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Old February 7th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #1
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How to read my video files in the year 2034?

I'm now using DVDA (and other software) to make BLU-RAY discs of my HD video files. These discs are ok today and maybe the next 2-5 years. It's no problem to make MP4-files og mpeg2-files and save these files on a HD or a SDHC-card etc. I really know that no-one can tell me for sure what happens in the future. I'm now looking for the best solution to save my files for years. What is the best format/way to save these files? Any suggestions?
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Old February 7th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

the one thing that's guaranteed is that there's no guarantee ;-)

mp4 on the net seems to be reasonably acceptable at the moment, as for hardware, well, external hd's are cheap, but they do crap out, usb sticks are okay, but i'm sure that in 10 years they'll be as popular as 3.5" floppies are now....

have a friend who is head of nuclear med at a major hospital. they had store rooms in the basement full of old records which to be cleared out. hp, compact, dell, ibm all came to give advice about how to digitally store the info.... NONE of them could guarantee unlimited future retrieval - finally gave up with ANY form of electronic storage and simply went to microfilch. GUARANTEED readable at ANY point in the future!
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Old February 7th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

I don't think any happiness will be found with any sort of physical media. Unless your HD can go on microfiche!

IMO h.264 at a high bitrate stored on Amazon S3 Glacier is maybe the best that can be done currently by mere video professionals. I think it's more likely Amazon will be around in 2034 than any BR or DVD player or hard disk, and you're storing on a virtual drive that is backed up and redundant.

The gold MAM-A DVD-R disks are supposedly good for 300 years... but what device will play them? Standard recordable disk media gets chancey after 5 years, and very risky after 10.

Take my statements with a grain of salt; my research on this was done pre BluRay. But, again, will BR players be around in 10 or 20 years?
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Old February 7th, 2014, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

My money would be on LTO tape.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

The research I mentioned above was regarding a rescue operation on 1/4" reel to reel audio tape some of which dated back to the 1960s. Tapes were stored in a home environment, ground floor on a cement slab foundation. The home was "dry" by living standards.

All the tapes suffered from hydrolysis. This is a process in which the binder (glue) that is mixed with the iron oxides that sticks the good stuff to the plastic tape absorbs water from the atmosphere. At this point the oxide will shed on your tape drive, and you may even see a little pile of red/brown dust under the heads - that's your recording. Because of the increase in friction the tape tends to be a little stickier, and some players will break the tape, often the tape will audibly screech across the heads, which introduces artifacts in the playback.

Even with modern binders (how would you know?) storing LTO or other mag tape in a *very* low humidity environment would seem prudent if you're planning on 20+ years.

But, how do you know there will still be an LTO drive that works and is available and affordable in 2034? I think the answer has to be that you need to keep up with this stuff, and if it looks like LTO is going out of production and general use, you plan to transfer the material as needed to new archival media.

I ended up transferring 56 hours of audio recordings to Gold CD-R from MAM-A at CD-Audio standard. It was the best choice at the time. But I have to ask myself now, will there be working CD Audio players 50 years from now? (the client wanted 100 year life as the target)

It gives me some comfort that the client posted the material for access from a password protected web site, and now many people have MP3 copies. Crowd-sourcing the archive would seem to hold up even if their web site goes away.

Amazon S3 Glacier service has hardware failure monitoring and multiple hardware redundancy both within a single facility and by using multiple facilities, and it costs $0.01/GB/Month. I say outsource and let the experts manage state of the art archiving.

Amazon Glacier FAQs
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Old February 8th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

I really don't worry about it! I have audio reel to reel tapes going back to the early 1960s. however I also have a R to R player that can play them back and the tapes have been stored in sealed containers. I have in fact converted them all to cd already but still keep the originals. the point really is that if you store your files on Bluray, just store a Bluray player with them. you can then always convert them in 2034 to whatever format is current at that time.

There is even better news though, because in 2026, a new recorder will be developed which can record from every format from cine film through to 3d holographic storage formats so all worries about old formats will be safe :-)

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Old February 8th, 2014, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
But, how do you know there will still be an LTO drive that works and is available and affordable in 2034?
Because it's in wide use as a medium for storage of enterprise data for large corporations. It's not likely to go away anytime soon and if it does there will be a market for data retrieval services long after.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 11:52 PM   #8
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

Hi Leif -
Sometimes it almost seems like "how long they will last" is a topic people don't want to talk about. Maybe because we don't know and it's a crap shoot, maybe because we have some kind of idea but "we'll deal with it then", or something along those lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif Skoglund View Post
What is the best format/way to save these files? Any suggestions?
A little while back I was on a search to find out for myself and came across this thread that was kinda scary: "Warning about storing Blu-rays in anything other than cases"
Warning about storing Blu-rays in anything other than cases - Blu-ray Forum

Although the thread started out talking about cases just for storing the BDRs in, there is much more discussion about the failure of, especially, consumer produced BDR videos.

Seems the consumer BDR disks don't have as hard of a surface as the commercial media, hence, there can be an impression left that can render the disk un-playable. That got my attention!

This is a long thread but it makes for interesting reading.

Okay, since some others have mentioned magnetic tape, what about another option .... export them to 35mm? (okay, that's bad, I know, but couldn't resist)

Anyway, after reading the above thread I can understand why you're asking the question and hopefully it will provoke a good discussion. Unfortunately, except for the "LTO" (didn't know about that) mentioned earlier, I'd be interested in a solution myself.

Oh, someone mentioned "crowd sourcing", that just gave me another idea. Put "Sex and nudity" somewhere in the title and save them somewhere that can be picked up via a Google search. :-)
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Old February 9th, 2014, 12:19 AM   #9
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Hi Leif -

>huge snip<

Okay, since some others have mentioned magnetic tape, what about another option .... export them to 35mm? (okay, that's bad, I know, but couldn't resist)
John, that's not bad at all. A number of studios who make movies exclusively in digital are making one copy on 35mm. film for long term archiving because they know that, in 100 years the odds of that film still being around are far better than any digital version currently known to mankind. I wish I could remember where I read the article that talked about how much hard drive space a typical movie would take. All I know is that it was huge when you take into account all the VFX work done on a lot of movies these days. The odds of being able to read that information in 25 years let alone 100 is impossible to guarantee. Sad but true :(
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Old February 9th, 2014, 12:27 AM   #10
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Re: How to read my video files in the year 2034?

somewhere over the rainbow, or rather in the cloud..... that is if anyone is going to be interested in 20 years from now.

that said, my kids tkae endless pics of my grandkids, post them to facebook, email, etc., but look askance at me when i ask for a print.

i have about four pictures of my parents as 'young' people, and about 20 or so of myself, all of which were handed down carefully and kept in albums. if i like a picture i took, or received, i simply print it out. true, the quality of print from my inkjet might not match photographic paper, but at least i can see it WITHOUT any electronic device.

maybe john isn't so far fetched in his 35mm quip. if it REALLY is worth preserving then film (albeit microfiche or cine) is pretty much guaranteed longevity.

for me nothing beats hard copy, and for video, hq mp4 on multiple cloud sites. i have vimeo, youtube, ibdm, and videoarchive accounts and use them to keep clients material as well as mine.
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