Digital Memory Cards
Many of the latest devices including laptops, mobile phones, peripherals, and other home equipment have a slot or a placeholder for a certain type of digital memory card meant to add storage capabilities or expand the limitations of their internal memory. Some devices and card readers may be able to read multiple formats leaving the choice up to you on which type of digital memory card to get.
While the different types have similar storage capacities, each type has a different digital time capsule size and shape with varied performance ratings. Some types are more compatible with others as well. Here are the three most common types of digital memory that are widely supported in today’s gadgets and electronics.
Secure Digital (SD) Cards
SD cards are the most common types of memory cards that are usually used by digital cameras and modern home multimedia players and home theatres. They are just as small as a postage stamp and have an asymmetrical design to avoid accidental insertion upside-down. Some SD cards have a write protect switch on the side that functions similarly to floppy disks. The standard models have a transfer speed of around 6 times the speed of a CD-ROM. The newer SD card models can go as high as 300 times which is approximately 45 MB per second.
Several variations of the SD card are available for use by smaller devices like cellular phones, GPS devices, and other handhelds. An adapter the size of a standard SD card can be used so the smaller versions can be read by card readers and other devices that do not support mini and micro SD cards.
Multi Media Card (MMC)
MultiMediaCards have a similar size and shape to the SD cards, but are a bit thinner. They are also one of the older formats available and are still being supported by many devices today. They are not the recommended choice for storing large amounts of data as their transfer rates are slower compared to SD cards.
Most readers that support MMC formats support SD cards anyway so only consider getting this format if you have devices like digital cameras that solely support MMC format cards. However, if the card has the MMCplus label and the device or reader supports MMCplus formats, you can get that instead because their transfer rates are considerably faster. Like the SD cards, the MMC format has some smaller variations to cater to smaller devices.
Memory Stick (MS)
The Memory Stick format is a digital memory card format launched by Sony which is why it is the common format for most Sony branded products. Sony Memory Sticks had a long form factor, but their size was reduced with the Memory Stick PRO and succeeding models. Their newest format attains very high storage capacities, but do not have as much support by non-Sony devices. This is the memory card to get if you have lots of different Sony products that you use often.