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Data Storage Media

Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage? 499

First time accepted submitter (and first-time parent — congratulations!) SoylentRed writes "I recently have had my first kid, a wonderful healthy daughter who is now just over 6 months old. As one can expect, we have an abundance of photos and videos, and have started to scratch our heads about the best way to store these files and back them up long-term. My parents have asked us (funny thing is it was my mom — the least tech-savvy person among our family) what our plan is to make sure these files are saved and available for her when she is older — which made me realize that we don't really have a good plan! We are currently using TimeMachine on my wife's MacBook Pro; for now we are doing OK with that as a back-up. But my parents have offered to help pay for something that might be a better solution. We could burn DVDs — but that is tedious and gets to be a pain as we would need to back those up (or recopy) them every year or so to be sure we aren't suffering from degrading DVDs. Is our best option right now to pick up two hard drives, back up all our pictures and videos to the first, and then use a 3rd party app to mirror that drive to the second just in case one of them craps out? Is there an online solution that would be better? We are still a few years away from being able to afford the DVDs/CDs that are the 100+ year discs. Is there a better solution I haven't thought of?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

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  • Every media I look at appears to suffer over time. My 10 year old burned DVDs are already exhibiting decay.

    What's the life span on Flash RAM?

    • by gknoy ( 899301 )

      I imagine that magnetic disks (or tape?) have better storage life than flash drives.

      • You've never had to do an emergency restore from backup, only to find that the tape has seriously degraded over the past year.

        • We had five, yes five duplicate tape backups sets for a final copy of our obsolete accounting system. All tapes were verified good when they went onto the shelf (in a climate controlled room). A year later, it took us more than 10 tries to get one of them to restore successfully.. I think it was tape set 3 on the 4th try or something before it restored.

          Tapes suck.

    • I didn't want to promote their product after catching them astroturfing, [amazon.com] but an M-disc is a perfect solution for this.

    • Flash is generally rated for a decade of data retention; there doesn't seem to be much firm data(given what a reasonable chunk of flash cost a decade ago, and the nontrivial differences between today's flash and that of yesteryear) as to whether that is the pessimistic, 'underpromise, overdeliver' number, or whether that is the bullshit optimist's number.
    • Decay isn't what you should be worrying about, you should be worrying about what you're going to be able to verify regularly. It doesn't matter if it's a reliable medium if you have to spend 6 hours every few months verifying that the data hasn't gotten corrupted and then figuring out how to restore the files.

      A better solution is to just use an external HDD which is backed up to an external location. I personally like to use SFV to provide the verification function. It takes a bit of time on large collectio

    • Boar is the solution (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mekberg ( 1942358 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @03:15PM (#37557776)

      You are looking for Boar, an open source project providing "Simple version control and backup for photos, videos and other binary files". The philosophy is that version control is necessary for all vital data, be it code or baby pictures. And when you have all your files in one large, nice pile, Boar makes it easy to create and maintain verified copies on external HDDs or whatever. Splitting your data on a bunch of DVDs is a sure way to bring chaos to your files.

      The project page is on google code at http://code.google.com/p/boar/ [google.com]

      Disclaimer: I'm the author of Boar, and I think that absolutely everyone who values their files should use it. Or something similar, although I haven't found anything else that fits my needs.

      • by yo_tuco ( 795102 )

        Disclaimer: I'm the author of Boar, and I think that absolutely everyone who values their files should use it. Or something similar, although I haven't found anything else that fits my needs.

        Current state
        The project is in beta phase...

        What do I need to run it?
        Boar is written in Python and tested on Windows and Linux. You will need python 2.6 or higher. Also, you should know that boar is (so far) a command line tool and will require some basic command line skills.

        It's beta, only tested on Windows and Linux and you need command line skills? It doesn't sound ready for Everyone just yet. You're going to need a GUI for the majority that's not reading your post here on /.

  • Print (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:35PM (#37557114) Homepage

    Select the best photos, and print them. It's cheap, lasts a long time, and you can easily print multiple copies for safekeeping.

