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Old 08.08.2011, 12:37
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How to save and store video files for the future?


Hi Everyone,

I wanted to get some ideas and feedback as to how best save and store my videos and pictures.

As a father ive probably stored up over 2 hours of family/baby footage and my son is only 2 and my daughter 3 months, so I cant imagine how much ill have over the coming years.

What I want to know is how should I store and keep these files so that in 20-30 years time my kids can reuse and watch the footage.

My current idea is to have 2-3 external hard drives with the same data on and kept in different places and save them as Mpg or similar files. Is there a better or safer way?

Thanks for the heads up.

Lee
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:42
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

I keep four copies of everything (music, video), as drives are cheap. Use as high a bit-rate as possible for best quality.

Tom
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:43
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Not a pro on this.

Buy high quality dvd or blu-rays might be the best option. Stored properly.

Harddrives IMO have too many things that can go wrong (physical shock, water, electric damage, magnets).
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:46
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

That's why I plan to have several because if there is damage the others will still be ok.

I was looking also at some other methods such as solid state drives (SSD) and also trying to work out if a backup drive and external hard drive are really that different.

It gets quite confusing....
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:50
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

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That's why I plan to have several because if there is damage the others will still be ok.

I was looking also at some other methods such as solid state drives (SSD) and also trying to work out if a backup drive and external hard drive are really that different.

It gets quite confusing....

In the case of SSD, I think the cost benefits are favoring speed over lifetime at the moment.

The best bet is redundant copies, stored at different locations and different mediums. Kinda generic answer but the safest bet.
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:51
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

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That's why I plan to have several because if there is damage the others will still be ok.

I was looking also at some other methods such as solid state drives (SSD) and also trying to work out if a backup drive and external hard drive are really that different.

It gets quite confusing....
SSD are still too expensive for backups now.

You can definitely survive 4 additional years from today with normal hard drives.
Especially if you need them for backups.

Just get a SAN with a few HDD in a RAID 5 or 6 configuration... That way if 1 drive fails, you still can replace it and have all data store somewhere else.

Yes it's expensive but if you buy 3-4 external HDD it's not too much more expensive...

No, if the actual san fails, well I suppose you lose everything (I don't know if you can "unplug the disks and put in a new SAN).
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:52
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Another issue is also the format you use to save. I'd rely on opensource codecs.
I used to have a Camera that was using a proprietary codec....and finding it on the internet was very difficult!
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:01
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

RAID and 2^x HDDs is definitely the way to go for the storage.
SSD concept and technology is wonderful, but these problems keep me away from it.

As for the best format for your favorite media files... the best option is lossless or no compression at all. However, with the video files I'll be quite satisfied with the H264 codec at a fair bitrate (depending on the fps, resolution, color depth, audio, etc).
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:10
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Storage, whilst always improving in terms of speed and capacity, rarely obsoletes it's predecessors. How long have CD's been around ? You can still buy 3.5" floppy drives and media. A fool proof way is to archive both the media and the hardware. Buy a low end spec machine that has 2 sizable hard disks and a Blu-ay 50GB drive. Place the drives in mirrored mode and copy the contents to a Blu-Ray drive. This will leave you with triple redundancy at minimal cost. If the hardware starts to become obsolete (Hard drives will be here for another 10 years at least) , upgrade the drives on your storage server.

I have a Lian-Li EX50 external DASD case linked via eSATA to my PC , it has the option to mirror a single drive across all 5 bays. AN option for the paranoid.

Do not use cheap PC drives , if you value your data, use the Enterprise editions of the drive (24x7 drives).

Optical media should be redone every 5-10 years, depending on storage conditions. Do not expect to use a CD 20 years later that has been left lying around. Do not use CD labels or CD pens on the media, rather print a catalogue of the contents off and store it with the CD. Use individual jewel cases for CD's , do not use CD wallets. Store in the basement, which have a better regulated cooler temperature, away from light etc.

Or

Store your videos with a cloud storage provider. They will offer leading edge storage that is unlikely to date so quickly. It is relatively cheap, and if you use two providers you minimise loss from Business failure.

I suggest refreshing your media every 7 years, copying/duplicating it over to the latest storage hardware, even if this means to the same media type.

Always make several copies, 3-5 copies of everything can be quite cheap.

Always keep a copy off-site, away from the originals. This can be a bank, a relative's house or another PC/Cloud storage provider.

Periodically (annually) check the media to ensure it can be read.

