transferring video files between hard drives

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by AeroBar, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. AeroBar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2009

    I need a 2tb external hard drive to store my miniDV footage and edit it on iMovie.

    while I save up for that I've borrowed a 1tb drive from a friend so I can get started. I will then transfer all the video files on the borrowed drive to the 2tb drive when I am able to buy it.

    my question is will I lose anything - picture quality, sound quality, data - by doing this?

    is this a silly question?:eek:

  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    No, you won't lose any quality copying the files from one drive to another. The only way you'll lose quality with digital video is through compression.

    When you end up buying the drive, make sure it has a FW interface. USB drives are not as good for editing.
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    ONLY issue you might have is if you start editing on the external, then you move your projects to another drive the filepath might have been changed...i.e. different drive name/ID etc...and your project may not load.

    Individual files on the harddrive remain and will not degrade if you transfer them.

    And 2TB drives are very reasonable least here in the states. I have seen them for around $120.
  4. AeroBar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2009
  5. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Hi AeroBar

    7200 rpm is only important for your "capture" drive that your video editing program saves the video to. The drive (and its interface) has to be fast enough to keep up with the cameras output.

    Nearly any modern hard drive is fast enough to capture if the Interface is fast enough. An internal IDE or SATA drive shouldn't have any trouble keeping up, nor should a Firewire 800 external. Even a Firewire 400 external drive is usually fast enough. eSATA is fast enough too but you probably won't find that on a Mac.

    The big party pooper is USB. USB does not play nice with moving big files around. It will work but painfully slowly. Trying to use a USB drive as a capture device for HD video probably isn't such a great idea.

    A USB drive CAN be used as an external storage or backup drive. It will take a lot longer to move large files around than even FW400, but if all you want to do is move files from one drive to another USB can do that.

    But wait, you say.... USB 2.0 is rated at 480Mbits/S and FW400 is rated at 400Mbits/S .... shouldn't it be faster? It's not. Especially when dealing with large files like video files, USB 2.0 can be up to 70% slower than FW400 in read and up to 48% slower in write. I'd call that "480" rating FALSE ADVERTISING.

    What kind of system are you using?

    Assuming you're using an Intel Mac with a FW800 port, you're best off with a FW800 external drive. Lots of them out there from the cheapie WD MyBook Studio up through LaCie, Iomega, OWC, G-Tech...

    Any Mac with a FW400 port, use that.

    If you're using an MacBook Air or the new non-FireWire MacBooks, well then you're stuck with USB. I would suggest capture to the internal drive then transfer the files to a larger external drive after the capture in that case.

    Good luck with your project,
    Have Fun!


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