Best way to archive home videos

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ashionista, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ashionista macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I am hoping someone here can point me in the right direction! I have been reading the Missing Manual for iMovie '11 but am still a bit confused. I have home movies taken both on my iPhone and my Panasonic HD camcorder. I would like to edit them onto a DVD or Blu-Ray so that I can have a nice collection to watch. However, my other concern is the footage being archived well and lasting a long time.

    I know that I cannot burn actual HD to DVD and in order to view the HD I'd have to get a Blu-Ray burner and software. How bad would the quality be if I burned everything to DVD? And if I do burn to Blu-Ray or DVD, will I have to store the raw footage on hard drive in order to preserve it? Or will it be safe on the Blue-Ray or DVD? I am not sure how long those last, but I also do not really want to have to deal with storing large video files on external hard drives for years to come.

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. dringkor macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    This is a common issue for people in the digital era. It used to be that you just stored your camcorder tapes in a cool, dry place where they would degrade over time, but only slightly, and that constituted an "archive" of your footage. Now with digital camcorders, including HD, video-taking camera phones, etc., archival is more involved.

    I shoot a lot of video on all my devices, and edit it together to share on DVD and Blu-ray, but I do also archive the source footage. Here's how:

    I save all the original clips from each of the devices onto my Mac. My Mac gets backed up via Time Machine. Periodically I'll purge the clips from my Mac onto two external hard drives connected to another computer in the house. And then I'll burn two copies onto a data Blu-ray disc (not video, but data) and keep one copy at home and the other copy in my office at work.

    As technology marches on, and because hard drives and burned optical media are failure-prone, I copy all my data to the newest media available. I started with a couple of 500GB drives and burning to CD-R, and now I'm at 1.5TB drives and burning to Blu-ray (BD-R).

    Something else to consider: in addition to preserving the original video files taken directly from the camera devices, you'll want to convert and preserve the files in newer file formats as they emerge. Standards such as MPEG and H.264 seem safe for now, but if they're ever replaced by something newer and there is the risk of future systems dropping support for the older formats, you'll want to have the video files in the newer formats. It'd be a shame, 20 years from now, to need to have an old computer with old software just to look at your old video recordings.
  3. ashionista thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you for your response. Questions:

    1. How often do you think you need to move the clips to new media? 10 years?

    2. Can anyone recommend the best software for burning to blu-ray from my Macbook Pro?

    3. What website offers the best prices on external hard drives?
  4. dringkor macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    1. Every time some new, larger, recordable/burnable medium comes out. For me it went CD-R --> DVD+R --> BD-R. So maybe five to seven years?

    2. Toast 11.

  5. ashionista thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you again for your help. I saw that you said you keep all the source footage. Do I need to keep ALL the clips? For instance, what if I just want to edit them together. Can I export this in Full HD, and then burn that to Blue-ray and external hard drive? Is there any reason why I need to keep all the original clips?
  6. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    How long is a piece of string?. This archive question keeps popping up like wildfire.
    Nobody can tell how long anything is going to last. This no touchable media has us in control. If i had my way and it still was around i would transfer all my material to film. I have super8 film 35 years ago and it is still very good.
    No don't mess around with storing it on external hard drive. Edit-Burn-DVD. Unless it is very valuable then get yourself a USB stick and save it on there.
    But you decide how you would like it.
    It is a good question but at present one can only guess???????:confused:
  7. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I suspect, for the moment, the most robust method for digital storage is some form of SSD (e.g., a proper SSD or a large flash drive). It is also the most expensive but, like anything else, it should get cheaper over time. For now, I store my client's video on two separate HDs at two different geographic locations, as well as on the "cloud." Triple redundancy and I don't see that methodology changing, regardless of storage format. I do the same for my personal stuff. I also schedule a spin up for the drives once every 3 months on my iCal, though there is nothing magical about 3 months. I also have had bad luck with USB external drives that come from the manufacturer in those plastic enclosures. I buy good internal drives and put them in a good USB enclosure. Yes, I'm a little OCD, but I've also been burnt before by not backing stuff in the method described above. Since I adopted the triple redundancy method, I've never come close to being hurt. Will my storage media change over time? Sure! But I'm OK with that. Anyone remember the Iomega Jazz Drive? :)
  8. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    It seems nearly anything will degrade over time. USB flash disk will last an average of 10 years before it degrades. Blu-ray/DVD/CDROM uses a dye that also fades with time. Now the ones that are pressed metal will last decades.
  9. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    This was not mentioned, so I'll bring it up.

