I haven't been able to find the answer to this one anywhere online, probably because I don't exactly understand the root nature of these things...
I work with several software programs (such as Qlab and Isadora) that use absolute paths to refer to media that they will then play. I will often create a program on my machine and then transfer both the media and the program to another machine to execute. Once on the second machine, I have to reassign paths to the media, because the machines don't share user names or hard drive names.
To solve this little problem, I've considered making an uncompressed, unencrypted virtual disk image (either DMG or ISO) of the media. This way the program would reference the media on the mounted disk image, which would mean identical paths on both the source machine and the destination machine.
My question is: what are the comparative speeds between having the media on a physical hard drive vs. a virtual disk image? I'm giving up RAM, granted -- but is an ISO or a DMG a pure RAM disk, or is there some underlying difference that would make it slower than running off a hard drive? And does this difference attenuate whether the physical disk the media would be on is a standard physical drive or an SSD?