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Portable Media Storage Device Forecast

Although there has been much hype about multimedia home networks, low-cost portable storage devices that can move content throughout the home via sneakernet may win the favor of consumers because luggable media provides low-cost, high availability, and convenience, reports In-Stat.

A variety of popular, low-cost interfaces such as Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Universal Serial Bus (USB), and MicroDisk, can serve as luggable media. According to In-Stat the worldwide retail value of luggable media is forecast to rise from about $441 million during 2006 to more than $25 Billion during 2010.

"There will be opportunities for movie studios and other professional content companies to get extra revenues by licensing portable versions of their content, as well as by cross-promoting their content," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. "The portable versions can be used to drive consumers to the packaged goods versions such as DVDs. We expect to see luggable media solutions being tested this year and next, and then hitting the big time during 2008."

In-Stat found the following:

- Luggable media solutions can transfer very large movie files in less than half a minute, they fit in a shirt pocket, and they use no power until plugged in.
- The luggable media approach puts the "smarts" inside the memory device, including copy protection, digital rights management, encryption, and even conditional access.
- By 2008, luggable media will begin being popular for making consumers' electronic content portable because storage capacities will top 8 Gigabytes per device.
- Online service providers will permit download to own options, permitting consumers to download content and quickly transfer it to luggable media devices.
- Portomedia's retail video kiosk approach provides an excellent example.

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