Defending the 5.25in drive bay
I can barely express how much James Gorbold’s ‘Goodbye 5.25in drive bays’ column concerns me. If this is your direction of travel, then
might well lose a subscriber and Scan a customer. He may not have used his 5.25in drive bays for three years (really, James, really?) but all of mine see use on a weekly, if not daily basis.
Firstly, buying and ripping CDs is often cheaper than downloading music and it gives you control over the bit-rate and format, as well as artwork and liner notes to peruse, while the audio quality of DVD-A is unsurpassed. Streaming individual low-res tracks may be okay for kids, but until you can download a full album in a single file with lossless audio, plus high resolution artwork, at a lower price than the physical version, I’m highly unlikely to make the switch.
Streaming movies also are a poor relation to DVD and Blu-ray, particularly when it comes to special features – commentaries, deleted scenes, alternative angles, seamless branching and so on.
Another drive bay on my system houses the I/O for my sound card, allowing me to plug in instruments, microphones and MIDI controllers to record music, while another bay contains a multi-card reader, which is almost always the quickest and most reliable way of transferring files, especially when your bloated phone/camera software goes wrong. There’s all this, and I haven’t even mentioned the benefits of fan controllers. If I had a case with no 5.25in bays, I’d have a tonne of stuff cluttering up my desk and no free USB ports, so consider this the start of a campaign to save the 5.25in bay! BEN NUNN
All sorts of handy devices come in 5.25in drive bay format