Working off of a thumb drive is a requirement in most JAMS Journalism classes. Ideally, you should have one that can hold 16 gigs of data or more. Multimedia programs (like Adobe Audition) don’t work with cloud storage space (like Google Drive.) And working off of your class folder is asking for trouble.
So why thumb drives? What’s the preoccupation with these little devices? Here are some of the upsides to thumb drives.
Thumb drives are inexpensive
Compared to external hard drives, thumb drives are ridiculously inexpensive. The UWM TechStore carries 16 gig thumb drives for about 15 bucks. That’s about what you would pay at Office Depot, Best Buy or Target, so it’s a pretty fair price.
Plenty of space for projects
If you have a 16 gig thumb drive, you’ll have plenty of space for all of your Adobe Audition and Soundslides projects. When you work with one of these programs, the size of your Project Folder tends to grow pretty fast. Having 16 gigs of space will come in handy.
For nerdy reasons I won’t get into here, you can’t use a thumb drive as a scratch disk location for video projects. Yes, you can store videos on your thumb drive (and obviously open and play them from it as well.) You just won’t be able to edit any video footage stored on your thumb drive.
If you’re planning on using Final Cut X or Adobe Premiere, you’ll need to use an external hard drive.
A thumb drive will usually work with a PC or a Mac
Unlike external hard drives, thumb drives can usually go from a Mac to a PC (and vice versa) without any problems. You can type up a Word document on a Mac in a JAMS lab, then save it to your thumb drive and open it on your PC at home. You can’t do that with an external hard drive.
You can use it in other classes
Feel free to use your thumb drive in other classes. Even if you have several Adobe Audition and Soundslides projects on your thumb drive, you probably still have ample space for Word documents, Photoshop files, PDFs, etc. Go ahead and use your thumb drive for all of that stuff.
Every time you turn in a multimedia project, you’re backing up your thumb drive
If you ever lose your thumb drive, every multimedia project you have in your Class Folder will still be there. To restore your lost data, just do the following:
- Buy a new thumb drive.
- Copy everything in your Class Folder onto your new thumb drive.
One last thing
Always eject your thumb drive and remember to take it with you when you’re done working in a lab (unless you want it to join the growing pile of unclaimed thumb drives on my desk.)