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Best Way To Store Digital Video For 20 Years?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the thanks-for-the-memories dept.

Data Storage 805

An anonymous reader writes "My kid is now 1 year old and I already have 100G of digital video (stored on DVDs, DVD quality) and photos. How should I store it so that it's still readable 10 to 20 years from now? Will DVDs stil be around, and readable, 10 years from now? Should I plan for technology changes every 5 to 10 years (DVD->Blue-ray->whatever)? Is optical storage better, or should I try to use hard drives (making technology changes automatic)? And, if the answer is optical, how do you store optical disks so that they last?"

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CDs are still readable (1, Insightful)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877801)

CDs are still readable, after almost 20 years

Re:CDs are still readable (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877813)

no they're not. ever hear of cd rot?
store everything on hard drives, with duplicate backups stored off site.

Re:CDs are still readable (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878167)

On CDs, the rot becomes visually noticeable in two ways: 1. When the CD is held up to a strong light, light shines through several pin-prick sized holes.[1] 2. Discoloration of the disc, which looks like a coffee stain on the disc (see also CD bronzing).[1]

In audio CDs, the rot leads to decreased audio quality, chatter, scrambled audio, and static. A Philips press officer has declared CD rot to be an isolated problem affecting only an "absolute minority" of cases. PDO has offered to replace any discs affected by CD bronzing if supplied with the defective disk and proof of purchase. However, according to the website of one of the affected record companies, Hyperion, PDO's helpline was discontinued in 2006 after a change of ownership, and defective CDs are now no longer replaced by the manufacturer, even though some of the affected record labels continue to offer replacements.[2]

CD bronzing is a specific variant of CD rot, a type of corrosion that affects the reflective layer of audio CDs and renders them unreadable over time. The phenomenon was first reported by John McKelvey in the September/October 1994 issue of American Record Guide.[1][2] Affected discs will show a uneven brownish discoloring that usually starts at the edge of the disc and slowly works its way towards the center. The top layer is affected before the bottom layer. The disc will become progressively darker over time; tracks at the end of the disc will show an increasing number of audio problems due to disc read errors before becoming unplayable. CD bronzing seems to occur mostly with audio CDs manufactured by Philips and Dupont Optical (PDO) at their plant in Blackburn, Lancashire, UK, between the years 1988 and 1993. Most, but not all of these discs have "Made in U.K. by PDO" etched into them (see image). Discs manufactured by PDO in other countries do not seem to be affected. A similar, if considerably less widespread problem occurred with discs manufactured by Optical Media Storage (Opti.Me.S) in Italy. PDO acknowledged that the problem was due to a manufacturing error on its part, but gave different explanations for the problem. The most widely acknowledged explanation is that the lacquer used to coat the discs was not resistant to the sulphur content of the paper in the booklets, which led to the corrosion of the aluminium layer of the disc, even though PDO later said it was because "a silver coating had been used on its discs instead of the standard gold."[3] Peter Copeland of the British Library Sound Archive confirms that silver instead of aluminium in the reflective layer of the CD would react with sulpheriferous sleeves, forming silver sulphate, which has a bronze colour.[4] A combination of the two factors seems likely because, as Barbara Hirsch of the University of California points out, the oxidation could only have occurred if the protective lacquer did not seal the metal film and substrate well enough.[2]

Those were from Wikipedia, fact is, though CD rot can be a problem, it isn't as bad as people make it out to be.

CDs still a pain. Keep it alive and available. (3, Insightful)

ibane (1294214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877861)

If you strive to keep it all accessible all the time, you will move with format changes as they occur. US networks are not capable of HD video streaming, so I put OGG Theora in my video blogs with links to better quality for those who want it. Disk storage will improve in time to keep up with your vorracious demands. Raid would be good to have. Optical storage media that has to be loaded one disk at a time is a last ditch archive that you should keep in a seperate physical location, just in case.

How dare you share? (-1, Troll)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878025)

Are you violating your ISP's Terms of Service? That would make you a bad person [] , soon to be disconnected [] .

Re:CDs still a pain. Keep it alive and available. (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878035)

If you're not trying to go cheap, get a tape drive (DLT, LTO, or AIT, not the quarter-inch or DAT crap). If your time isn't worth that much, migrate from optical format to optical format every few years. Either way, keep your backups off-site.