    • by DrEnter ( 600510 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:43PM (#37557244)
      For the price, services like SnapFish are remarkably cost-effective. The paper and ink are archival rated (200 years), and I've found it less expensive than the cost of a decent printer and ink. Seriously, this is the way to go. Anything else is going to require data migration (for compatibility and ease of access if nothing else) every 5-10 years or so.
    • That's a good idea for photos (costco photo center is a personal favorite), but it's much more difficult to print videos..
    • Re:Print (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cragen ( 697038 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:52PM (#37557422)
      Interestingly, a distant cousin of mine just today posted a picture of a family group which includes our great(-great?)-grandfather, which is a copy of picture taken around 1875. One of my cousins presumably still has this picture. I have no idea where the pictures I took of my daughter currently are. I took movies of her and her brother on the mini-tape format. Only way to show them is through the camera to the VHS machine. (Not exactly sure where the camera is.) So, good luck with that! My advice. Take a few pictures to get it out of your system then enjoy every swinging second of being with your kids. They will grow up and head out into the world unbelievably fast. (I still can't believe mine are in college.) Good Luck!
    • by Xupa ( 1313669 )
      Modern inks and papers are acid-based and will not last as long as they used to. I recommend multiple backup options. For photos and videos, keeping a copy somewhere online is a good idea, and for your local storage do what I do - refresh your drives every couple years. I've got almost 20 years worth of archives on a drive I replaced in June. I'll be replacing it again a June or two from now.
    • Re:Print (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2011 @03:35PM (#37558080)

      Without question. In 80 years, you're going to die. Your kids are going to come into your house, go through your stuff and try to figure out what to keep and what goes to the estate sale. No matter how carefully assembled and documented, no matter how well you lay out (now) your archival system and metadata linkage, when it comes down to picking through the bones of your life, it's going to look like a computer system (and probably an ancient, useless one at that). A shoebox full of pictures, especially with notes written on the back, has clear value in that context and will be saved for the next generation. Those same pictures assembled into an album, even more so.

      Video...how do you think you're going to play all those h264 in 80 years, when your computer is a little sliver of plastic embedded in your thumb?

    • Print a book (Score:5, Insightful)

      by frankmu ( 68782 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @03:42PM (#37558188) Homepage
      Totally agree with you regarding photos. I use iPhoto to print out books of our family trips, then send copies to the grandparents. You have off site storage, and don't have to worry about finding the correct media player. The kids are able to read it whenever they want to. It's fun to watch my kids snuggle up with their grandparents on the couch with books, not as easy with a laptop or tablet.
  • (no, not for video)
    But a couple of years ago, I was cleaning out my parents house in preparation to sell. And came across old family photo albums from the twenties and thirties. Easy to browse through, and trivial to store.

    I don't expect my current thousands of digital pics to be readable in 80 years without siginificant and ongoing work.
    • Re:Hard copy (Score:4, Informative)

      by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:58PM (#37557506) Homepage

      While it is true that digital data needs to be maintained, it's not a lot. If there ever comes a time when you won't be able to cheaply and easily store your digital files, you will have much more serious things to worry about than preserving old photos.

      Over time, data gets smaller relative to storage devices. Something that seemed like a lot 15 years ago can easily sit in the slack space on your phone.

      • The main problem of digital archive is not preservation: it is discovery.

        What the grand-parent says is that printed media is a shoe box is more discoverable than digital files. A digital archive lost because no one knows that it exists or where it exists is of no value.
        Also, discoverability is a more important feature for a family media archive than quality. A bad quality photo is better than no photo at all.

  • by gapagos ( 1264716 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:37PM (#37557150)

    Facebook NEVER deletes or forgets ANYTHING, even when they claim they do.

    It is probably is the safest storage there has ever been.

  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:37PM (#37557152)
    Have all your video transcribed to post it notes. When you want to watch hire a local school kid to flip through the pages real fast and read the dialog aloud.
  • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:38PM (#37557156)
    Every 3 months, never ceases to amaze me.
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Probably because nobody ever replies with a reasonably affordable solution that is guarenteed to last for atleast 20 years.
      I do use those 100+ year DVD's (they're not as expensive as TFA implies), but whether I can trust the vendors' claims, I'll just have to wait and see.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        I have 15 year old media files already.

