Best Software for Footage Archival?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by portena, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. portena macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Hi, I am in the process of importing all my miniDV footage so that it can be stored in its raw format on my hard drive as a back up to the tapes. I also like the idea of labeling the clips with scene/date information that will help me locate them quickly for those times when I want to make a movie for say my brother for example.... which includes all the footage shot with him in it over the years. Kind of like the way we use iphoto.

    I have FCE, Imovie 06 and imovie 08.

    My plan was to use FCE as the principal archive, and imovie 06 in order to create those quick and painless movies for export to idvd. I haven't been using imovie 08 at all because of the damning reviews, but I'm wondering now if in fact this is the one I should be using as the principal archiving system because it seems that this was partly the way it was designed (but can I use the external drive as my "primary disk" as I have about 600gb of footage so won't fit internally). FCE isn't lending itself to the kind of easy retrieval system that I have going with iphoto.

    What are the opinions out there as to which one is the best?
  2. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I wish Apple would make cheaper, workstation version of Final Cut Server. Or better yet, integrate the functionality into Final Cut Express.
  3. portena thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    DH yet again you're a genius... CatDV is EXACTLY what I was after. And to think I was looking at FC Pro as possibly being my solution... here's a much cheaper option right here.

    Well I've downloaded it and am humming away learning the software. In the background I'm downloading the manual as well. But just in case you can answer this additional question quickly, I want to know:

    When I "import" a folder or directory (whether from FCE or imovie or wherever) into CatDV am I right in assuming CatDV is not actually "duplicating" a full format copy of all of these files? I have gigs and gigs of raw footage and obviously don't want two different software packages maintaining their own separate copies of them.

    And if I make changes to clips within final cut express AFTER they've been imported to CatDV, will CatDV know and register these changes later?

    I'm a little confused at how FC and CatDV logically work together.

    Thanks again
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    FCE is a non-destructive editor meaning that no changes you make to files inside FCE (adding color correction, cropping, resizing, etc.,) effect the source QT file sitting on your HDD.

  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I hate to say it but I think you have a fundimental missunderstanding of how FCE works. FCE only reads the DV files. It never makes changes to them.

    As for catalogging the footage FCE is really good at this but first you have to understand how FCE works. What FCE cataloggs are "clips". "clips are actually little tiny text files that contain the name of the tape and the "time in" and "time out". The clip can also contain your descritive text about what is in the DV file between those two times or whatever notes yu'd like to save. "My cat loves this" FCE then lets you put this "clip" in bins and the bins inside bins and you can search for key words later like "cat" to find that clip your cat liked.

    The part it looks like you didn't know was the EVERYTHIG you do inside FCE only makes adjustments to small text files. These text files contain in turn only the "reel names" and the the in and out time codes that point to frames. FCE never writes over your files. Thismeans you can work for years nd only need to backup your little test files. The Tape itself backs up your DV files.

    I think FCE itself will serve your needs just fine.

    Buy some books on film editing. Not "how to work FCE" read up on editing. All of them will say that the first thing you do is to organize your clips. Traditionally film editors would use physical bins with bits of film inside. FCE tries to simulate this because editors all need a way to keep track of hundred of little bits of video.
  6. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Also check out "FootTrack".
    I use it and an external 750G drive to archive my video.
  7. portena thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    thanks ChrisA - that did clarify things a little for me... perhaps I am chickening out of the inevitable hours involved in the steep learning curve that is FC (well documented here!). I was starting to get the hang of the bins and inputting data etc, but one thing that really attracted me to the catDV software in the end was the ability to re-organise the window-pane view and print out the page as it appears on screen (which I can then send off to clients for their annotated comments). The only other method I'd found of doing that was to upgrade (at great expense) to FCP and purchase a plugin for a further $100 from Digital Heaven.

    Anyway... you live and learn!

    Will also check out the foottrack...

Share This Page