best storage method for archiving video camera files?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I know this subject has been discussed in the past.
    I am wondering if storing video to DV tape is still the preferred method as
    the problem with video tapes is that it can be damaged if it comes in
    contact with anything magnetic. I have found some lines moving across the
    video when playing a DV tape; this is likely to be some magnetic
    disturbance due to coming close to a magnet. I try to store the tapes away
    from anything magnetic.
    I have to move things out of my house so that earthquake repairs need to be
    done and its a problem in keeping a box of tapes away from anything that
    has a motor, speakers or some other magnetic device. I use a compass near
    anything I suspect that might be magnetic and if the needle suddenly swings
    toward the suspect item then I know I have to keep it stored away from
    things like tapes.
    Another way is to store video camera recording on an external hard drive
    but there i always the chance of a virus corrupting the stored recordings
    as soon as I connect it to the computer or the hard drive could break down.
    At the moment this is how I'm archiving video
    I could store it on blank DVD's but considering the file size of recorded
    video files I would need a lot of DVD's.
    Maybe the solution is to record the files onto Blu-ray discs as they can
    hold up to 25 GB of data.

    What media do others find best to archive video camera files?
    Brian, Feb 19, 2013
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  2. I think magnetic tape is relative safe from just magnetic materials or
    even weak magnetic files. It is hard to magnetize and it is also
    somewhat self-shielding.

    Luckily, if I'm too optimistic in that area, there are plenty of people
    in this NG that will correct what I said :)

    But the other thing I want to say tis that a good approach (not
    necessarily easy and certainly not cheap) is a two or three pronged
    approach. Use magnetic tape, sure, but also use hard drives, and maybe
    even Blu-ray disks as well, as the third prong.
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 19, 2013
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  3. That's supposed to be "weak magnetic fields".


    "tis that" = "is that"

    Lousy typist, lousy spell checker, and lousy proofreader -- all working
    together :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 19, 2013
  4. My "horror story", that is maybe also reassuring...:
    Being often somewhat stupid (and I have survived some REALLY
    stupid things I have done.....!;-), I placed a very large and
    powerful magnet that I bought from the Cornell synchrotron
    when they were updating it many years ago (one that could
    make the picture of a CRT TV "swim" from several feet away,
    and which snipped the extreme end of my thumb off when two
    iron plates were placed on it in an attempt to narrow the
    gap for making a ribbon tweeter, which then snapped together
    with my thumb in the way - and which needed to be pried off
    the floor of the car with a two-by-four when I first brought
    it home [see, I warned you...!;-]) on a friend's desk, then
    realized that he kept his tape collection a few inches from
    where I had just placed it - but the tapes were undamaged
    (at least during the short time it remained there...). So,
    more likely the lines visible in the tape playback were
    caused by dirty heads, or possibly by damaged or worn
    heads(?). BTW, home-made DVDs (except for very special
    types) should not be considered archival. Blu-ray disks
    **MAY** be better, but any non-pressed optical disk
    (commercially-made disks are different, being pressed, and
    they can last a very long time, unlike ones that depend on
    dyes) likely has a relatively fleeting existence. As it is,
    sometimes I feel like a librarian/archivist, and I don't
    even follow GB's good suggestions at all... Sigh!
    David Ruether, Feb 19, 2013
  5. So - do you think *I* follow GB's suggestions?

    Not very well :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 19, 2013
  6. But 'tis" is so much more litirerry....
    Existential Angst, Feb 19, 2013
  7. Theoretically, the magnetic flux of one winding of tape can affect the
    adjacent winding.
    Mebbe more significant in analog recordings than digital, but even in
    digital, the field can eventually weaken.
    The cloud? Carbonite et al?

    I seem to recall some kind of study of stability of media, and optical
    didn't rate very high, and static memory did rate high -- altho I wouldn't
    bet the farm on any of this. Multple flash drives in static/magnetic-proof
    Existential Angst, Feb 19, 2013
  8. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Out of all the movie DVD's I've brought I have had one that failed on me.
    It was the Woodstock festival DVD and it played OK for the first layer but
    stopped a few times when player the second layer...maybe a fault in the
    manufacture of the DVD
    or the material it was made from. It played For m without any problems the
    first few times I played it and there were no marks on the surface of the

    I have video tapes of recording off TV that date back to at least the mid
    1980's and in most cases they play back with no problems when I tried
    playing a few recently to check what was on them. One thing that does
    happen is that dust can collect on the edge of the tape even hen the tpe is
    stored in its cover but often rewinding the tape clears the dust.
    So far I have not had any problems in playing back a DVD disc and have
    tried many different brands of disks (DVD-R and DVD-RW). Even the cheap
    brands DVD's still play back with no problems.
    I have had a few problems with recording to blank DVD's if they start to
    age after stilling a round for a few years waiting to be recorded on.
    Some of my 3.5 inch floppy disks have had faults when I tried to copy some
    to the computer but that is to be expected. In some cases I left it too
    long to transfer the floppies to DVD.
    I have also had problems with computer DVD's that are attached to a
    computer magazine. I think the problem is in bad media as if I exchange the
    DVD for another DVD from the book store I often get the same problem.

    I agree that anything available should be copied and stored in more than
    one place.
    As a experiment I might try and see if its easy to damage a recording on an
    old VHS tape by bringing it close to something magnetic. It may depend on
    how long the tape is exposed to the magnetic source. I worry about any
    tapes near floor level when my wife is using the vacuum clearer as the
    magnetic field from the motor could destroy tapes.

