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Home /DIY / Which Digital Format is Best for You? Thumb Drive vs. Digital Download

Which Digital Format is Best for You? Thumb Drive vs. Digital Download

By Christian Roemer

Since you’re browsing around on the Kodak blog, there’s a good chance that you’re in the market for digitization services. You’re savvy enough to know that you’d like your old tapes, film, and photos to be in a more usable format, but you’re not sure which format you should choose. Worry no more; we’re here to help. 

As you’ve been doing your research, you’ve probably found that you have at least two options to choose from: digital download or a thumb drive. You’re well on your way to sending Kodak your old analog memories and living in a digital paradise, but you’re still not quite sure which format you want--digital download or thumb drive; thumb drive or digital download. Choices choices choices.

Let’s lay it out in an easy to follow way so that you can know exactly which format works best for you.

Digital Download

Thumb Drive

Main Benefit

Instant Access

Compact Backup



The #1 pro for the digital format is that it’s the fastest way to get your digitized memories back. Once everything’s been run through our machines, we’ll send you a link to a folder with all your videos, photos, and recordings. You’ll click a link and everything will coast on the information superhighway right to your computer.

Thumb drives are compact, they’re easy to use, and they transfer data pretty quickly. They can store a ton of information, and they’re easy to transport from one place to another. If you have a smart TV, you can usually plug one of these bad boys into it and watch all of your films and photos on the big screen.



If you have a slow internet connection, larger downloads can be a major pain. Dial up folks, you probably shouldn’t go with the digital download option.

Thumb drives were a groundbreaking technology...15 years ago. These days, USB is sort of on the way out, and not every computer even has a USB port.

Easy to Share?

When you download your memories, they’ll be available instantly to upload to Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. No wait, no fuss.


Once you get your thumb drive back, you’ll need to transfer your memories to your computer. Once that’s done, you can share them with the world to your heart’s content.

Look Out For...


We can’t stress the internet connection thing enough. If your internet isn’t dependable, you should go with the thumb drive.

Make sure that your computer has a USB port before you order this option. Most new Apple laptops don’t have a single one!

Don’t Forget About...


When you download your memories, it’s a good idea to back them up somewhere. Whether you use a cloud service or you prefer other storage options, make sure you have an alternate device ready just in case your computer bites the dust.

Thumb drives are small and easy to lose. Make sure that you can keep yours in a place that you won’t forget. I’m a big fan of redundancy, so I’d also recommend making a backup just in case.

Why you’ll love it

Digital downloads are fast, easy, and no mess. They’re also the most environmentally friendly option!


Thumb Drives are a cool technology that’s ultra portable. You can carry your whole home media library in your pocket!

As you can see, there’s a bit to consider when you’re deciding on which delivery option is best for you. How’s your internet connection? Does your computer have a USB port? Do you like portability? 

Once you answer those questions, you’ll be ready to make an informed and awesome decision. If you’re asking for which format I would choose, I have an easy answer: don’t choose at all! Get both, and enjoy the best of both worlds!

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