My wife and I love to travel. Everywhere we go, we take photos, a lot of photos. It used to be you put in a roll of film, and after 24 or 36 pictures, the roll was all used up, so you took care with the photographs you made although you couldn’t be sure if the pictured turned out until you got the roll developed. Nowadays, thanks to digital photography, you can take as many photos as you like, which is what we did when we made our cross-country trip out west recently.
Two weeks before we left, I was visiting with my neighbor, Elton. Not only is he a good friend, but he’s up on all this new technology. Whenever I have a question, I just ask. We were having coffee at his place when I told him about the trip my wife and I were planning.
“I tell you, Elton, it’s going to be great! The only thing I dread is coming home and unloading all those pictures and then trying to sort them out. I’ve got so many pictures on my computer I don’t have room for much else. And they are so disorganized. I’m still working on photos from last year’s vacation.”
Elton sat back, scratched his head then said, “What you need is a photo stick.”
“Elton, how is a selfie stick gonna help me?”
“No, not a selfie stick. A photo stick is a flash drive you can plug into your computer to store your photos. It can also help you organize them too. Here, let me show you.”
Elton went back to his den, picked up his laptop, and sat it down on the table. After it was cranked up, he went on the internet and typed in ‘photo stick .’ The page suddenly filled up, and we started looking.
What Are Photo Sticks?
Photo sticks, I learned, are USB flash drives with software installed to sort and store thousands of photos, videos, and media files on the device. You just plug one into your computer, and it automatically pulls all your photos or videos and backs them up onto the drive, organizing them for you while freeing up a lot of space on your computer.
Photo sticks are available for most computers, although they may not be compatible with older machines. Photo sticks are also available for mobile devices.
Features to Look For
“That looks great, Elton. Just the ticket I need.” Then I caught myself. What do I need? As we went through the pages, there appeared to be so many variations, so many choices.
So, we started going through articles written by experts and novices, hoping to pull together just enough information to make an informed choice.
One primary consideration is how easy it is to use. Some photo sticks, we read, come with software installed inside the drives that load your pictures and organize them as well.
We take lots of pictures, so I need a drive to store as many as possible. That depends on the size and quality of the photographs you take. One article we read said that a 32GB stick could hold 4,700 photos while 64GB could store 9,400. A 128GB photo stick can hold 18,800 pictures, while a 256GB drive could hold 37,600. Newer drives make their own claims, some touting to keep twice as many. Some photo sticks claim that a 64GB device will hold as many as 50,00 to 60,00 photos. You just have to check.
Many of today’s photo sticks can do the job in minutes. Some photo sticks on the market automatically collect your photos, filtering out duplicates.
I marveled at all the options. But I also had to think about the price. I could only imagine that these devices would be costly, and I would have to opt for something cheap. On the other hand, my time is worth something. Looking through buyer’s guides and suggestions, we determined that a quality photo stick loaded with the features needed to make the job of saving and preparing photos, coupled with the space we need, costs just under $60, if not less. That seemed reasonable to me and my pocketbook.
Photo Stick versus Memory Stick
A photo stick automatically pulls your photos, videos, and music files from your computer, backing them up and saving you time. A memory stick is simply a storage device that does not organize photos for you. Instead, you have to go through your image and video files yourself, then copy and paste them onto the device.
I looked at one drive that seemed to do all my work for me. The price was right for the number of pictures I wanted to store, but would it work on my PC? I was pleased to learn that most photo sticks will work with just about all if not all, operating systems on the market today. However, there could be compatibility issues with older computers.
I discovered that storing and organizing photos has never been easier with today’s photo sticks. They can even do the hard job of sorting and organizing all those vacation pictures in minutes. All you have to do is plug them into a USB port, press the start or go button, and you’re done.
Now, if I could only find something that will carry out the trash for me, my life would be perfect.