Opinions on saving/archiving work

Moderator: Ken Berry

Post Reply
gordonwd
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:15 pm

Opinions on saving/archiving work

Post by gordonwd »

My main usage of VS has been to convert old 8mm movies to digital media. Many of these date back to the 1930s and are the only record I have of some of the people who are in them, so preservation is important to me. My results have been excellent, but now that I¡¦ve produced some DVDs I find that I have ¡§copies¡¨ of the material in multiple places, some of it taking up disk space, and I¡¦m wondering how much of it needs to be saved in case I ever have to recreate it or transform it to the next generation of media. Here is basically what is left after doing a project:

1) The original film itself. This is obviously of the greatest value, and in my mind is less ¡§destructible¡¨ and less prone to becoming obsolete than are the bits stored on the medium-du-jour (floppies are gone, CDs are giving way to DVDs, then BluRay, etc.). Somehow a "hard copy" always seems more permanent to me than invisible ones and zeroes.

2) The AVI files on DVD-R as created by the guy who did the film-to-digital conversion. These are in ¡§splitter¡¨ archives that span multiple DVDs.

3) The extracted AVI files from the DVD-Rs, stored on a hard drive so I can work with them in VS.

4) The finished MPEG videos generated by VS from an edited AVI.

5) The ISO file containing the finished DVD with multiple MPEG videos.

6) The physical DVD+R burnt from the ISO file.

So what is worth keeping around after I¡¦ve finished a DVD? Obviously I will keep items #1 and #2 safely stored away, and there will be multiple copies of #6 floating around. It is mainly #3 and #4 that I¡¦m not sure about deleting from my hard drive. The AVI files are really large, and the 250Gb external drive that I bought for this purpose is filling up really fast.

From an archival standpoint, I have read some articles recently that claim that a recordable high-quality DVD will last 100 years or more. Just as you¡¦ll always be able to find a way to digitize a film transparency, I would be that you¡¦d be able to find a way to convert today¡¦s DVD formats to future media. So do I only need to save the DVDs with the converted AVI files on them?

Any opinions or experience to offer on this?
GeorgeW
Posts: 2595
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:25 am

Re: Opinions on saving/archiving work

Post by GeorgeW »

gordonwd wrote:2) The AVI files on DVD-R as created by the guy who did the film-to-digital conversion. These are in ¡§splitter¡¨ archives that span multiple DVDs.
What type of "AVI" did the guy create :?: If he created DV .avi's (about 13gb per hour), then I would be tempted to back them up to a miniDV tape for archiving purposes -- I trust the tape more than DVD disc (because if a tape has a dropout(s), you still have a good chance of retrieving the rest of the footage on the tape).

Also, what type of "spanning" software was used? If the content spans 3 DVD discs, can you only open the contents if all 3 are in tact? Or is each disc pretty much standalone (i.e. you don't need other discs to make a complete "archive set")?

Regards,
George
gordonwd
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:15 pm

Re: Opinions on saving/archiving work

Post by gordonwd »

GeorgeW wrote: What type of "AVI" did the guy create :?: If he created DV .avi's (about 13gb per hour), then I would be tempted to back them up to a miniDV tape for archiving purposes.
Thanks for your responses. Yes, they are DV AVIs, but I don't have access to anything that can write or read a DV tape.
Also, what type of "spanning" software was used?
It is something called "splitter" that, at least in its shareware version, I'd have to have all the DVDs in the set intact in order to extract everything. I'll have to check into that before deciding what to do with them.
GeorgeW
Posts: 2595
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:25 am

Re: Opinions on saving/archiving work

Post by GeorgeW »

gordonwd wrote:It is something called "splitter" that, at least in its shareware version, I'd have to have all the DVDs in the set intact in order to extract everything. I'll have to check into that before deciding what to do with them.
My concern with that would be if one of those discs go "bad", you might lose the entire "set"

miniDV camcorders have come down in price -- and with the new models coming out for 2007, watch for stores to have "clearance" prices on the old models. If you do decide to get one, I'd recommend one that has True Widescreen, and analog-to-digital conversion with pass-through. With a new camcorder, you get to archive your precious videos, and you also have a new camcorder to start recording your future treasures...

Regards,
George
daniel
Advisor
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:08 am
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Post by daniel »

I won't go back again into the tape vs disk controversy since everyone here has had several chances of reading the side I'm with, but in your list there are two evident things that can be deleted:

1. The MPEG files as produced by VS, because you can re-do them with VS or another package later, from the AVI files,
2. and also the ISO files, which are only needed for repeat burning of DVD.

Less evident but still to be considered is your hard disk.
This is a precision electro-mechanical device that will fail some day.
When, is dependant among others on the usage. Is it a backup shut down on a shelf, or is it running day in day out?
Anyway tape or DVD are static and both decay over time, the hard drive is moving and will probably fail without warning, and the data on it will be very expensive to recover from specialized firms, if it can at all.

The second-best original in your case are the AVI DVD. Splitter is a program that does just that, split a file in sections of a given size.
You don't really need it to append the pieces together later. It's easier, that's all. Just plain old DOS would do that with the Append /b command.

If you make a copy to DVD you better wait for HD or BD to become maintsream to spare space.

DVD tapes are today's most cost-effective storage, but be sure to make at least two copies, note the recording date, store them vertically (not lying flat) and read them back every 2 years to retension the tapes (unless they're in a Swiss bank safe, zero humidity, zero light, zero temp variations), and above all to check their readability. When one fails, don't bother to retry! Make a new copy from the other.
This my understanding of it.
I have been proven wrong on several occasions in my life. It's not going to improve.
Post Reply