A USB port has been used increasingly for electronic equipment. It is a connection port which can support USB 2.0 data transfers for the majority of computers. This is one of the modern standards for connecting the internal peripherals of a computer to the host operating system. Although these ports have been around for some time, they have recently developed quite significantly in terms of their speed and standard of data transfer. This has resulted in USB 2.0 becoming very fast for audio recording on computers. However, this is a relatively new development and there are still some other factors to consider before using this feature with audio recording software.
One factor to consider is that USB 2.0 data transfer rates are only useful when attached to a computer with an active physical USB connection. If the audio device does not have an internal connection, then no speed increase will occur. As a result, you may need an external drive or card in order to make USB 2.0 fast enough for audio recording. Bear in mind that you may also need additional drives or cards if your purpose is to record onto more than one audio device.
Another factor to consider is the overall transfer rate for USB 2.0 drives. The higher the transfer rate, the faster the audio transfer will be. This can be important if you want to record very fast audio such as voices, live performances, or microphone signals. In some cases, it is not possible to achieve a high transfer rate depending upon the audio format. For example, while MP3 audio files can handle large files quite quickly, some audio formats such as WAV need much slower transfer rates for the same file.
Transferring larger audio files to a host operating system is another consideration. A higher USB 2.0 drive can transfer more audio files per minute than a smaller drive. Higher USB 2.0 speeds also allow more data to be stored on the drive. However, if you must use a host operating system for your audio device, you should check to see if that host OS has support for higher, USB speeds. Many modern hosts do, and it is often noted when you connect your audio device via USB to see if it will play.
Is USB 2.0 fast enough for audio recording? If you need to record a lot of data, you might be better off with a traditional hard drive or tape drive. You can get the data you need very quickly using a hard drive or tape drive. However, if you need to save and transfer data to a computer, you can use USB 2.0 devices. Although USB devices can transfer information much faster, they are limited by the speed of the computer’s current connection.
Does this mean that you should use USB drives with your computer all of the time? Not necessarily. Just because you have many USB devices does not mean you should be connected to your computer all of the time. Consider your needs carefully and decide what you really need to do with each device. A good rule of thumb is never to let all of your electronic equipment to connect to your computer all of the time. This can cause all kinds of problems, including data loss.