Scottish boffins promise 100-million songs iPod

Fresh on the steps of IBM's RaceTrack, a team of Scottish Nanotechnology scientists have claimed that they can cram up to 500 Terabyte worth of data onto one square inch; that's 160,000 more than the 3.3GB current limit .

The secret is in the concept; while IBM's engineers are relatively near in their quest to release the first Racetrack device within the next decade, the Glaswegian team's research is still at the conceptual stage.

As they put it themselves, "We are conceptually pushing the limits by what could be possible - making a molecular switch means that you cannot get much smaller, it starts to push at the fundamental constraints".

The switching concept is at the root of all electronic storage devices and the Glasgow researchers have managed to get two clusters of molybdenum oxide based molecules positioned just 32nm.

The theory is there, however the means to put that in practice is still far, far away.

Now the only thing you should be worried would be to lose your songs; 100 million songs at iTunes rates would cost you £79 million and would take 1000 years to be downloaded and another 950 years to listen to... Good luck.

In comparison, the 160GB classic iPod can store only 40,000 songs.