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Old November 9th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #1
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Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

I'm currently 3 mths in to a rtw trip. I have filled 3 hard drives with footage and want to start archiving projects.
I'm thinking of using dvd's to do this, dividing the High Quality Media files onto several dvd's if required.
Is this the best method or has someone used a better method?
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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:14 AM   #2
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

What time frame? It doesn't make sense to ask about archival strategy without discussing the time over which the archive must be safe for both data retrieval and ability to use (play or edit) the data that was retrieved. "Best" always has a higher cost than "sufficient". Do you have a budget? Right now large corporations store their backups to LTO tape. For longer terms, how can you guarantee that you'll have an editing platform that can utilize your archives? What constitutes longer terms? 5 years? 10 years? 20 or more years? Will your archive survive the EMP pulse from the asteroid? Does it need to?

A good short term strategy might consist of DVD + hard drive backups on external drives. To me short term is about 5 years.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

If you can't afford LTO I'd consider Blu-ray (not DVD) with a second backup on hard drive.
Blu-ray surfaces are far more durable than DVD from every report I've read.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

The time frame is until I stop traveling, which could be a year or two ( if all goes well) I want to try and avoid just buying endless hard drives. I thought saving projects to dvd might be the solution. It seems to work from tests, but I suppose I don't know fcp x well enough to know if just saving the project is enough
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Old November 9th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

DVD a little over 4GB. Blu-ray 25GB and more durable. Both factors are important if you're on the road and it has to be durable and space efficient.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

I know I have well over 50tb, maybe 60, in my long term storage. They are all hard drives back in the anti-static bags stored in boxes made for 20 drives. I have an excel spreadsheet that I use to list everything on them and on which drive. If I need something I just open one of my two boxes (soon to start the third one) and grab that drive. As long as a computer has a sata connector I am in business. One 2tb hard drive is 72 bluray disks so I know what I would rather carry in my luggage and the cost is a wash.

And you can google it but I would never use any type of media like a DVD for storage, it is a fact they degrade with time. Even within the same brand depending on where they were made can make a big difference in long term quality.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #7
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

thanks richard

so is it just a matter of saving the project file? what would be the best format?
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Old November 10th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

I'd NEVER consider hard drive archival. Boxing them doesn't really mean all that much as drives fail when not in use. In fact the lack of use (spin up) can hasten failure. The life span of a hard drive under a variety is circumstances is just way too short and way to risky.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #9
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

No archive method is foolproof. It all depends on what you are willing to spend and what convenience level you want.

I have dropped hard drives and they no longer work so it that a reason never to use them? I have had tapes break for some reason so that can be an issue. At anytime Windows can corrupt a file during the transfer, ever have that happen? Use cloud storage and you are good as their backup. Any method out there is not without some level of risk.

One thing I can almost guarantee is that any type of DVD media will degrade with time. How many hard drives have you had that have been sitting for several years not spin up, very few if any. How easy can a DVD get surface scratches?

While traveling (as this person is) what is the best method considering convenience and can be purchased on the trip? Hard drives are cheap and you can use them again for other purposes. They take up very little room in your luggage. And if you want to be double sure then backup on two and be on your way. And bottom line, you can backup a lot of data on a 2tb or even a 3tb drive if you want but just don't drop those puppies. And also, don't get into any fires, electrical storms, or floods. Oh I forgot those can affect almost any media.

I am not trying to convince anyone that they should backup like I do but I am trying to address his issues while he is on his rtw trip. I just know I would rather have 1 - 2tb drive in my luggage rather than 72 - 25gb discs that can't be used again, but that is just me.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #10
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

Quote:
One thing I can almost guarantee is that any type of DVD media will degrade with time. How many hard drives have you had that have been sitting for several years not spin up, very few if any. How easy can a DVD get surface scratches?
Please don't compare DVD to Blu-ray. They both are optical but there's much about the physical discs that are very different. Blu-ray can survive surface issues much better. The lamination process and the materials are much more durable. I've talked to a couple of manufacturers about this and there are certainly some discs better than others but even the pedestrian discs are far far far better than DVD. The only avoidance I heard was to avoid dial layer (50GB) Blu-ray and I think those issues were related to laser focusing issues over time between the recording and a reading mechanism that may not be perfectly aligned/focused.

While I won't claim Blu-ray is the same as XDCAM disc, the guts of an XDCAM disc are a close cousin to blu-ray. XDCAM disc as file storage and is being used by archival by some as well. Blu-ray, unlike most XDCAM disc, is write once only which can actually help. Sony I believe is making a write once only archival XDCAM disc as well. In any case Blu-ray is much better than DVD due to the manufacturing process and materials and can easily be stored in secure cases as a "poor man's" XDCAM.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #11
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

I'm going to note that for the past year, I've migrated to an "all disk image" archiving strategy.

At the field shoot level, I'm immediately creating disk images of each card as they are filled up. As a "digital media container" a disk image has the great advantage of keeping not just the video and audio data, but ALL the metadata generated on site in a single repository - and you can subsequently store these images on ANY type of digital backup media you like.The mounting of the disk image is the functional equivalent of putting the original card back on-line for all operations. Images re-link nearly instantly back to the timeline files (at least in FCP-X) and with a single digital file, you can make multiple backups, toss them in arrangement folders, and "clone" them to as many drives, virtual storage areas, or clouds as you have the budget to gain access to and populate.

I personally think the "disk image" is an important current "best practice" in data backup and should be thought of as the "virtual tape" replacement of this era.

My 2 cents anyway. YMMV.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 12:54 AM   #12
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

Very good point about the metadata. I know in the beginning I just copied the video files from my camera to my computer. I now copy the entire folder so I have all the metadata if I ever want it.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #13
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

I think Bill's strategy of making disk images is great advice.

Also, I think that multiple backups are a good way to protect yourself. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to store those backups in multiple locations, either. If you have a fire or flood in your studio or home, your offsite backup would still be safe.

Also, think about backing up to more than one type of media. Hard drive backups are great for near-line use, but blu-ray or LTO are better long term solutions.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:48 PM   #14
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

May I add my query to this forum.
I have completed the editing of a big documentary on FCP. It was shot during the last three years using HDCAM,HDCAM SR,DVCProHD,XDCAM HD and Quicktime 1080p H.264; 38.6 Mbits/sec .The total footage is approximately 700 hrs and final film is of 120min.As of now I am more worried about preserving my 120 min film.The footage and the film is on many hard disks of Lacie and WD make.
I have only one backup. Please suggest the best archival method. Thanks
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:08 PM   #15
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Re: Archiving with FCP X - What is the best method?

Have a master tape made in HDCam SR. That will be an archival quality master that should last for 20 or more years.
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