Don't know if this is a daft question but here goes! If I transfer all my photos & music onto my passport essential will my this make programmes on my laptop run quicker as there is less memory being used up?
Most likely not. Nearly everyone gets confused with the words memory, and storage when talking about computers. Memory is the short term memory used by the computer, e.g. when you open internet explorer all the files needed to run are copied from the Hard Disk (storage) into the RAM (random access _memory_) then the software is run from memory (RAM), when you close internet explorer, it is then cleared from the memory but the original hard disk copy of internet explorer is still on the hard disk there (well its what should happen in theory but some OS mess that up).
So, if you want your computer to run faster with more programs open at the same time then you need more memory (RAM). But if you want to store more things like pictures and music etc then you need more storage (Hard Disk Drive).
Sometimes when a Hard Disk is nearly full, more than 90% then it can slow things down and it would be a good idea to use get a larger one. Another note, memory clears when there is no power going through it, useless to store photos and the like, but hard disk keep the data even when there's no power going through it.