Optical media - such as the compact disk (CD) - are storage media that hold content in digital form and that are written and read by a laser; these media include all the various CD and DVD variations, as well as optical jukeboxes and autochangers. Optical media have a number of advantages over magnetic media such as the floppy disk. Optical disk capacity ranges up to 6 gigabytes; that's 6 billion bytes compared to the 1.44 megabytes (MB) - 1,440,000 bytes - of the floppy. One optical disk holds about the equivalent of 500 floppies worth of data. Durability is another feature of optical media; they last up to seven times as long as traditional storage media.
The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) is an international trade organization dedicated to the promotion of standardized writable optical technologies and related products. Incorporated in 1992, OSTA is made up of members and associates from the leading optical media manufacturers and resellers of North America, Europe, and Asia. OSTA members include Adaptec, Hewlett-Packard, Philips, and Sony.