Storing miniDV tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iMacZealot, May 27, 2007.

  1. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #1
    How do you store miniDV tapes? Can I get a rack that holds them in a similar fashion as a CD rack holds CDs? Or should I just put them in a box?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #2
    I keep mine on a skinny shelf of a bookcase. Perhaps the answer depends on how often you'll want to find a specific one of them.
     
  3. xPismo macrumors 6502a

    xPismo

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    #3
    Cool, dry, dark space. Especially keep them _on edge_. Same deal with any magnetic tape based media. No super-electro-magnet-guns either. :) I've been impressed how rugged DV media is compared to VHS, 3/4", etc.

    The most interesting arugment I have read lately is keeping every tape on harddrives - as the large discs of today are cheap when looked at as per tape storage. I may be picking up an older G4 tower to turn into a JBOD just for DV media storage.
     
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #4
    I dunno... the risk of mechanical failure seems a bit too high for long term storage. This is one of the reasons I chose to stay with SD and bought a DVX last year instead of going tapeless with an HVX. If you don't need regular access to your tapes, put them in a box and store 'em in a closet. You can come back to a project at any time by just keeping the fcp file and recapturing some tapes. I don't see enough incentive to keep an online file as a backup.
     
  5. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #5
    I have two shoe boxes and an Apple bag full in my garage. And the ones I use more often I keep in my file cabinet next to my Mac.
     
  6. spork183 macrumors 6502a

    spork183

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    #6
    you definitely want to go with a skinny shelf. boxification is rampant, and will only lead to angst. If no skinny shelf presents itself, a double skinny row will suffice in a pinch...
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    I have stored mine in a room temperature box.

    The MiniDV camera I purchased in 1996 did not have FW out. So I have been inputing video via a converter. Some tapes have been in storage and I have not used them for many years.

    This weekend, I borrowed a friends MiniDV camera, purchased a 500GB HD, and have been importing my films to the HD.

    Some of the tapes that were over 10 years old had some issues. Exercising them by FF and RW a couple of times seemed to get them in working order.

    But it begs the question, what is the best way to store video over long periods of time? DVD? MiniDV? HD?

    Even with the problems that I had with a few tapes, I am thinking that MiniDV is the way to go.
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #8
    I'd put the choices in this order: #1 DVD, #2 HD, #3 MiniDV.

    DVDs shouldn't come to much harm in storage, and it's easy to keep a couple of copies of each one and to test them once in a while. The DVD format may not be the main form of disc storage in the future, but there will be plenty of devices able to read them for the next couple of decades. People are still playing LP records!

    HDs have mechanical parts that can fail, but of course you can back the files up and copy them over a network anytime you like, so making duplicates is a snap.

    Tapes seem most likely to suffer from long-term storage; that's why they are my last choice.
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #9
    Interesting.

    I would say that if one decides to use HDs, they need to back up regularly because they do fail.

    I agree with your point that the DVD medium will be around for a while. I think if I used it to store my data, it would be as a data DVD. I would keep my video in DV format for editing at a later time.

    Also, I think that it is best to get good quality blanks too. I have some cheap blanks, both CD and DVD, that are going bad after a few years. The El Cheapo ones. The normal quality ones are fine. So that is a consideration as well.

    My tapes overall have lasted well. But I am at the 12 year point with some and a few are giving me problems. They all seem to recover once I condition them a bit. But in the back of my mind I wonder how long that will work...before they fail completely.

    I guess the bottom line, is that no matter what format one chooses, it needs to be checked and backed up every few years to ensure integrity of the data.

    Arg, more work! ;)
     
  10. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #10
    That's, like, totally backwards.

    MiniDV tape would be the BEST way to back up miniDV footage.

    DVD would be the worst way. How long does a CD-R last? How much abuse can it take? How many gigs does a DVD-R hold? And how are you putting the data on it? Because a more compressed color space wouldn't be the right idea.
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    Why would storing digital information on digital media change the color space? I capture my movies from Mini-DV to HD and take backups of the files. I've had too many tapes degrade over time to trust them with the only copies of my movies.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12
    I think what killr_b was getting at is that if you compress your MiniDV tapes into MPEG2 to burn on to DVD you are reducing the image quality. Current DVDs are just too small for doing easy backups, IMO, as it's takes multiple discs to back up each MiniDV tape w/o compressing and losing quality. Once Blu-ray or HD-DVD becomes the norm then that changes and you can do a 1-to-1 backup.

    Video tape backups are the industry standard for a few reasons. The biggest is that until recently it's been the only viable option although digital tech is just starting to catch up. Also I don't think the accessibility of data gets out dated as fast. It's very easy to find a deck (VCR) to capture a 30yr old 3/4" tape into FCP but I don't know how easy it is to find a computer to retrieve data stored on 30 year old punch cards and transfer that data to a modern computer. Although as tapeless, digital cameras are entering the workflow a more IT oriented solution is needed. This ends up being data tape, as opposed to video tape, but still tape.

    IIRC, from my limited reading of data archival practices every 5 years you are supposed to check your media and every 10 years you are supposed to transfer the data to new media so that you don't end up w/data on media that isn't widely supported anymore. Of course having mirrored backups in two different locations is highly recommended as well.


    Lethal
     
  13. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #13
    For long-term storage I would say your recommendation is backwards. If stored properly and recorded in standard mode (e.g. SP), magnetic tapes are an established, stable, reliable long-term storage medium in wide use everywhere from data centers to broadcast archives. The market is smaller and there is less pressure for the "bargain basement cheapness" that harms DVD-R quality.

    DVD-Rs are by and large manufactured on a cost-is-the-only-objective basis by fly-by-night Chinese chemical companies, and written to by bargain basement commodity burners manufactured in who knows what Asian country by who knows who. Their error protection is weak and although the burning software is able to catch major errors during the verification process, it can't catch any errors that may crop up 2 weeks/months/years later (and they frequently do). I have worked at a place that did large-volume data archival onto DVD-Rs and the failure rate (unreadable files) after 3 years was astonishing - it had to have been at least 30%. This was with storage in proper environmental conditions etc. and with a wide variety of brand-name media including Memorex, Verbatim, etc. The thing is, even if you know the brand name, you don't know who that brand is outsourcing manufacturing to, or what kind of technical/design considerations that company is making for long-term stability. (Probably none)

    I would trust a DVD even less than a hard drive, and that's saying something.
     
  14. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #14
    I stand corrected, and I'm glad to learn all this.
     
  15. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #15
    Not that I'd expect any less from Q himself, but I love when forum users admit to making an inaccurate post.

    I wanted to echo the view of #1 MiniDV, #2 HDD, #3 DVD. Tapes are pretty solid.
     
  16. slinky0390 macrumors regular

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    #16
    you can store them like me, unmarked, in a big pile next to my blank dvd's and 30d so when you need to find a specific tape, it pisses you off to no end. i need organization skills
     
  17. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #17
    I write sequential numbers on the cardboard inserts of my Mini-DV tapes, so they are labeled 1, 2, 3, etc. Then I keep a TextEdit file on the Mac with notes about what's on tape 1, tape 2, tape 3, etc. When I buy new tapes, I give 'em the next numbers.
     
  18. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #18
    Keep a text log… now, how- why didn't I think of that???


    [crafty Homer voice] I will be in my room, logging tapes until they all have a number and a home. [/crafty Homer voice]
     
  19. theWholeTruth macrumors member

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    #19
    Just employ the services of an intern. ;)
     
  20. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #20
    Please! Tape-logging interns prefer to be known as Media Identification Specialists! ;)
     

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