not a fixed measure. Who else stated 4K video, fine with breakthroughs like blue ray, 4K, mp4, upcoming wearable technology, and so on we will certainly need an ext data storage because that the very same amount the content. Example: 100 songs in mp3 layout will be different then the quantity of storage for 100 songs in mp4 format.

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

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

Hello Kal,

Thanks for your thoughts. You room correct and I probably need to update this blog post. Ns was talking v someone the other day about Blu-ray, 4K and mp4. Lock all call for a lot much more storage space. I check out 1 Tb flash ignorance drives now and also 2, 3, and also 4 Tb backup drives native reliable suppliers such together Seagate. The price is coming under as well. I wonder but whether storage machines are are working to store up v the brand-new content formats or room content suppliers developing new formats to take benefit of developments in warehouse technology. The actual question however is when will we check out the very first consumer 1 petabyte drive? execute you care to make any predictions? :-). Thanks for your note.


Bill December 2, 2016 in ~ 10:00 pm

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

Do you remember MS-DOS chose on 256KB for “base memory” because it was such a high number that consumer PC’s would never need more than that? (of course you do…that was a rhetorical inquiry :D) ns think that presumption was outdated about a main after it was implemented…

I carry out not think it has been all progress though: ms WORD for DOS did just as great a job as my current WP for my purposes, and also it did it much faster and more efficiently, and also it to the right on a floppy. However, I run a music server full of hi-rez music on one XP machine, and it sound as great as vinyl (for records that to be digitised native vinyl) and the computer was free ( a girlfriend was throwing that out) and also the DAC operation rings around the best redbook CD players and it costed around as much as a middle of the road customer CD player. I already mentioned mine HD… i was simply reading about DACs that perform practically as great as mine, but are the size of a cigarette lighter!

So, there have actually been advances. But likewise setbacks. No a job goes by the I do not curse my Windows an equipment (usually 30 seconds be fore the crashes), ns devote about a thousands times an ext memory than my an initial computer had actually all up just to regulate viruses, and also whilst formats like mp3 enable people come carry about thousands that “songs” it renders ones ears hurt listening come them…

That said, v a retirement xp machine, A$100 portable HD, and a A$1000 DAC one can have a digital front end for a HiFi setup that rivals a $10,000 turntable!

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


Thanks because that the an excellent comments. Yes, a petabyte is 1000 terabytes or 1 quadrillion bytes. So, the question remains, how did we acquire from 256,000 bytes come a sunshine bytes and also a future quadrillion bytes. I think a many it has to do v the physics and also the fact that us can proceed to pack much more information right into the same an are and we are moving from mechanically disk drives to heavy state drives. I recognize we will certainly hit physical restrictions in the future and will need to think smarter around how huge of programs we make. We may have come to be sloppy about how much memory and storage we use for usual programs together your illustration of indigenous points out. Granted we do have actually nice graphical interfaces now that us did not have in MS-DOS versions but I are afraid that we have let these programs balloon “because us can”. The physicists and also electrical designers designing and creating combined circuits have actually done united state a favor by proceeding to press the physical boundaries but lock have likewise made us lazy.

I to be envious of your music server. It sounds prefer a great setup that serves you an extremely well.

David Bernazani October 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Kelly, execute you median flash journey or tough drive? I believe the highest-memory difficult drive (as that 2015) is/was 16 terabytes. It shows up that Moore’s legislation is getting to its theoretical boundaries (computer memory doubling every 18 months), yet it should host for at least a couple of more years, which method that 16 Tb tough drive must reach a petabyte in approximately 9 years. But I wouldn’t it is in surprised if we have a 1petabyte difficult drive much sooner. Together for a speed drive, i imagine it might take a tiny longer, together flash drives constantly seem to lag behind difficult drives in memory space.And by then i think we will be approaching the borders of storage storage– what execute you think? ns think a petabyte to be what Arthur C. Clarke figured would hold the whole lifetime’s precious of memories, emotions and also all other data from a human brain (as written about in 3001: The last Odyssey). Or probably it to be 5 Pb? Must examine on this…..

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Bill December 2, 2016 in ~ 10:33 pm

Like you ns think we will watch acceleration in storage dimension increases. (See mine prediction above) for this reason many world want to have the ability to carry every video clip ever made approximately in your smart phones! The just thing the will sluggish it down will be if civilization decide the cloud warehouse is a great idea. (I do not…) i guess there will certainly be an additional limitation brought about by the size of an electron, yet although ns really have no idea, i imagine we room not near to the yet! ns think by the moment that we gain 1 PB customer storage, though, it will certainly be flash. The technology is diminishing in cost exponentially (I psychic lashing out and also buying, ns think a 640MB, ignorance drive for $130 in Singapore, where were cheap. This was a the majority of money (I might have bought a cheap laptop in Singapore for 3X that), yet it to be a vast amount of storage (I still usage it together an archive for old WP files) however it was a cheap at the time. Currently I hesitation to pay A$30 because that a 32GB ignorance drive, due to the fact that I think next week I can get a 64GB because that that!) and also really i hope in a year or two relocating parts for storage will certainly be old history! I would think, possibly naively, well-built heavy state would need to be much more reliable 보다 motors and bearings?

David Bernazani December 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Bill,Yes, I likewise want to see the finish of moving parts for storage devices. This is why I’m wait to gain a brand-new laptop/tablet till the 500gb SSD prices come under a little bit more.But your idea that world want “every video ever made” in your phones do me think:It’s not as crazy together it very first sounds.First the all, no one desires EVERY movie or video; everyone has details tastes and “filters”, picking just the people the really like. (And think of just how many poor movies there are out there!) That’s why I have actually 800 DVDs in ~ home and also not thousands, which I can easily have these days, now that you can find literally hundreds of them because that sale digital for as small as 75 cents. I’m selective (picky) about which ones I want to own.

And I already DO have around a thousand songs on my 64g iphone– again, just ones i like. This day there space phones that might hold, what, ten thousand? Twenty? More? If no that numerous yet, there shortly will be. And also 20,000 songs is more than likely the max nearly anyone might possibly want on a phone.Now use the analogy to video. It’s all simply a inquiry of storage, and if phone warehouse keeps doubling prefer it has actually been, in a few more years, your “crazy” idea of placing a thousand movies on your phone sound downright inevitable!And as I don’t recognize many civilization who would have actually the time to watch an ext than a thousand movie on your phones, ns don’t think plenty of would want much much more than that. Which method your “crazy” dream that “every video clip ever made” ~ above a call would, in a sense, end up being reality. And also not too far in the future in ~ all, mine friend.See girlfriend there!

Bill December 4, 2016 in ~ 12:40 pm

Hi David

Yea, i probably currently have more music 보다 I can ever before listen come in my music server–3TB, most likely 300K song (mostly Hi-rez–I choose quality over quantity!)

It is funny though, I have music albums (vinyl–lol) that ns may have listened to hundreds of times however I can probably list in a few minutes the number of movies I have actually watched twice, and also I think there are perhaps a half dozen I have watched an ext than twice. Even though warehouse is cheap, it would certainly seem a waste because that me to have actually too many movies. Many of the movies I have watched double are since I have actually wanted come share with my daughter (who favor me has eclectic tastes) cult standards I love. It is pretty straightforward for me to find movies choose those in the library…

My question–and it is simply curiosity–do you really watch thousands of movies over and over again, or do you have a professional interest that renders it beneficial to have all those videos? I have a friend who wrote a publication on philosophy and also film: that owns more movies 보다 I have ever before watched!