Hard drives and just not suitable for (home) archiving - one robbery, fire, or natural disaster and everything's gone forever. If you add backup to those hard drives, then we're back to "what format?".

Re:CDs still a pain. Keep it alive and available. (1)

ibane (1294214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878157)

My backup is another hard drive. It made sense the first time and the second and the third for things like the photo album. A 500 GB portable drive has enough space for everything I want to preserve. Rsync keeps it all fresh and up to date. Offsite backup is a good idea. I still make DVD backups but they are still a last ditch thing to use. The archive I share is the one I care about.

Re:CDs still a pain. Keep it alive and available. (2, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878165)

Newegg has Quantum DLT SATA drives (160GB native capacity, 35 GB/h throughput) for about $700, so it won't break the bank to get proven multi-decade shelf-life media of reasonably size and speed for a 100GB dataset.

Every real OS has tape backup support (though you may have to hunt for drivers). If you're stuck with Windows, type ntbackup at the command line - it doesn't suck for home use.

Recordable CD reliablity (4, Informative)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877869)

Depends on the manufacturer and dye formulation. Some have failed in as short of a time as eight months while others are good after nearly ten years. For very important stuff, it is far too risky to be relying on the manufacturer. It's probably safer to make it a habit of regularly make multiple backups your data.

Re:CDs are still readable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877873)

really? you have a 20 year old burned cd that you can still read?

Re:CDs are still readable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877907)

bluray burners will come down in price and all of the ones you can currently stick in your computer will read/burn DVDs

Re:CDs are still readable (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877923)

Only that they've already been going obsolete recently, DVD-RW's are backwards compatible regardless so you shouldn't have a problem as long as you have the player. Since the connectors for them haven't changed in a while, power/EIDE. As long as you keep your DVD-RW (or HD/BLU-RW whatever) drive you should be fine. In 10-20 years when they do become obsolete you will be able to shrink them at 1/100th the storage space and most likely cost as well. So you shouldn't have to worry either way.

If you truly want to keep them for a lifetime, keep the drive with the DVDs (in case you are making some sort of time capsule thing where you bury it and dig up in the future) Otherwise it shouldn't be that much of a hassle (why should it be if you have a kid that you love) to come back in 20 years and look at the memories while moving them to the newest format.

Re:CDs are still readable (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878001)

The CD standard is still available after almost 20 years - I can't say anything about the quality of the medium.
      I have (crappy, no name) DVD drives that are not readable/partially not readable after less than a couple of years.

Re:CDs are still readable (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878177)

From my experience, due to the much smaller laser size of DVD, it takes much less of a scratch to make it readable. Look at a burned CD next to a burned DVD. The CD almost looks coarse in comparison.

Re:CDs are still readable (1)

sybase (592402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878011)

I believe you're thinking of master to production CD/DVD. Because of the process used to create CDs and DVDs from a master they are much more durable. Store purchased blank CDs and DVD that you burn in a drive at home however are far less durable and the data can decay in as little as 5 years.

Re:CDs are still readable (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878117)

Only professional CDs have that sort of shelf life, because they're physically stamped. The consumer grade ones use a type of photosensitive dye that DOES decompose in less than a decade.

Re:CDs are still readable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878191)

There are some studies that show some CDs only last 10 years. Depends how they were made (DVR, commercial stamped DVAudio etc) and the environment they are stored in. The real question is will you have the hardware, drivers and software to play your data back in 10 or 20 years? The media is useless without the means to retrieve the data. So, you need to commit to also archiving working hardware and/or periodically roll your data over to the new format as you upgrade.

Re:CDs are still readable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878219)

Next 20 years ? We will have next 20 years ? Really ? I dont think so....
5 bucks a gallon , floods , hurricanes , bush, muslim , forget about !!!

fp (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877803)

store it in analog engravings in diamond

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878211)

Why use analog?

Multiple times, repeatedly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877811)

Different media, copied over to new media after a few years.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877815)

post by me

My method (4, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877819)

Pictures: Backed up to HDD, DVD and Flickr. For $24.95, it's cheap offline backup and the grandparents love it.

Movies: Taken on MiniDV, backed up to HDD.

The only worry I have is that the MiniDV's and HDD are in the same house although they are stored in separate locations. But every picture is backed up offsite.

