Earlier this year in the spring, a little-known manufacturer called Kingmax was first to announce a 64 GB microSD memory card, but the first one to actually start selling one is SanDisk. For the low, low price of $219.99 (plus shipping), you get a class 6 64 GB card that can read data at 30 MB/second – more than enough to handle HD video playback. The microSD XC format of the card is the same that will be used for cards leading all the way up to 2 TB; boggling to think of that much data on the size of a pinky fingernail, eh?
While not all tablets are providing microSD memory slots, it’s standard for smartphones, and this jump in capacity opens all sorts of doors. I figure this affects a lot more than just music; anybody who needs more than 64 GB of storage solely for music while either have a dedicated media player, or go with one of the many mobile streaming services available. The biggest new use case for me is locally storing map data. If you’re travelling and need to know where you’re going, but are outside of coverage (or what want to avoid roaming data charges), having maps saved right on your phone can be a lifesaver. Of course, detailed, quality maps can take up a lot of room, but at 64 GB, that becomes less of an issue. Mobile games are already using microSD cards to store 3D assets like models and textures, and with vastly improving graphics capabilities, it may become very easy to fill them up. The real exciting stuff will be the less-than-obvious uses for all of that storage. For example, all of Wikipedia is 8 – 11 GB (depending on what you include), which isn’t a reasonable download if you only have a 16 GB card; if you’ve got 64 GB though…
Samsung only started approaching the 32 GB denomination earlier this summer, so odds are SanDisk’s 64 GB chip will be the only game in town for at least a little while. That said, head on over to SanDisk to pick up yours now, if you’ve got the scratch and enough media to fill the thing.