IDC/EMC say there's too much data coming for the world to store. Google says you'll be able to store the lot inside an iPod. Are both views barmy? Go figure.

Here's a Google girl giving us the Google googly: All the world's content will soon fit in an iPod, the result of a drop in the price of data storage by a factor of 3.6 million since 1982.The forecast came from Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, the vice president of Google's Asia Pacific and Latin America Operations, in a presentation at the 2007 Captains of Industry Conference in Singapore.

"To put that in context for you, if gas prices fell by the same amount, today a gallon of gas would take you around the earth 2,200 times," she said.

"More importantly, if this trend continues, and the cost of storage continues to decrease, we estimate that somewhere around 2020 all the world's content will fit inside an iPod, and all the world's music would sit in your palm as early as 2015," Cassidy surmised, "rendering the CD format unnecessary."

Au contraire IDC, sponsored by EMC predicted a somewhat opposing view back in March, in a report entitled The Expanding Digital Universe. The report said: "IDC is predicting that in 2007 the amount of information created and replicated (255 exabytes) will surpass, for the first time, the storage capacity available (246 exabytes). The storage media available to store the bits and bytes of the digital universe will grow 35 percent a year from 2006 to 2010, while the information created and replicated will grow by 57 percent a year in the same time period."

So who do we believe? The IDC/EMC stuff had the follow-on that we need to organise this content and store it appropriately, information management writ large.

The Google prediction invites ridicule at once. Okay, all the data is in an IPod but you need Google's current population of servers and then some to search it and serve ads to people looking for stuff in it.

So we envisage a Google data centre having 5 million processors all hooked up to an iPod which holds the well..... get real.

Google girl power, don't you love it.