        Been there. Done that. It's really not as hard as people try to make it out to be.

      • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @03:05PM (#37557630)

        Probably because nobody ever replies with a reasonably affordable solution that is guarenteed to last for atleast 20 years.

        Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, that's because no such solution exists?

        Seriously, if there had been some manner of breakthrough in storage technology that would radically have changed the replies people gave 3 months ago, 6 months ago, 9 months ago, 12 months ago, etc. don't you think it would have been not only front page news at Slashdot but on practically any technology website worth its salt?

        No, I'm with GP. Stop asking the same question if you can reasonably expect the answers to be the same, too.

        For those needing car analogies:
        Slashdot is the car. The editors and commenters are the drivers. The people submitting these types of articles are the whiney kids going "Are we there yet?".

        Unfortunately, the drivers in this case are horrible parents and humor their kids with "No, not yet." / "No, but we are somewhere else and let me tell you all about it even if it's not what you asked about.".

        A sane parent would have done the "No. I'll tell you when we're there*. Now stop asking or I'm going to pull over"-threat thing.
        ( * I.e. by posting about the aforementioned technological breakthrough. )

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        Exactly. Pretty much we have only a few solutions:

        1: Tape. DLT and LTO tape will last 10-20 years, but tape drives are expensive ($3000+), require a fast connection (SAS minimum, likely FC), and one will need to know what software was used with what settings (like for tar, what blocksize, etc.)

        2: Archival grade CDs/DVDs. Like the parent, it sounds good and isn't that expensive, but time will tell if the advertising holds true. Then there are factors like what burner is used and what dyes that may make

    • Acid free paper is the best bet at the moment, it can last several decades to centuries. But then you have to be sure the inks/toners are stable etc.

      Digital storage is "brittle" it relies on all sorts of technologies and assumptions which are not valid over a longer term. Basically when the power goes off, we as a civilsation are fubar.

      • by mmcuh ( 1088773 )
        When the power goes, we may have more important things to worry about than looking at videos of each other's kids.
      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

        You're saying that as is we couldn't rely on our technolog/=z4Ah;z1l%2kcfA]`h^7a-NO CARRIER

    • by RichiH ( 749257 )

      > Every 3 months


      > , never ceases to amaze me.

      Not me. I care deeply about this topic and all the common answers/options are shit.

  • by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:39PM (#37557202)

    I invested in a NAS Drive which has Raid 0 AND I back it up once a month offsite through the web through an FTP script.

    It was cheap (under $500 including upgrading my whole infrastructure to gigibit) and it's the "set it and forget it" variety.

    Best part, it's scalable to whatever drives come out....wait that's a lie, that was my original plan but I just learned yesterday it's limited to 2GB drives (SCREW YOU SPARC!). Go with the more expensive expandable 4 bay x86 ones and it might push up the costs but worth it in my opinion.

    As a happy bonus, I now get my FAMILY to backup their videos and photos to it as well over the internet in the same "set it and forget it" way.

    Lastly, Once a year, I give a set of DVD's (Dual Layer) to my lawyer to add to the Will. Overkill yes, but hey you never know.

    Yo Grark

    • Raid 0 is a real bad idea for backup, if one drive fails, your whole array goes down. A NAS is a good idea IMO, but you should not be using Raid 0. A better solution would be to use something like Raid 6 (which allows 2 drives to fail without loss of data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels#RAID_6 [wikipedia.org] ).

    • by nakhla ( 68363 )

      RAID0 doesn't buy you any type of assurance in the event of a drive failure, though. If one drive goes you lose everything. It'd be better to use RAID1 to get data mirroring. That way, if one drive dies you have a second one as a spare.

