Storage devices are used to store data. There are many ways to store data - handwritten papers are in fact a way to preserve data - but for now we’ll stick to the digital domain. Digital data is made up of bits which can be 0 or 1. A WAV sound file contains approximately 40.000.000 bits (40 MB). This can be stored on a digital storage device such as a hard disk, a USB-stick or CD depending on the application. USB sticks are often used for short-term storage while HDs and CDs are used to store data for a longer period. A computer or server is usually used to store downloaded music. Since high quality audio files can be quite large, you need a hard disk with enough free space.
There are two different types of hard disk, a hard disk drive (HDD) that can be found in most computers, and a solid state disk (SSD) which uses flash memory. Because there are no moving parts in SSDs they are faster in reading and writing data. However, the price of an SSD is significantly higher than that of an HDD making them less attractive to store many large files. In terms of speed, a SSD isn’t needed for audio playback. The speed of a conventional HDD is enough for this.