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John Toennies June 5th, 2006 10:27 AM

Archiving projects
I am wondering what people do to archive their projects? I was intially thinking I should put the final video and all the project files on DVD but now I read that burn your own DVD's don't last all that long so I am wondering about supplemental ways to do this. I don't want a client to come back in 5 years and want another copy and not be able to give it to them. Any info would be great.

Chris Owen June 6th, 2006 07:18 PM

I build multimedia websites for a living and in my contract I state that I will only keep the material for 180 days, or, for an additional storage fee, "permastore" a single copy (very low yearly storage fee + one time cost of storage media).

Small projects I store on my NAS (1.5 TB Redundant Network Storage). Large projects I store on SD cards (charged to the client), then vacuseal them in their little case with a small packet of desiccant and a reference card I can read. I use a household food vacuum sealer for this (get these on eBay for less than $50 new and the film in 20' rolls cheap on eBay as well).

While I don't shoot video for clients YET!!, I will probably offer the same storage deals when i do - 180 days or paid storage on sealed SD. 4GB SD cards aren't terribly expensive for the client (I don't make a profit on the card - $150-$180) and are tiny so you can store a ton of them in a small tabbed section of your file cabinet.

Transfer time on the SD is kinda slow (you definately CANNOT edit on the card), but if it is not something you foresee needing to access all the time, it is worth it for both you and the client.

You could, actually, do the same thing with DVD-R media - vacuum seal the media in a thin jewel case with a small desiccant pack - MUCH cheaper for the client, but it takes up 8 times as much space as SD media. Also, 8GB SD cards are becoming avilable for not much more than the 4GB cards.

John Toennies June 7th, 2006 11:17 AM

Archiving Data
Chris, thanks for the info. I hadn't thought about SD cards or or the vacuum sealing idea. Will that help with longevity on the SD cards and the DVD +- R discs? I have heard that a write your own DVD is only good for a couple of years. Do you save your project files as well as your finished file or just your project files? Thanks,

Chris Owen June 8th, 2006 07:00 AM

I save both project files and final output, but I have not archived straight DV projects for clients (I am in the website business, most of work is Flash and audio, and just occassionally short video clips the client provides).

If you keep your archive media (CD-R, DVD+/-R, SD card, micro drive, etc.) sealed and in a moisture free / static free cool environment, you should be fine for a VERY LONG time.

I can tell you from personal experience on CD-R media that I burned way back when I had one of Plextor's first units (1997 or 1998) that "burn it yourself" media is safe for long-term storage. I have several music CDs that I burned back then that I STILL play on a regular basis that have never had any problems. So, that's at least 8 years on CD-R media that has never been sealed and stored properly.

Heck, a couple of those CDs are in pretty bad shape from getting tossed around my truck for years, left out in my truck for months at a time during the summer (gets pretty hot here in the south) and winter, and they still perform flawlessly.

Something to keep in mind ... none of this media is fire or natural disaster proof ... make sure your contract for media storage has the typical "not responsible for ..." clause(es) in it.

John Toennies June 8th, 2006 11:43 AM

Archiving Project
These ideas might work for small hard drives as well since some of these project are over 4.7 GB. Definitely something to think about.

Chris Owen June 8th, 2006 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by John Toennies
These ideas might work for small hard drives as well since some of these project are over 4.7 GB. Definitely something to think about.

Very true ... a quick look at eBay for drives under 40GB ... you can 3 40GB IDE drives for the price of one 4GB SD card. Fill up a drive for archiving for several clients, label it, replace with new client storge drive. Just don't store them anywhere near magnets and safeguard against static.

Just keep in mind how many backups you can store on one drive and the amount of space that drive will take up in your cabinet, storage bin, etc.

Come to think about it, you can just buy 500GB SATA drives and store those (amount of space justifies the price). Maybe an external firewire enclosure with hot swap bays would be a useful investment for Hard Drive based long term storage. That way, you COULD actually edit on the storage device.

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