    • I bought a QNAP TS-109 about 5 years ago, it worked great as a central storage for everything.... until... its power supply went flaky and couldn't handle the drive anymore. RAID doesn't do you much good when the drive controller goes down. Worse, the TS-109 kept files in some kind of format that was unreadable by Ubuntu, OS-X, Windows, and my local Linux Guru's hobby farm of machines - could see the partitioning, but the data partition was unreadable. Months later, after grieving the loss of 1TB of file

    • Get a good consumer NAS for storage that can mirror. Then backup offsite (cloud storage or Blu Ray disks). If you lost your backups, create new ones from your NAS. If you lose your NAS, use your offsite backup. Cheap and elegant.

    • I invested in a NAS Drive which has Raid 0

      FYI, RAID 0 isn't very safe.

      • I invested in a NAS Drive which has Raid 0 AND I back it up once a month offsite

        FYI, RAID 0 isn't very safe.

        The "safe" RAID levels are good when you need to recover quickly from a single-drive failure, or when the drives are being updated with essential data faster than you can make backups. This is mainly an enterprise feature, not something you'd really benefit from at home. RAID won't help you when a software or (non-HDD) hardware fault causes filesystem corruption, for example, since that affects all the drives at the same time.

        The GP is probably just using RAID 0 to combine the drives for increased space (wi

        • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday September 29, 2011 @06:15PM (#37560454) Homepage

          Well there's a question about what you're trying to accomplish, yes, and RAID 0 is faster. However, what you should overlook is that RAID 0 drastically increases your chances of losing the entire contents of your drive due to catastrophic disk failure.

          When you get 2 hard drives together in a RAID 0, either one could die and cause total data loss, meaning you've doubled your chances of losing all the data on that RAID. There are consumer-grade RAIDs now offering 4 drives, which means that if you use a RAID 0 there, you've quadrupled your chances. This is a problem, because it's really not all that rare for a hard drive to fail.

          So the point of "safe" RAID configurations is not just to increase safety over what a single drive provides (which is what RAID 1 does) but rather to mitigate the danger created by putting the drives in a RAID. A RAID 5 is much safer than a RAID 0, for example, because the chances of 2 drives failing at the same time is rather slim. However, there is bound to be a point where, if you have enough disks in a RAID 5 (I don't know how many, and it would depend on a couple factors), then it would be less safe than storing data on a single disk.

          So... yeah, if you need a lot of speed and space for cheap, you're really confident in your backup solution, and you don't mind the downtime of needing to restore from backup if your RAID dies, then RAID 0 isn't a bad solution. But on the other hand, I don't recommend that people rely too heavily on their backups.

    • Rather than FTP, use rsync. Protect the data with PAR2. I use a Calvary SATA cradle with RAID 1 (mirroring) between two identical drives. I bought the USB model for $40; it's fast enough to burn a DVD at full speed.
    • Do you mean RAID1 and 2TB drives?
  • Is our best option right now to pick up two hard drives, back up all our pictures and videos to the first, and then use a 3rd party app to mirror that drive to the second just in case one of them craps out?

    What happens if that first drive craps out in the middle of the mirroring? Now you have NO backups. The only thing to save you here is if you still have everything you've ever taken on its original location, your primary computer.

    Best bet? Two external drives. Back from your PC to one drive. Then repeat the backup on the second drive. Every so often, back up to optical media.

    I set up an FTP site that contains all of my child's pictures that we want to keep. My parents hit the ftp site and download an

  • You have your main backup drive, and then occasionally back it up to the secondary drive. Since you are not using the 2nd drive as much, as long as you keep it in a safe place (not knocked around, good temp & humidity control), it should last for a long time. Using SSDs could also be an option, but others should chime in as I'm not very conversant with the state of tech in regards to SSDs.

    Online solutions are an option, but then you are at the mercy of the company that is storing that data. Not a bad

    • by cHALiTO ( 101461 )

      I was going to suggest SSDs too. What's the life expectancy for SD cards?

    • Nothing to stop you sending it to two or more online sites.

      What's the problem with just zipping the files, and email your gmail and your yahoo?

      • Gmail and Yahoo account sizes are not nearly enough to store decent quality video. Plenty of cheap cameras do 720p nowadays, that adds up very quickly.