    You want your home movies archived:

    If you really want to make sure the stuff is available in 10 years, i would suggest uploading the videos to both Vimeo, and Youtube.

    As well has multiple forms of backup (tape/disc/Harddrive)

    The other benefit of storing it on someone else' servers is that OTHER PEOPLE can watch your home video. Or not. (up to you)

    Likely you have family members that would be interested in watching it, so why bother sending them a DVD when they can simply go online?

  10. Boomish69 macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2012
    This is exactly what I was looking for, I have a Nas server I use to store my video just the cheap ReadyNas Duo, but I am unsure of what format to use, I have tons of old digi tapes and am worried about them degrading. I have converted a few and they tend to store as large DV files, or I think as mov files once I started using iMovie. I remembered the other day I still have loads more to do is there any suggested format I can store them in, that saves space and retains high quality?
    I really need to organise the whole lot into one format I suppose.
    I have Final Cut Pro now so was thinking the Pro res format but I don't know which one is best. Or do I really have to keep the DV format as well? I've never ripped with Final Cut before so maybe there is a default I can use?
    Appreciate any advice..
  11. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    In 10 years time will i be sitting and editing on my computer present day material???? i don't think so. Everything will be different with our video material.
    You seem to worry if and when, and how, if you got a crystal ball all your problems would be solved.
    Reading from your post and advice given no matter what you do it will create some sort of storage problem.
    I say edit your family material on iMovie or FCP (You did not state what version you have) which will be a pleasure to view for all and then burn them unto DVD or save them on an external hard drive. That is what i have done. My DVD'S 5 years ago still look fine.
    Please note this is only my opinion. I hope you can come to a decision and let me know in 10 years how your material is.
    I have heard and seen FUJI experiment with hologram format which will give us a surround vision.:rolleyes:
  12. Boomish69 macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2012
    lol nice one daybreak, well I don't think it'll be that different in ten years time, it's certainly not that different to what I was editing 10 years ago, it's still video format albeit a better quality, but what I can do with it however certainly has come along way. So maybe your right holograms might be the future with refocus-able super HD smellovision :)
    I love the new FCP X over the old one, and the video's are looking better than ever and certainly storage will get easier. I suppose the only safe way is as the earlier post said, keep the original uncompressed files, then a copy as some kind of compressed format like x264 to work with if and when you want.
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    SSD is not a bad idea but remember, it too can suffer from physical errors due to being mishandled.

    One thing that was not mentioned is that if you break up your "films" into smaller portions, there are CD's that are truly archival. In this respect treat them simply as "files" to be rebuilt on an as need basis if they exceed the volume of a CD. There may be some DVDs that boast about being archival but I don't know of any details but there are 3 companies that specialize in archival CDs. The one important piece of info is no matter which way you go - mechanical drive, ssd, or disc - make more than one and preferably 3 copies stored in different locations. I believe that for a DVD-R, Taiyo Yuden (sp) comes to mind but I am unsure if they are still around.

    Just my two cents.
  14. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Now having read all the input. Do let us know what you are planning to do.
    Most members ask questions and they "Ride Off Into The Sunset":eek:
  15. ashionista thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you all for the responses! Okay, here is what I am thinking of doing.

    1. Import all my footage onto my Macbook pro. Backup all footage onto external hard drive and also burn to blu-ray (data.)

    2. Create an edited project. Export this in full HD to external hard drive. Also burn to blu-ray. Upload to youtube.

    3. Once one project is complete, delete these clips from my Macbook.

    One last question. If I use Roxio Toast, do I need any additional software or programs when dealing with my High Def footage? In other words, will Toast allow me to view HD clips on my Macbook? Or do I need some other type of software?
  16. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Toast is your Swiss Army Knife for disc formats.
    You can burn VCD, DVD, BD-XL, CD-R, DVD-R, friggin' everything under the sun.
    That being said, the version I have Toast 10, also required me to buy a "Blu Ray" option/extention. That is probably all included in Toast 11, but you might want to go to Roxio's website and check first.
    Toast will also ENCODE files.
    You can certainly PREVIEW the content of the disc you are making, as well as choose templates and backgrounds, much like iDVD.

