Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 4:18 AM (in response to HDP)
There is no such format for movies or even Photographs. Frankly we can't guarantee the persistence of any format past the next 10 years, not to mind 50 - 70.
Codecs are being improved and created all the time, and this process will continue. In 50 years time we may still have .mov and .avi files, but the codecs that create the movies within will have changed.
One thing is reasonably sure: DVD will be as deader than floppy disks are now. Ditto Blue Ray. They're on the way out now, and in 10 years they'll be curiosities.
So, what's the solution:
Best I can suggest is to keep your movies on volatile media like Hard Disks (with back ups on other disks, or course). Progress will be evolutionary - as new formats come along there will be the option to migrate older data to these newer formats, and that's the trick. As always, when it comes to migration, the more data available the better the likely result, so keeping your movies in the least compressed versions possible seems a good approach.
That and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee someplaces, but nowhere fashionable.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 5:43 AM (in response to HDP)
An interesting question, which also concerns me and my 100 family videos and 16,000 photos going back to 1850! (The photos, sadly not the videos!)
My modus operandi, such as it is, runs as follows:
1. Keep all original material safe, be they old photo albums, camera video tapes etc.
2. Keep the old camera that can play the tapes!
3. Convert all videos to DVDs. Make the DVDs on 'archive grade' DVD-R media. Verbatim 'guarantee' that these will last for up to 100 years. I will post back when this has been confirmed!
4. Store all DVDs as Disk Images (TS-Folders) from which copies can be made at any time, and which play on your computer.
5. Keep three copies of these on separate external hard drives. Do not keep all these at the same location.
6. Do the same as (5) for all photos you have digitised.
7. Hope that all this material can be converted along the way to whatever digital formats, and media, that are invented in the future.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 6:10 AM (in response to HDP)
It is interesting that the Pros have these same discussions. Here is an article from Larry Jordan discussing this issue. http://www.larryjordan.biz/picking-right-format-archiving-video/
I tend to follow the path mentioned by Terrence Devlin above.
A good rule of thumb is to upgrade your Mac every 3, 4 or 5 years, and when you do, upgrade your external storage to the current technology.
An important point is that if you archive on hard disk, be sure to keep the hard disk connected. If it is not online, be sure to connect it to your computer at least 4 times a year. If it sits unconnected and unpowered in a closet, it will lose its data over time. If it is connected, it refreshes itself.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 6:33 AM (in response to HDP)
… want these family movies to be viewable by future generations in 50 - 70 years, so what video format / type is recommended?
no digital format, no digital media lasts that long.
… transfer to film and store reels in some dry mountain ...
… don't keep everything, just 'the best'; use harddrives, which are convenient to handle mass data; refresh your data 2-3x a year, meaning: check for new formats, codecs, connectors (scsii anyone ) ; get used to it to convert your precious stuff every5 years into some new, shining everlasting technique
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 8:31 AM (in response to Terence Devlin)
Thank you for your thoughtful and well reasoned reply.
Just to be sure, by "keeping my movies on volatile media like Hard Disks" do you mean on DVD disks?
Thus you would not suggest keeping any type of movie formats on an external drive? Just go with DVD disks and have them converted to new technology as it evolves?
Thanks for this final clarification.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 1:14 PM (in response to HDP)
No, by volatile I mean Hard Disks.
DVD does a massive compression job on the data, so I would avoid it. Plus, as I say, in 10 years you'll have trouble finding a computer with a DVD player, in 15 you'll have trouble finding a house with one.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 12, 2013 3:35 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)
Excellent clarification about storage - I will be sure to keep the movie files on multiple external drives.
My remaining question is about what file format you suggest I use for storage to the HDD. Let me clarify what I've been doing to help you answer. I recently began an initiative to re-edit DVDs of family movies I made six years ago within my Power Mac G5, using an earlier version of iMovie / iDVD and on an earlier Mac OS. Because I never really edited those DVD movies (title pages, transitions, proper sequence, music) I am importing them back into iMovie, re-editing them as new projects and again burning them onto DVDs. I want to point out that because these are imports and re-edits of previous DVDs, my source files are already compressed and image quality will be pretty good, but not excellent. I can live with this. So here's the question:
Once I complete my new iMovie project I burn it to a DVD disk through iDVD, but, how should I send the movie project to the external drive from iMovie, and in what file format? Disk image, Quicktime, MPG4, other? Please outline the steps to do this when starting from the iMovie project.
Thanks for your patience,