  • Realistically the best long term storage solution is proper film prints. I have pictures from my parents and grandparents that are 60 and 70 years old that are still very viewable. Funny how that works.

    But to answer the question you've actually asked, I'd probably sort them all out on a hard drive and keep that synched up to some online system, be it cloud or otherwise. The goal being that you can occasionally move the home archive to a new a nice new drive once in a while, and if you lose that you can j

  • CrashPlan (Score:5, Informative)

    by heypete ( 60671 ) <pete@heypete.com> on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:42PM (#37557236) Homepage

    I'm a fan of CrashPlan -- it can handle backups between different local media (e.g. from one hard disk to another), between one computer and another, between your computer and a friend's computer, and between your computer and their online storage service. In all cases, your data is encrypted so that the other party (be it the second computer, your friend, or the online service) has no access to your data.

    One of the features I like is that the software does regular integrity checks on the backed-up data. Still, if the original data is corrupted, the software will dutifully back up that corrupted data, so that won't help you much.

    If they're important family photos, I'd use keep the files on at least two local drives, as well as remote backup using something like CrashPlan. If you're particularly concerned, you might keep the photos on Amazon S3 -- they claim their storage infrastructure is highly durable and reliable, which could be beneficial.

  • Oh for chrissakes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slaker ( 53818 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:45PM (#37557282)

    Drives break. Accidents happen. DVDs degrade. Consumer grade storage just isn't a good idea for anything long term.
    Pay for Mozy or Crashplan or some other commercial service. Your stuff can go on whatever ridiculous combination of disk arrays and tape backups they use for you and anyone else who is paying the $50 a year or whatever it is to keep your stuff available. This is by far the least hassle of any available option.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      The more copies you make, the less likely you will suffer a catastrophic failure.

      As long as the process is in your control, you can determine what level of redundancy your data has and you don't have to trust any cost cutting corporation to do right by you. Although you could certainly include such an option in your collection of copies. I just wouldn't have blind faith in someone you don't know that doesn't really have any reason to care about your data.

    • And that's great until Crashplan goes bankrupt or has some failure they didn't anticipate. 1 backup is never enough. Periodically archive things to DVD. Have a set of USB drvies, and add Crashplan on top of that.

      Also, print out the pictures and get your wife to take up scrapbooking. My kid is 8 now, and 99% of the photos we've taken really aren't that important. Print out the important stuff, make some notes and save it in a physical form. If you have some home movies that are worth saving, burn them

  • Carbonite seems to be a good service and it's not expensive at all
  • by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @02:46PM (#37557308)
    Cloud (offsite) + NAS + RAID + Backup drive. Seriously, why does this question in various forms keep getting posted on Slashdot? I'm sick of it.
  • 1) Never use DVDs. Ever. They eat data like no tomorrow.
    2) Guard against bit rot. Make sure you have checksums of all files so you know when your media degrades.
    3) Maintain at least three separate copies in at least two different locations.
    4) Ideally, have offline storage, as well. Check on it twice a year, but else: do not touch!
    5) As of today, git-annex is your best bet to automate all of the above. Make sure you use the most current version and prepare for a somewhat bumpy road if you don't know git, yet

  • What I've done is keep them on a RAID array, and back them up to external media routinely. This has worked well for 7+ years, so far.

    However, the better pictures often just 'disappear' in the gigs of files. Knowing which is which is not always so clear. What I plan to do is go through at some point and have the better ones printed out for safe-keeping in a physical photo album (like my parents did, and their parents). This does not really address the 'video' situation, however. We mostly just keep those on

  • Stick them on an HDD until Google or Amazon start offering to keep everything for you for free. The more I think about it, the less I think anyone will keep any data at home in the near future.

  • My answer for video is slightly different than pictures, somewhat, but basically, the best guarantee that the files will still be around is to have lots of copies, and they should never all be bad at the same time (at least, with some maintenance).

