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Turnpike

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
519
307
New York City!
If all I need is 128GB of space, or have some 128GB SD cards that are slower speeds than I use in my camera now, is there any down side as using them to store backups of pictures and video? Do they deteriorate with age, or is there some reason people don't normally use them as long term storage? I have about 8 of them, so on 4 I could keep a library of content from a few projects (photo, video, page layout) and on the other 4 I can keep a backup copy of the library in a different physical location.

Is there any downside to using them for long term storage?
 

pippox0

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2014
133
92
No, i don't think it is a good idea to use SD card as backup media.
you can use it as temporary backup, not long term backup.
Use instead an external HD ...
This is IMMO ( in my modest opinion)
 
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simonsi

Contributor
Jan 3, 2014
4,851
735
Auckland
Bad idea IMHO, flash storage degrades over time, SD cards weren't and aren't designed as an archive medium and the longevity of the data will likely vary hugely between manufacturers. That means it will be a crap shoot how long you can trust them before you suddenly can't read back your data. I would consider them as way more volatile than a simple hard disk drive.
 
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HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,497
234
SLC
bad idea - almost as bad as storing it on optical storage. Costco has seagate portable 2 or 3TB drives for like $85. wicked cheap for a back up.
 
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MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,587
442
Atlanta
And backup is something you need for the entire file system.....not just photos. Put you library of documents, photos, movies...etc. On an external drive. Hook a second external drive that larger and dedicate it for Time Machine backups.


As HBOC states.....external drives are dirt cheap....especially compared to the cost of Macs, iPads, and iPhone 7.
 

HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,497
234
SLC
also, another thing you want to do is keep a hard drive in another location - family members's house, safe deposit box, etc etc. Or in "the cloud". Microsoft an google get the highest ratings in quite a few surveys (iCloud ONLY works with Apple - so if you lose stuff and have something else, you can't recover). Plus for $6 a month, you get the new MS Office for Mac AND 1TB of cloud storage i believe.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
877
428
Key West FL
I would say:
  • short term: yes, they are a decent choice
  • long term: no, there are better choices.
For many, such are the photographer that I work for, cloud options are woefully inadequate. Capacity per $ and bandwith limitations make them a non-starter, at least for the foreseeable future. Our current system is:
Original camera cards are kept as shot and not resued.
  1. All images are uploaded to our main working hard drives
  2. All images are uploaded to an otherwise offline backup HD in the main working studio
  3. All images are uploaded to another HD for use by the photographer himself
  4. All files, including all images, from the main working hard drives are backed up to one of two sets of HDs that are stored offsite. The two sets are used alternately so that there is another backup stored during a new backup process.
  5. We also run macOS TimeMachine that gives us a short term backup of changed files for quick recovery.
The original cards provide some security for a period of time. We've not yet needed to access an old card that proved unreadable, but the time will come. In years past, we archived each finalized image on its own CD. To date, I've not had issues reading any of the CDs, some of which are over a decade old, though most of the old files have been moved to the current HDs, often in updated versions.

The image only backup drive (#2) is a hard drive that is kept offline and should prove to be reliable for quite some time. The monthly backup drives (#4) are used alternately and get fresh copies of the files, each one being refreshed every other month, so data storage life isn't an issue. The drives get replaced every year or two, well before any errors occur, as we need larger and larger drives for our every expanding catalog of images.
 
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mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,421
160
Americas
You can use jump drives as another alternative. I would use those in conjunction to an external drive.
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
For long term storage of family photos, videos and my 2,000 album music library, I went with dual-layer DVD's, primarily based on reports like the one below, and keep masters in my bank deposit box. Of course any good backup strategy is a mixture. Locally I have 5 backups, one taken off site, of my 4 internal hard drives that I back up. That way they are handy. And when a hard drive fails (and they do eventually) it's easy to recover.
https://goo.gl/WhpzHF
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,395
I'm going to go against the grain here and say use them as you already have them. BUT... they do degrade, etc, so I would backup to a secondary location too. My choice would be some form of cloud storage - get an office 365 subscription and for the modest price you get 1TB of Onedrive included. This will give you an onsite and offsite copy of your backups for not a lot of money. Don't get into the debate of 'this cloud storage is better', etc, OneDrive is good enough for this usage and you get a full-blown copy of office too.
 

bent christian

Suspended
Nov 5, 2015
509
1,966
Flash storage is not there yet. I would use a 1) a spinning hard drive; 2) if you have a Blu-Ray burner use that, the disks will keep for a very long time; 3) keep the SD card a third, but first-used backup. Put the HDD and discs in a drawer/closet.
 

simonsi

Contributor
Jan 3, 2014
4,851
735
Auckland
There are new disks out that rate them as safe storage for 1,000 years. :)

Lol - like BR players will be around then - thats the problem, how long will the player hw be around, at least with an HDD its onboard and you just have to worry about backwards-compatible USB ports...
 

bent christian

Suspended
Nov 5, 2015
509
1,966
Lol - like BR players will be around then - thats the problem, how long will the player hw be around, at least with an HDD its onboard and you just have to worry about backwards-compatible USB ports...

Blu-Ray burners and players won't be around 1,000 years from now, but they will be manufactured for quite some time to come. At that point, bigger, more cost-effective storage will be available. Streaming is very convenient, but many people still want a disc. Cinephiles will absolutely continue to buy, as eventually, good copies of important cult films become hard to find. We can look at DVD, a basically obsolete technology in 2016. These drives are still being produced.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
27,255
11,629
bent christian wrote above:
"if you have a Blu-Ray burner use that, the disks will keep for a very long time;"

IMPORTANT re BluRay recordable blanks:
Be aware that there are TWO types of BD-r blanks available.

There are "dye-based" blanks that are a bit cheaper, but don't last as long, and...
...there are "NON dye-based" blanks (mineral-based media?) that last MUCH longer.

The hard part during the buying process is sorting out which-is-which.

Also, there is M-DISC, which (I believe) is essentially the same blank as the mineral-based BD-r blanks.

Unless I'm mistaken, ANY BluRay burner will work with mineral-based media.
It's only for DVD type media that a special "M-DISC" burner is required for burning M-DISC DVD media.

Others -- please jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
877
428
Key West FL
Blu-Ray burners and players won't be around 1,000 years from now, but they will be manufactured for quite some time to come. At that point, bigger, more cost-effective storage will be available. ...

All backup strategies must include periodic refreshing of the data by copying the data to new media and then doing a detail check to verify the new copy. Over time, this refresh will need to be done onto a new media type to avoid running into the issue of not having appropriate hardware. This new media needs to be introduced well before the old hardware type becomes unavailable as replacement hardware.
 

simonsi

Contributor
Jan 3, 2014
4,851
735
Auckland
As with CD media, the writable version of the technology tends to have its lifespan driven by widespread usage of the readdble version as a distribution media.

That essentially means move away from DVD and BR now as their peak as a distribution media is already over.
 
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