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Do you archive your photos / videos to DVD?

Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Everything else seems to decay. Even DVD's decay, but the M-Disc is pretty archival. Hard drives seem to lose magnetism over time and the data needs to be re-written to a new part of the drive. The new solid state drives are supposedly very bad for uncharged storage and need to be charged often. I read they may only hold data for a few months or a year without a charge. LTO tape is magnetic based, so it may suffer the same as hard drives with magnetic decay.
I was told flash cards are good for 10 years with no charge, but have not tested it. I've tested SD flash cards and they hold the data at least for 5 years with no charge. And unless something is actually tested and tested well, all this is hearsay.
The general consensus is to just keep transferring the data to newer and newer forms of storage. But sooner or later you lose something in the translation or something gets left out. It is nice to be able to archive something finally and for the archival record without fears of decay.
They got crystal storage, as in laser engraved synthetic quartz, that is very good. But even after 10 years of development they wont come out with it for the general public. And when I say very good, I'm just reading about what they say, I have no experience with crystal storage. Who knows, maybe the crystal drive would cost $10K? For now if you want anything archival and digital, it is the M-Disc.
I'm currently finishing up testing a huge group of optical media. About 85% of tests are done, but still have a few stragglers to complete. The original Millenniata M-Disc is very impressive. It survived a year in the sun with no issues whatever, whereas a normal organic based DVD dies in +/- 26 days of sun and a MAM gold DVD lasted only +/- 36 days in the sun. It does not matter if Taiyo-Yuden, AZO or what. If it is organic...the sun will destroy it in short order. 
The discontinued original Kodak 100 year gold discs were the best DVD I have tested that is not a M-Disc. The Kodak gold were much better than the current MAM gold disc. The Kodak gold disc lasted +/- 55 days of sun.
People nowadays rave about the cloud. Well as soon as your account is 30 days in arrears they delete all your data, photos and videos. And who is going to find it in time to archive when you're gone?
There is nothing like having something physical...archival.
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I don’t know much about DVD archival but if you want a mostly lossless format you could transfer to celluloid.  35mm film transfer onto a super clean stock. That negative will last a really long time in the right storage conditions and of course should we ever go post apocalyptic film could still be viewed.

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  • 1 month later...

Well the amount of data that you have to store is really getting to be crazy.

But here's how I handle our backups.

First of all of our data what I shoot and my personal stuff is on a 12TB network attached storage that has redundant drives so anything can fail and all the projects and everything is still there. 

But then when projects are done I usually backup the finished projects like the final renders, all the art work and project files, basically anything important accept for the raw footage, as well as my personal photos and some important documents to an external drive which I keep in a separate fire, emp, whatever proof safe.

At the same time I backup all the really important stuff like the final renders of projects, only the project files, art and my personal photos and documents on an M disk dvd which gets stored one copy in my safe, another at my parents place and in a safety deposit box just for safe keeping.

Every so often which is usually every couple of years I take the DVDs and copy everything back to a drive and create fresh copies checking the crc is OK to know that all the data is coherent and still readable. 

One of the most important things that I try to do is to store important stuff like project files in open formats that I'll be able to open even after years. So for example graphics get stored in some SVG type thing, Davinci projects also get saved in XML's and similar stuff like that.

I also try not to encrypt stuff as much as I can because that only makes it harder to open stuff when needed which is a security risk but at the same time the data is stored securely so it presents a minimal risk.

At one time I had stuff backed up to an LTO drive but ti kept being too much data so I reduced the amount of data needed to backup but abandoned it anyway.

Thankfully I come from an IT background so all the folder structures are always uniform and so not that big of a deal to backup or even restore only a part of it manually. 

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