    Got a home video (or collection) you want to save? Make a DVD or BluRay of the video (or collection of shorter videos). Give a couple copies to mom and dad. Give a couple copies to any sisters/brothers/aunts/uncles/cousins you may have. Give a copy to your best fr

  • Time Machine is great until something goes wrong and you find out that your entire iPhoto Library never got backed up at all (as happened to a coworker of mine). In other words, don't trust Time Machine as your only backup solution unless you have inspected the Time Machine backup volume on another machine and confirmed that everything you think is in there actually is.

    For photos and video clips, the simplest backup is to never delete the originals. Flash is cheap. Memories are priceless. Never wipe you

  • skip the DVD world. You don't have any 5.25" drives anymore, the disks are useless. you always want a solution that you can simply plug into any computer forever.

    right now, a thirty year-old IDE drive with a 10 year-old IDE controller card will still work on a modern motherboard.

    today, what you want is the pair of drives that you mentioned -- in external enclosures with SATA & USB interfaces. SATA will be around and supported for another 20 years. USB likely for longer than 40 years from today. You

    • by rusl ( 1255318 )

      That's true but it relies on a stable neverending power supply. That's not something invincible. Kinda like the souped up military laptop that gets shot by a bullet and is now as useful as a doorstop.

  • Automatic offsite backup services like Crashplan [crashplan.com], Mozy [mozy.ie], Carbonite [carbonite.com] etc ensures your data will survive both media failure, theft and fire. You may also choose to keep a local copy of your media, because downloading hundreds of gigs over the net takes a while. But: I'd first put my money into one of these providers, and if I felt I still have too much money then I'd consider a NAS/Time Capsule kinda solution as a supplement.

    And never, ever, ever exclusively store data you care about on DVDs and external hard d

  • Whenever something like this comes up, lots of people go straight to thinking about which media will survive for 100 or 1000 years, but I don't think that's the right line of thinking. First, even if you buy a DVD that theoretically *can* last 100 years, that doesn't mean that your particular disk won't fail after 5 years. You have the possibility of improper storage, physical damage, manufacturing defects, or just... whatever. Random failure.

    Mostly, treat it like other data. Create a backup plan, and

  • I've been doing this for a long time, and have settled on the concept of a long term data archive for this purpose. It contains approximately half a terabyte of data that I consider to be 'important', and a few hundred megabytes of data that I consider 'very important'.

    The first thing to be aware of is that a data archive is useless if it's not readily available 24/7. You don't back up data by putting it on tapes and throwing it in a box in the closet. Putting tapes in a closet is useful, but it should b

  • I would recommend mixing the media types because you really can't rely on just one solution. I personally would go with a media server with a few 2TB drives and then an Internet-based solution like Carbonite. They offer unlimited storage, but you are limited to one computer and can only backup items on internal drive space (hence the media server with internal HDDs). Carbonite doesn't allow you to delete from your computer but keep a copy on their service (not longer than a month, anyways), which is why I s
  • Keep them on your main home computer's HDD and set up daily backups to a separate drive (you should be doing this anyway - and forget RAID, it's not a substitute). Integrate the movies into your normal computer usage lifecycle (new machine, new drives, etc) and they will be preserved for as long as you own and use a computer.
  • If part of your archiving strategy is to burn data to disc, make sure that you pad those discs with dvdisaster error-correcting data. Optical discs generally fail in a way where only part of the data is unreadable. Without extra error-correcting data, then those parts are gone forever. However, with dvdisaster, you'll:
    1) Know when a disc is failing before it's too late
    2) Be able to recover the data
    3) Be able to migrate the data to fresh media

    http://dvdisaster.net/ [dvdisaster.net]

  • by mmcuh ( 1088773 ) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @03:06PM (#37557650)
    Send in all your data to "Ask Slashdot". It will get repeated every couple of months for all eternity. It's not lossless as there are tiny variations, but they are usually to small to notice.
  • I use a Synology NAS with two 2 GB hard drives in a mirror RAID. I load all of the pictures onto Google Web Albums at native resolution, which makes it much easier to share with friends. I'm not sure about the videos. It's just not feasible to backup a terabyte of information on the web.