Avoid RAID 5. It can be degraded with a single drive failure , sometimes without you even knowing and a second failure will lose data. RAID 5 sucks.
In the event of a system failure while there are active writes, the parity of a stripe may become inconsistent with the data. If this is not detected and repaired before a disk or block fails, data loss may ensue as incorrect parity will be used to reconstruct the missing block in that stripe. This potential vulnerability is sometimes known as the write hole. Battery-backed cache and similar techniques are commonly used to reduce the window of opportunity for this to occur. The same issue occurs for RAID-6.

RAID 1 is best. Even better if there are multiple mirror drives available. If you invest in an OS with a decent LVM, you can run a 3 way mirror and break the mirror after archiving and remove/spin down the 3rd mirror, reducing MTBF. If your archive is constantly being written to, consider running mirrored storage arrays , both running RAID 1.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:18
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

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What I want to know is how should I store and keep these files so that in 20-30 years time my kids can reuse and watch the footage.
30 years is a long time.

option 1

transfer it onto 35mm film. then you just need to buy a film projector, which will probably very cheap in a few years as the cinemas switch to digital. also, there will be 35mm conversion services in the next 30 years.

option 2

transfer it onto PC back-up media. you'll probably need to convert media many times over the 30 years and no hard disk is going survive those 30 years. maybe LTO tapes would fit the bill, but even these will probably not be around in 30 years.

option 3

upload it to youtube and hope it is still around.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:23
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Its clear to me that I will have to update it every 5-7 years and possibly buy new storage devices. I would also refresh the data probably once a year and add new stuff.

I should have said I use a Mac, I saw the Mac Mini which looks good, 750gb and 256 gb SSD, looks interesting but probably as usual just an overpriced sleek option.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:27
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

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Its clear to me that I will have to update it every 5-7 years and possibly buy new storage devices. I would also refresh the data probably once a year and add new stuff.

I should have said I use a Mac, I saw the Mac Mini which looks good, 750gb and 256 gb SSD, looks interesting but probably as usual just an overpriced sleek option.
Lacie do nice external RAID 1 drives, if you buy two of these and a few spare drives (same make as the ones in the Lacie enclosure) you should be fine, keep one live , and plug the spare on in periodically to bring it up to date.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:28
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

You want backups. Your PC, copy to external disk and backup to the cloud.

For $50, you can get Crashplan with unlimited storage. I'm just about to move from Carbonite to them with a 190Gb backup set. And that's just my music and pictures.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:30
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Also, an iPad with 16GB of storage will last a long time if only used for backups and you keep the battery in good shape. That way you have both the storage and the player , a nice gift. Store it in a safe in an A4 padded envelope with your will. Nice memories, instant memories. Update every 5 years...
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:40
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to get some ideas and feedback as to how best save and store my videos and pictures.

As a father ive probably stored up over 2 hours of family/baby footage and my son is only 2 and my daughter 3 months, so I cant imagine how much ill have over the coming years.

What I want to know is how should I store and keep these files so that in 20-30 years time my kids can reuse and watch the footage.

My current idea is to have 2-3 external hard drives with the same data on and kept in different places and save them as Mpg or similar files. Is there a better or safer way?

Thanks for the heads up.

Lee
I use www.Adrive.com to save up all my Pictures & Videos.
You will need a good speed of internet connection though.

Cheers.
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Old 08.08.2011, 14:05
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

A general rule for any static storage - away from light, 16C and 36% relative humidity.

Personally, I would forget any current optical medium due to possible chemical breakdown and the metal foil corrosion. Magnetic mediums have lasted the longest in my experience, provided they are stored shielded from magnetic fields at reasonable temps and humidity. Quality HDDs, replaced every 7 years or so, are likely the most reasonable solution currently.
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Old 08.08.2011, 15:03
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

So I was just in a shop and saw the 2big network 2 from Lacie, a 2-bay RAID. Total 2TB and you can buy replacement/extras quite well priced.

Seems like a good option.
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Old 08.08.2011, 15:13
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

I've got 1200 CDs ripped to flac, about twice that to mp3-320, and all my home moves to MPEG-6000, so a bit over 1TB, a bit much for anything but a big disk.

A 2TB USB drive is under CHF 100, buy a few.

Tom
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Old 08.08.2011, 15:29
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Re: How to save and store video files for the future?

Even with all the solutions above, the files will need to be shifted and maintained from one drive to another every few years or so, moving across new versions of OSs, HD formats or whatever. Might be fine for the techies, not so much anyone else.

I can't help thinking there must be a huge market for a reliable online backup service, maybe offered by a business already trusted to hold on to things and keep them safe, like banks (maybe not).

Online solutions I looked at so far haven't inspired me with confidence, but then if your looking for a place to keep your data for a lifetime, a company that's been around a year or so don't look so promising....
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