    Another thing I'm wondering is if you put a speaker on top of an external
    hard drive when could the magnetic field from the speaker cause damage to
    the recording on the external hard drive or are they shielded?
    Brian, Feb 19, 2013
  9. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Out of interest what would a magnetic proof container be made of? (Lead
    Brian, Feb 19, 2013
  10. Brian

    mkujbida Guest

    The bottom line is to make multiple backups and store them in separate locations, preferably fire and water proof with good temperature and humidity controls (bank vault?).
    DV tape can be copied as many times as you need without any quality loss.
    With the advent of HD, most new cameras are now recording to SD cards or hard drives of some kind.
    In the "old" days, I would do a shoot, transfer the tape into the computer and put the tape on a shelf.
    Now I dump the card contents to 2 hard drives (one for editing and one for backup). A second backup drive stored off site is highly recommended.
    Hard drives don't last forever so check the backup drives at least once every 6 months and replace it if shows any sign of problem.
    I never rely on DVD or Blu-ray for long term archive purposes as you have no idea when it will die - and they do, especially the cheap media.
    I've been using Taiyo-Yuden (now JVC) for several years as they are recognized as being the best of the best currently available.

    mkujbida, Feb 19, 2013
  11. Brian

    Mike S. Guest

    I've used these but can't verify their longevity.
    The cost per gigabyte can be prohibitive if you have lots to save.
    Mike S., Feb 19, 2013
  12. Any container that attracts a magnet, almost any kind of steel -- cake
    "tins", breadboxes, lockboxes, etc. Not stainless steel, however, and of
    course no non-ferrous (alum, brass, lead, magnesium, copper).
    Anti-static plastic baggies are not a bad idear, either. Static discharge
    is the deathknell of everything electronic, digital.
    Die-hards might also go with hermetically sealed, vacuum, etc.
    Existential Angst, Feb 19, 2013
  13. Brian

    Paul Guest

    Brian wrote:

    Google "VHS bulk eraser", available at Radio Shack. By using
    an AC magnetic field, less residual field is left on the tape, meaning
    you won't gum up the head on the recorder later when recycling the tape.

    And yes, industrial strength floor polisher machines have erased
    tapes. Your vacuum cleaner might not have as high a field around it.
    Hard drives are relatively resilient to that sort of abuse. That's
    why you'd find people worried about security, would not trust a
    magnetic method to "completely clean" a hard drive. High security
    facilities still prefer to physically shred the drives, into
    small bits. It's possible a strong external field, would
    rip the head assembly and actuator apart, without completely
    erasing the platters. At a data recovery firm, they could fit
    a new head assembly and read the platters.

    An article on the Hitachi disk site (HGST), mentions the newer
    vertical recording hard drives (the 2TB kind), are more sensitive
    to magnets, than the horizontal recording older hard drives. But
    that they'd been working on the problem, and had comparable
    performance to older disks. I take that to mean its still an
    issue, so I won't be resting my 2TB drive on top of any 36"
    woofer magnets.

    At least some computer speakers are "shielded", implying they're
    less of an issue for your hard drive. Maybe you'd get away with
    resting a hard drive on the top surface of the speaker, but why
    take a chance ? Regular stereo store speakers may not be

    And if you needed to protect an object from magnetism, annealed
    mu metal is good. In physics lab, we had a hollow cylinder of
    the stuff, which apparently cost around $300. And an object placed
    inside the cylinder, was protected from magnetism. The magnetic
    lines of flux, prefer to flow through the mu metal, rather than
    the object in the center of the hollow cylinder. The mu metal
    functions as a flux concentrator. If a small hollow cylinder costs $300,
    imagine what the security safe pictured in this article would cost!

    "Bending or mechanical shock after annealing may disrupt
    the material's grain alignment"

    That's why it needs to be annealed, for serious work. Like
    protecting one of these perhaps.

    Paul, Feb 19, 2013
  14. Yes 'tis - but maybe, as a techie, I'm not so literary :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 19, 2013
  15. The site probably points this out (it's been a while since I looked
    there), but you do have to own or buy a drive that writes M-Disc.
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 19, 2013
  16. Den you should proly spend more time atcher liberry....
    Existential Angst, Feb 20, 2013

  17. HDDs already have very powerful magnets in them.
    Put one of those mags on yer fridge, and you'll be hard-pressed to pull it
    Existential Angst, Feb 20, 2013
  18. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I wonder if mdisc is going to be like data tape drives, the Ditto drive
    backup and the Syquest drive backup which seem to die out after a while
    then you had the problem of finding a way to read the media from these
    systems so you could move the data it to a more recent media.
    The same goes for floppy disks, VHS video tapes, audio cassette tapes and
    8mm film if you still own an old movie camera.
    It's surprising that CD discs have not died out yet.
    Brian, Feb 20, 2013
  19. Brian

    Brian Guest

    There must be some shielding from the motor else it could damage the data
    saved on the HDD.
    Brian, Feb 20, 2013
  20. Brian

    Brian Guest

    When not in use I put my external drive in the box it came in and recently
    I was wondering if I put the power supply in the box with the drive when
    could the power supply then could there be magnetism from the power supply
    that could effect the recording on the hard drive. But I suspect the
    magnetism if any would be weak from the power supply.
    As you can tell I worry too much.
    Brian, Feb 20, 2013
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