    Personally, I use two Synology NAS at two different sites. They are configured to mirror each other using RSYNC. The web based GUI that Synology provides is very advanced and is pretty awesome. I know it's pretty costly but

  • I've been very happy with smugmug. It's very affordable to have unlimited video and photos, and you can order backup DVDs to put in a safety deposit box.

  • You can use high quality media; we backup important stuff on Taiyo Yuden DVD media and I don't think we've ever had a problem reading the data later. That doesn't stop us from making quarterly snapshots and sticking them in a safe deposit box, which helps to ensure that there are many readable copies of the data available.

    The question is really how much data do you need to protect long-term. For us, where the total critical data pool fits on a few DVD's, this is fine. If I was going to back up 1TB of pho

  • Daguerreotype, it'll last a couple hundred years. Even for video.
    Maybe consider hiring a sculptor for those likenesses you want to keep of your child for over a millenium (no guarantees about the arms though).

  • Hard Drives!
    1. - One drive can hold 100's of DVDs. No need to meddle with obsolete media.
    2. - You can easily setup backup over network with a HD on another computer, network storage or even an external HD!
    3. - The last and the most important point: Hard Drives double in capacity every year. This means you don't need to keep around many small old HD's and risk that after some years they fail to come to life or the SATA becomes obsolete (i.e. computers that can connect to the old HD are no longer around). Just cop
  • I rsync all my pics to 3-4 machines periodically.

    I also upload the good ones to picasa, so that counts as a partial offsite backup.

    I also learned after yahoo pics went down to keep all the sorted/copied "good ones" in separate numbered folders in case I have to move my web pics.

  • Large hard drive inside (or attached via USB/eSATA) to a computer with a Backblaze subscription.

  • It's interesting that this came up (again) right now. I've just spent the past week finally digitizing some old VHS home movies that turned up in my parent's basement. We just never got around to doing anything with them, and VHS players may become fairly rare in a few more years. I still haven't snagged a cheap Beta player so the movies from my earlier childhood are mostly locked away for now.

    Back in the day, tapes weren't exactly cheap. Nor did many people own a video camera. So mostly what we have is a 2

  • Who are you saving them for? For what occasion? Do you look at pictures of yourself as a baby, ever?

    A DVD holds an hour of video, give or take. At what point in your daughter's future do you think she'll want to sit and watch an hour of her "ooo, lifting her head!" "ooo, sitting up!" "ooo, toddling about!" "ooo, wearing a costume!" "ooo, petting the cat!" That's just a single DVD edited for highlights. Do you think she'll watch it when she's 17? Getting married? Raising her own child?

    Now, how many DVD's

  • Keep the files locally on a spinning disk, and subscribe to a cloud-based storage service, i.e. Mozy or Carbonite.

    If your house burns down then you can restore from the cloud, and if the cloud goes down (or rather, these days it seems... WHEN it goes down) you'll have your local copies.

    This solution is simple, easy, and inexpensive and still provides very good reliability. For my personal files, this is the route I take; my laptop holds 90% of my "important" files, and my unlimited plan at Carbonite gives m

  • Use harddrives. They are cheap and fast. And if you store them under decent conditions and dont let them run all the time everything will be fine. In three years copy them to the next generation harddrives. If you are willing to pay in average $100 per two years it should be fine.

  • by capsteve ( 4595 ) * on Thursday September 29, 2011 @04:23PM (#37558828) Homepage Journal

    go analog for longest life span.

    HP designjet z2100 or epson stylus 4880/4900.
    these printers don't come cheap, but over the lifespan of the printer, i'f your printing 100's or 1000's of prints RIO will be better than paying snapfish.
    they are favorite entry level printers in the graphic arts and prepress market due to the fact that:
    1) they can produce contone images at resolutions that make dithering imperceptable to the naked eye
    2) color fast inks that can be archival for 150-200 years
    3) wide color gamut using multiple inksets
    4) FOGRA/GRACoL certifiably using approved rip software
    many pro photographers are ditching the darkroom in favor of the class of professional inkjet printers for reproducing their images.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"