    I don't really understand the question. Toast is for burning discs. It's not like VLC player, or Quicktime which is used for viewing movies.
    I can't remember if you stated that you DO have a Blu-Ray burner or not, but there isn't a Mac computer on the planet that ships with the ability to read OR burn blu ray discs using the Superdrive.

    I have an external Pioneer Blu Ray drive, which is through USB 2.
    Any blu ray discs I burn, I must use THAT drive to view the contents of any Blu Ray disc, as I do not have a set top Blu Ray player.
  17. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I think these questions and answers will go around the Mulberry bush. From what i can gather a simple task is becoming a question followed by more questions.
    Simplicity is the key here.
    Dont bring all your footage into your Mac. Bring all your footage into your external hard drive. Then you will see what you got.
    Edit your footage on your Mac, then if you are happy burn your disk.
    What software or what you want to do with your material decide that after you done your first two tasks.:confused:
  18. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    This. It's best to import your footage to a fast external drive rather than using your Mac's internal drive. It's faster for editing and less wear-and-tear on your internal drive.

    As for archiving your footage, as you know this stuff takes up a huge amount of file space. For a while I was in the habit of archiving and backing up just about everything I shot. Now I weed out the majority of it and only keep the good stuff in case I ever want to go back and re-edit or re-use it. Otherwise, the edited version gets backed up and that's good enough for me.
  19. hotoru macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2007
    Archiving is Tough

    I see this is a popular topic of struggle. I am trying to decide the best way of local "locked" storage.
    I was backing up to DVD until a few years ago when my home movies started exceeding the capacity of DVDs (trying to split a year of pictures and movies and pics across 10+ DVDs is a big pain).

    My Current Backup Plan:
    --Copy to Time Machine Local
    --Copy to Cloud
    --Copy to HDD at offsite local switched every few months.

    I recently discovered the flaw in this plan. One of my pictures on my internal Mac HDD became corrupted (?years ago). Before I realized the corrupted picture was copied to the cloud, time machine, and offsite HDD. Going back in Time Machine would have saved me but I had since required to upgrade to larger time capsule and had started anew with a new time machine clone :-(

    I would like to take each years pictures and (home) movies and copy to a read only source. I have considered SD Card, Blu-Ray, or 2.5 HDD. I would want to "lock" the SD or HDD after copy. My hesitancy with Blu-Ray is that it is not as universal in the ability to read and requires a special Drive not readable on just any computer.

    Any other suggestions or comments?
  20. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    Just use hard drives. Replace as needed. Or, use M-Disc.

    Throwing my two cents in here...

    I don't use optical media any more. What's the point. It's easier if everything is on a hard drive that I can access from my AppleTV. Think of it another way: What is the point of having the video if you're not going to watch it? Optical was great for many years, but who wants to sort through discs when they can sit on the couch with a remote and view any movie they have?

    Someone suggested deleting the junk. I highly recommend that. Do your kids a favor and get rid of everything that doesn't enhance their memories of the people in your videos. Have video of people you don't have contact with anymore? Get rid of it.

    And as for storage, get two big hard drives. Copy your movies to each one. Store them off-site (separately). Bring them home once in a while and add your new footage. When a drive fills up, replace it with a new drive. If a drive breaks, then get a new drive and copy everything to that. If you want your videos to last a thousand years, then use M-Disc. The problem with M-Discs is that they are only 5.4GB and cost almost $3 each.
  21. daybreak, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    The last post is a good point and very true. What do we own? NOTHING it owns YOU.
    We look at our media what we have bought to life and then store it away. God know when we see it again. Same with wedding photographs. How often do we look at them in our lifetime.
    I think computer technology will alter to smaller storage devices like you can do with music.
    Once again very good threads throughout.
  22. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Tape backup drives for pros, but they are still too expensive for regular folks. What kind of storage does the cloud use and can't that fail too?

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