Western Digital is the first to release a 2 terabyte hard drive.

In the ongoing race to give you ever increasing room to store all your pirated music, movies, and Internet porn the folks at Western Digital have just announced the world’s first “Green” 2TB consumer level hard drive:

“While some in the industry wondered if the end consumer would buy a 1 TB drive, already some 10 percent of 3.5-inch hard drive sales are at the 1 TB level or higher, serving demand from video applications and expanding consumer media libraries,” said Mark Geenen, President of Trend Focus. “The 2 TB hard drives will continue to satisfy end user’s insatiable desire to store more data on ever larger hard drives.”

[…] “Saving power without sacrificing storage capacity is what consumers want, and what many businesses are requiring today. With the launch of the new WD Caviar Green 2 TB hard drive, customers receive the additional capacities needed to operate today’s highly advanced programs and high-resolution digital files while using less power than typical drives with similar performance and capacities,” said Jim Morris, WD senior vice president and general manager of client systems.

The initial price is set at around $299, which is a tad high when you consider you can pick up a pair of 1TB hard drives for around a $100 less. Newegg.com has 1TBs from Samsung and Hitachi selling for $94.99 and I’ve seen sales put them in the $80 range. Presumably it won’t be long before the other manufacturers have 2TB models out and the prices start to drop just as quickly. This could mean we’ll see 1TB drive selling for well under $100 within the next year or so if current trends continue.

For someone like me who can remember running an old BBS on his Commodore 64 with four SFD 1001 disk drives through an IEEE interface card for a whopping 4.02 MB of storage it’s amazing to think that 1TB drives are not only a reality, but fairly affordable. I can remember the amazement I had later when I ran the BBS on my Amiga and managed to borrow one of the first 1GB hard drives for storage. The damn thing was so big I couldn’t fit it inside the Amiga 2000 I was using and I had to run a cable out of the back of the machine to the drive sitting on anti-static foam on the desk next to the computer. Every time the drive was accessed it would bounce around like a Mexican jumping bean. Hell, the hard drive in the Compaq Presario 4712 PC I bought in 1996, the one and only pre-built Windows PC I’ve ever bought, only had a 2.5GB hard drive in it. Two terabytes in a single hard drive is amazing to me.

Western Digital’s new 1TB external hard drive won’t share your media files.

A lot of folks buy external hard drives so they can share their collection of music and video files with other PCs on their home network and the bigger the hard drive, the better. But if you’re hoping to make use of Western Digital’s new 1Terrabyte MyBooks you may be in for a rude awakening:

“Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access.”

It doesn’t matter what the files are: If you try to share these formats over a network, Western Digital assumes not just that you’re a criminal, but that it is its job to police users. You see, MP3, DivX, AVI, WMV and Quicktime files are copy-protected formats.

The manual says the DRM client software included with the drive is “required”, but it turns out you don’t have to use it and can avoid having Western Digital policing your file transfers. There’s instructions in the manual for setting it up as a SAMBA device and there’s a mod community out there making Linux based firmware replacements. That said I still wouldn’t recommend buying the drive if for no other reason than to show the assholes at Western Digital that we aren’t going to put up with that kind of crap. There’s other HD makers putting out 1TB drives if you simply must have one and you can buy one of those and toss it into your own external HD case if you want to.