Is bluray a viable storage option?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mazuma, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. mazuma macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    I'm in the process of migrating from one mac to the other. In this process I've uncovered a ton of archived work that has been stock in various recesses of different hard drives. I'm would like to centralize these files. This is my life's work, 15+ years of web and print design work. Mostly being kept for nostalgia's sake. I'm pretty certain if I went back and looked at most of it I would puke. I just can't throw it away. I feel it's all the little bits that got me where I'm at today.

    Nostalgia aside. What is a good option for archiving this stuff? In the past I would burn archived work to DVD. But, that pile grew to 100 or so DVD's. I still have that work sitting on DVDs In addition to all this new stuff I've uncovered. I'm wondering if burning these files to bluray is a good idea? Another option would be to get some sort of RAID system and store it there. But that seems to be a little overkill to store files that may never get opened.

    How are you all storing your older work?
  2. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    IMO bluray is only viable as a transportation/distribution media. For storage, go with HDDs and lots of back-ups (RAIDs are not back-ups).

  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I have found many recordable optical disks have gone bad over the years.

    Factory CDs and DVDs might last many decades, but they are stamped foil. Recordables usually have some sort of organic ink layer and these clearly degrade over time, leading to bit rot.

    Last I checked, I would say about 5-10% of my archived discs have at least some errors on them and missing files now. One or two discs are total losses.

    I always allow the burning program to do its verification test, and I've always kept them stored away indoors and out of the light. But it did not prevent the problems.

    I cannot speak for blu-ray, but I assume it will have the same problem.
  4. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I basically use BD-R for submitting to film festivals, burning a revision of work for a client, or ripping BD-Rs submitted to *me*. If you're comfortable using DVDs for archiving, it's not much of a stretch to now use BD-Rs, but I'm personally not comfortable with the idea of that being my only copy.

    What I do is write my most important stuff to a pair of individual HDDs, which I replace after a while. So far, none of the HDDs have lost any data, but the oldest one is only about two years old. I have some really old data that I don't really care about on disks that are more like six years old, and last I checked, they were also working fine.

    Maybe do both - - copy to HDDs and BD-Rs, checking them regularly.
  5. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Recordable discs are not for archiving. Something in the substrate or media degrades over time. Wouldn't use them for anything over 3 yrs. Five yrs max. Discs burned at commercial plants are more resilient. I still have hard drives that I can run from 15-20 yrs ago. That might be the solution. Archive, in triplicate, to hard disks. Rotate and check every few years for corruption etc.
  6. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Um... Hasn't anyone heard of M-DISC? You know, the optical disc that lasts up to 1,000 years, made specifically for archiving? It's available in DVD and soon to be available in Blu-ray also.

    Here is a wikipedia article about M-DISC.

    Here is the M-DISC website.

    According to this website:

    "M-DISC Blu-ray is currently planned to launch in Q1, 2014 and the disc will be compatible with most of existing Blu-ray burner models. Please check back with our news update for this featured product to come!"

    I have an LG M-DISC DVD burner and media that I bought back in September. Haven't installed it/tested it yet but plan to because of some files that I would like to permanently archive.
  7. Mgmx macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2013
    I still think Tape is the safest for long term storage but it is very expensive and not normally within a casual owner's budget.

    Solid state single drive arrays may be better for long term (but they're low capacity for cost)
  8. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    i have been storing everything on optical for 15 years now. About 5% loss, but does not bother me. I have a "heros" protocol where the final product is burned twice. Stamped foil, yes - the discs must be kept in a cool, dry, dark place


    looks cool, 3$ a disc is affordable for archival
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Tape, disc media, hard drives both electro-mechanical and SSD can all FAIL.

    The question is which is more likely to do so over time.

    There are DVDs and CDs that are meant for archiving. Any discussion by anyone that says they shouldn't be used is speaking from ignorance. Typical commercial media discs are not meant to be archival and should be considered a different from discs designed for long term storage.

    You may want to check this out as example -

    I believe the part of the equation that is missing is that people should have more than one copy of any data they wish to keep long term. Ideally, like disaster recovery related matters - you would store the 2nd and possibly 3rd copy away from your primary copy. However, most people are willing to have just one good copy and that is typical of non-business oriented data.

    Hope you find what works best for you and your data remains safe for years to come.

    - Phrehdd
  10. mazuma thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Thanks for the info. It lookalike Ike there are options. The M-disc looks neat, to bad it's the same capacity as DVD. I have 100 or so standard DVDs at the moment that would need converted to this new format. So, a little time will be involved.

    As far as RAID not being an option. I know this. I meant some type of Drobo scenario. Where you have raid parity involved. This would be on link in the archival chain. I think what a few others have said is that you really need multiple copies. And, at least one of these copies are way off site. Now actual following through is a different story.

    One other question on using HDD in the archive chain. The life expectancy on those Drives is average of 5 years. Does that hold true if I were to fill the drive with archived materials and unplug and store it? Does that extend the life if it's not being used day to day? Or, does not using the drive decrease it's life expectancy as well?
  11. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    i've heard the internal lubricant eventually dries up
  12. Mac Gus macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2013
    New York City
    I would store your data on the cloud in addition to your physical tangible media. I have 500Gigs of Dropbox storage that I'm going to start backing up archived data to.
  13. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    I was backing up to optical since the early 90's. The oldest CDrs are still viable, but later copies have since degraded.
    The lateer higher density CDr and then DVD's have been spectacularly awful.

    I've since gone to simply backing up to hard drives.
    I'd go to a tape solution, but the expense is higher, and tapes are not without issues. I've seen DLT jam, and I have first hand experience of analog and video tapes developing binder problems and begin shedding.

    I would also add that when I was using optical media I always bought twe different brands so that if one batch was bad, hopefully the other would be good. This meant burning the data twice, but peace of mind and all that.

    Even with those precautions I still got "burned".
  14. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Keep in mind that as noted in my post, they are coming out with M-DISC Blu-ray very soon, so it will be a viable option for you once those are released. Just something to be aware of. I'm sure it will cost more for Blu-ray than for DVD, but you'd have 25GB of Blu-ray storage per each disc that will last up to 1,000 years.
  15. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    25GB is a nice size - a job for me spans a couple discs, which can be done in 20 minutes with the two blu ray burners in the cMP.

    It works well for photo - video is another story. I still do it, but it is more like 12 discs per job
  16. macuser453787, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

    macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    cMP - that's clever, I kinda like that. Nice spin on oMP and it incorporated the other posters' adoption of "Mac Pro Classic" in this other thread. You get the acronym of the day award! :)

    Indeed, M-DISC seems like a really good archiving option. I look forward to using it. It (apparently) lasts way longer than HDDs or tape, and though the price per disc is up there, I reckon even with the (assumed) higher expense for Blu-ray M-DISCs that dollar for dollar it's still the best option.
  17. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    Great thread!

    I had been planning on backing up a bunch of 1080 home videos to BluRay, but may wait for the "1000 year" solution :) Or, just make two of each which is probably a good idea anyways.

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