According to a report in the New York Times, GE has made a storage breakthrough that allows a density on a single disc high enough to store 100 DVD movies. If it can store that many movies, how many genealogy books can it store? I don't have a precise answer but obviously the answer has to be in the tens of thousands or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of books. Can you imagine an entire library of genealogy books shipping on one disk? There would probably be enough room left over for all the U.S. census records images and lots of other material as well.
“This could be the next generation of low-cost storage,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering, a technology research firm.
The disc itself is a standard CD or DVD size and is a success in the laboratory stage at this time. There is more work that needs to be done to get the technology into a form that can be mass produced affordably according to GE.
You can read more in the Times at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/technology/business-computing/27disk.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss.