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Old May 12th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #31
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

I have just had a Hard drive crash on me, it was only 18 months old. Fortunately I only had completed jobs on it, nothing which I could generate more income from, unless a customer wants a single DVD copy. I don't think any media is futureproof. When I first started out in digital imaging I backed everything up on MO disks, which would last for 100+ years, pity the hardware didn't last that long. Now I have disks but no drive to read them with.

At least with photographs you have a hard copy. I guess with film you also have a hard copy, but with digital video you just have data bits.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #32
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

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I have just had a Hard drive crash on me, it was only 18 months old. Fortunately I only had completed jobs on it, nothing which I could generate more income from, unless a customer wants a single DVD copy.
I always make full backups of everything I work on, and assume the striped RAID is going to crash.

At the end of the day current projects get backed up to a separate drive that's taken offline after the copying process is done.

And when a project is completed it gets moved to a mirrored RAID and added to the catalog for future reference. That mirrored RAID is also taken offline and stored on a shelf.

I've worked this way for the past 8 years or more and it's proven safe.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 06:43 AM   #33
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

As a rule I also back up material, sometimes, as in the case i mentioned, I do a job and keep it for one or two years and then delete. I am talking about the editable master file. The final DVD files are usually kept ad-infinitum. Or at least a copy of the DVD production is.

I think storage will be the Achilles heel for digital video, until a fail safe long term storage system is introduced.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 07:36 AM   #34
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

At the moment I am backing up my video projects on an external WD Elements desktop HD 1 TB as well as on DVD.

When the HD is nearly full I disconnect it from my PC and store it in a cabinet. How long do you think this external drive will last on the shelf?

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Old May 12th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #35
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

"How long do you think this external drive will last on the shelf?"

Not as long as you would think. Hard drives are like car engines, they need to be kept active otherwise they will just lock up. Generally you should spin up a hard drive at least once or twice every six months.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 12:37 AM   #36
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Put hard drives on the shelf and lubricants dry out - but probably more deadly is the fact that bits rot away quietly. I've seen a lot of drives that were fine after long periods of inactivity - but also a lot where even though the drive powered up OK the data was corrupted.

In older disk drives there was an issue with the heads coming to rest on the drive surface and surface lubricant wicking into the head disk interface and effectively gluing the heads to the disk surface. It was known as stick-tion and sometimes it was so effective that the head sliders were torn off the suspensions. This was not good.

Modern drives typically "unload" the heads ie pull them clear of the surface on shutdown to prevent this.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:37 AM   #37
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

Many of the issues of digital are in this report by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Digital Dilemma | Science & Technology Council | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
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Old May 13th, 2011, 03:18 AM   #38
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

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The studios commonly make 35mm black & white RGB separations for archiving feature films.
Correction: YCM separations.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 04:09 AM   #39
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

After all these info, this weekend I have a lot of precious photos to print...

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Old May 13th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #40
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

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... The new drives may use different attachment protocols etc than the old one (SCSI vs Fibre Channel vs e-SATA vs SAS vs who knows what) but the data will be readable). A hard drive on a shelf on the other hand offers no guarantee that there will be a system to plug it into even if the data is still good.
You just say that tape drives suffer from the possible change of attachment protocols, and then you criticize HDD for the exact same problem!

Even if your tapes are readable and data are good, you might be lucky to find a drive that will read them but then there is no guarantee that you can plug the drive into any current system. Same problem as any other storage media suffer from.

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Old May 13th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #41
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

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At least with photographs you have a hard copy. I guess with film you also have a hard copy, but with digital video you just have data bits.
Colour photographs suffer from decay, silver based black and white prints will hold out longer. Silver based negatives are more robust then colour, which is probably why studio archive on that.

Some filesystems, like ZFS, are designed to prevent bit-rot. You could try building or buying a FreeNAS box. And keep it running, letting it sit on a shelve is counterproductive. Might as well use it for editing and expand/replace disks as needed. Has some other neat features, like copy-on-write (and you know you're gonna love that).

But I never build such a thing so it's theorycrafting on my part.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #42
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

Re: "Colour photographs suffer from decay,"

Not with UltraChrome pigment inks, these will last for 200+ years, providing you use the recommended media.

You are right about silver halide prints and negatives, these will have a far greater life, providing they have been fixed and washed correctly.

The inks and silver particles may last for years, but will the paper itself last this long?

I am sure with the growing popularity of digital data, manufacturers will turn their attention to archival matters.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #43
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

BBC Radio 4 is transmitting a documentary this evening on "The Doomsday Book" data project that it undertook during the 1980s and how they managed to retrieve the data.

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Archive on 4, Domesday Reloaded
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #44
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

Shooting tapeless, and am using SD cards just like I used tapes - single use recording and archival. Their price is now on par with MiniDV digital masters in terms of hours stored per unit. It's easy to consolidate footage and toss bad takes, requiring fewer cards overall. They're tiny, and so easy to store anywhere. I have tiny tiny thumb drives from the early 2000's that still work, so I have some confidence that these archives will endure at least 10 years; then they can be transferred to whatever cheaper, better solution exists.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #45
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Re: DVD vs Hard Drive

There is a big difference between an outdated file format and unreadable data. If a video file can be read, it can be converted to a format that can be read / played. But if the file is unreadable due to media corruption or drive failure, that's a whole different problem. I believe multiple copies on multiple devices / media types is a good way to minimize the risk of loss. Storing it in the 'cloud' is also a good idea but don't get too warm and fuzzy with that as the only archive. Hackers, sabotage, business failures etc. can spell the end to an online file as well. This isn't an issue of finding the best ONE way to archive a video file. If it's that important, store it in several different ways on different media and online archive as well.
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