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USB flash drives are a good deal in terms of price and capacity. Here's how they stack up against other forms of writeable/rewriteable media:
CD/DVD: USB ports are more common and it's much easier to load and unload data. Also, CD/DVD are disposable media (especially CD-R) and can run up in cost if you use a lot of them.
Floppy discs: Most new computers no longer have floppy ports. Plus, a standard floppy disc can hold only 1.44 MB. The smallest thumb drive is 64MB, many times the size of a floppy.
External hard drive: USB flash drives are smaller than external hard drives, much less expensive, and have no fragile moving parts that can break if dropped. So they're more easily transported.
Sony Minidisc: The latest models of these cult favorites hook up through USB ports and allow drag and drop, same as USB flash drives. But they cost a lot more money, starting at about $150.