Best format/process to archive raw footage on minidv tapes..

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by pgallett, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. pgallett macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #1
    I'm trying to find the best process to archive raw minidv footage from tape to external hard drive. I'm selling the video camera and will no longer have a way to play the tapes, so I'd like to preserve the raw footage so I can later edit it or output in some other way when I get time. I'm well aware of the size of raw footage, I'm just not sure of the best process of getting raw video off the camera and onto the hard drive.

    I've almost exclusively used the camera for viewing and playback of tapes. I have imovie, but I don't want the saved format to be software specific (maybe there's a way in imovie? I'm a noob with imovie).

    thanks for the help
     
  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #2
    FWIW I am importing all of my MiniDV tapes into a 1.5TB drive using iMovie and I am not worrying about being able to read the data in the future. I'm sure there will be something that can translate the file to whatever is the preferred format of the times.

    I also plan on migrating the resulting data onto a new drive every couple of years. Magnetic particles just ain't what they used to be. Some of my tapes are 10 years old this year. I probably don't have much time left. ;) (In all seriousness...I will be keeping the original tapes, but their readability will deteriorate over time...as will the oxide particles on the hard drive. At least in this day and age we can essentially make a bit-for-bit copy of something with no degradation by copying one file to another drive. Much better than tape-to-tape backing up of movies in the past.
     
  3. pgallett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #3
    That's exactly what I'm looking to do, minus the native imovie part ;). Worse case (for me), I think that solution would work, but I'm holding out for the silver bullet for now.

    thanks
     
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #4
    The files are saved as .dv files which are not iMovie native per se. They can be opened and used in other programs...Quicktime Pro will allow you to reprocess is and save it as any type of format you want in the future.

    I don't know of any way to pull the actual data stream off the MiniDV tape and just save that info. I did a quick Google search and found similar results.

    Since you now have a Mac...and assuming you have the storage space...I don't see why your are worried about storing these as .dv files.
     
  5. pgallett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #5
    Ah, so imovie will save in .dv? Sorry for the lame question, but I havn't spent too much time with imovie to date (I'm about to get really really familiar).

    thanks for the help
     
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #6
    Yes...and I edited my above post too.

    With Standard-definition, MiniDV...your .dv files are going to be as close to what's actually on the tape as possible. The only bummer is that this importing needs to be done in real time.

    The good news: iMoive does have an import function that allows the entire tape to be loaded, then rewound...while you go off and do other things. :)
     
  7. pgallett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for the help, I've had a chance to run through it a bit and it looks like this will work great.

    I do have a semi-related question. I'm trying to copy these onto an external drive and I'm just going to use the movie events folder since it contains what I want to archive. I managed to get the "iMovie events" folder onto the external drive, but imovie creates the "iMovie events" folder in the root of the ext drive. Is there a way to nest that in another folder that iMovie can find?

    So i'd like to have:
    ExtHD -> Parent Folder -> iMovie Events

    vs

    ExtHD -> iMovie Events

    thanks
     
  8. JohnMR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #8
    Two questions regarding importing DV tapes

    Mstrze, when you say that iMovie saves as DV, are you referring to "Export Using QuickTime..."? The reason I ask, is that I don't see any settings in the general "Export..." dialog that will save as DV.

    A related question: is there anyway to import from a DV tape without having to go through two stages, namely, importing into imovie and the exporting? On a pc WinDV will import from a DV tape and create a DV-AVI file all in one step. I would love to be able to do something similar on my Mac.
     
  9. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #9
    I'm not exporting at all...just saving the material, as it's captured by iMovie 9, on the external drive. As I understand, iMovie pulls the files as .dv files onto the hard drive when it captures (and if it's not .dv, it's at the very least the same filetype that iMovie usually uses with no additional encoding or decoding needed to use these files.)

    I can go in and choose from all of my tapes that I have imported so far from the file/clip browser on the bottom of the iMovie screen. I have around 20 tapes pulled in at this point (not a priority project for me right now) and can choose a clip from any one of those tapes on that hard drive from that browser area.

    I generally keep this external turned off when I don't need it, so the archived clips do not show up in my normal 'day-to-day' use of iMovie. As iMovie imports the clips, it stores them by year within seperate folders per tape, which I can give filenames to.
     
  10. JohnMR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010

Share This Page