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Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old April 22nd, 2008, 05:11 PM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by Daniel Monahan View Post
If you use a hard drive to archive, how long is it safe to leave the drive tucked away for?
That's the question for the ages.

If we assume that the drives have retained their magnetic information properly and the circuits don't go bad, hard drives should last until the mechanical parts fail. Usually that's when the drive lubricant turns bad and start to stick. I have 15 year old drives that still work and I have had a couple of 5 year old drives go bad. This is why tape is considered a better bet for long term storage. Formats like HDV make it difficult to archive edited masters on tape with optimum quality so it's good to backup the digital file in several places. At least two hard drives and if possible DVD-R.

And tape isn't foolproof. I'm the annoyed owner of several 3/4 in. cassettes that the tape has started to emulsify and stick together.
William Hohauser - New York City
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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:26 AM   #17
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 460
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
Can you really print HDV to tape, the same as SD? Don't you need a kona card or something?!
How many people have to say it here before you believe it?!

Yes. FCP HDV > HDV tape works with the above caveats about re-compression quality problems. You do NOT have live display to a monitor in FCP HDV without a dedicated card however. Once on tape, you can play back to your monitor. This option is so cheap and real-time easy, that it is a no-brainer as additional backup. If the footage has not been processed (eg color correction, overlays etc), I'd consider it quite good. If the footage is marginal and/or has been changed in the timeline, issues will be visible - remember - this will almost definitely need to be re-compressed again before it gets to your audience.

I make only one copy of most of my edited masters to hard drive currently. This comes down to your comfort level. Many hard drive issues are recoverable with utilities, and hardware issues usually give you some warnings, but with swappable 500gb bare drives for $100, you decide how obsessive you will be. I'd run them for at least a few days testing copy back to another drive. If the drives get put on the shelf, I'd be comfortable with them for several years, hoping that better archival technology arrives. It's probably a good idea to spin them up and run them for a while every year or so. I "imagine" this could keep the lubrication dispersed, and contact points active. Copy them over when better (cheaper!) technology for large files comes along - don't let the technology expire whatever you do.

However, I'm totally impatient for a hard written large storage system at a reasonable cost (blu-ray in a few years?).
Sean Adair - NYC -
JVC GY-HM-700 with 17x5 lens, MacPro 3.2ghz 8-core, 18gb. (JVC HD200 4 sale soon)
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