Re:My method (1)

bmcmurphy (771356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877961)

I back mine up to HDD and rsync it to my inlaws' place on Cape Cod.

Re:My method (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878159)

We use Dropshots [] . Sure it's not full quality, but good enough to create new prints of the photos. And the videos don't need to be high quality. Just so long as you can clearly see what's going on. We did the $100 for lifetime membership, so over time it works out really well. I agree on the grandparents part. They love going to see the new photos online every day.

Re:My method (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878243)

Yea, never dismiss the old standard of posting it online and making storage someone else's problem.

But yea, if you are serious about storing, store on HDD, and keep an offsite backup. If you're careful with your offsites (i.e. you make a new FULL backup on a semi-regular basis), you can use DVDs, but like everyone else has already said, optical media is a crapshoot, and if you depend on it, you can depend on it letting you down.

Considering that you're still under a TB, I'd invest in a pair of externals, and switch 'em back and forth to your offsite every 6 months or so. (That sounds complex, but we're really just talking about leaving one at Mom's on Easter and switching it out at X-mas or whatever).

Gold Disks (5, Informative)

stretchpuppy (1304751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877823)

Claim up to 300 years. []

Re:Gold Disks (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878209)

Excellent - thank you!

Too bad my mod points expired yesterday or you'd get a +1 informative from me.

How about print on paper? (1)

dslmodem (733085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877841)

2D bar code?

Re:How about print on paper? (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878113)

Because paper doesn't discintigrate or change overtime ... plus how much do you think you could store on a 2D barcode?

HDDs (2, Interesting)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877845)

HDDs are so cheap. Buy an external one with like a terabyte of space. Fill it up, rinse, repeat.

HD unreliable (-1, Troll)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877933)

With data density so high of late, drives not accessed 'regularly' (according to a former cow-orker that used to work for Quantum and Maxtor) will start losing its content in matter of months.

Re:HD unreliable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878057)

According to a good friend of mine, a professor who holds 9 PhDs and an expert in the field of judging intelligence... you're a moron.

Re:HD unreliable (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878107)

I was under the impression that unspun drives tend to deteriorate relatively quickly - the heads clashing with the platter or some such nonsense. Just spin them up once a month and you're fine, from what I've heard.

Re:HD unreliable (2, Insightful)

Al Kossow (460144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878119)

The only way this could be true is if the data were rewritten.
Reading alone has no effect on the data.

Technology refresh neccessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877853)

Storing them on DVD->Bluray is probably the way to go. Keep them in a dark storage area away from heat and moisture. It will be neccessary to extract the data and keep up with technology as even optical storage has a shelf life. However 20 years from now I don't think the problem will be the disks themselves but finding a drive that can read them.

Easy! (1, Redundant)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877855)

Just draw each frame by hand, hire a professional to colour it and voila, you've got you own personal graphic novel.

for some years: dvd + raid-1 (5, Informative)

boldi (100534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877859)

Currently, There is no better way than store a backup on DVD and store the main data on a raid-1 disk set. Move the raid disk set to new disks every few years.

All the other technologies are more expensive, and even possibly more dangerous (loss of data due incompatibilies or for any other reason).

What I've found to work... (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877875)

In the department I work for we typically use archival DVDs in a temperature and humidity controlled room (also used to store photos, slides, and vellum). For the really important ones I'll copy the disc onto a server in the same room as an ISO. Every month I mirror the data drive onto an offsite server in another building on campus. It's not fool-proof and it's pretty expensive but it has worked for about 8 years now.

Optical (4, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877877)

Well why not optical platters? We have 50 year retainment requirements for certain documents and were looking at Plasmon optical devices. They claim it will still be readable and are the only type of backup media that survived both 9/11 and Katrina. Although when I asked if it was the same cartridge that survived both, the vendor gave me a dirty look. I think though you would be fine with dvd-r and just make a new copy every 5 years.

Optical? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877883)

Only wimps use optical media, _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp and let the rest of the world mirror it.

groovy man (3, Insightful)

FizzGiGG (865653) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877885)

Store the media on whatever the current standard is. Think about it, what if you had a closet full of tape reals that had all of your old sweet groovy 60's music? What would you do with that now?

Re:groovy man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878067)

Record player is still around... People are selling reel-to-reel player on ebay. I'm sure something can be found to listen to that.

Re:groovy man (1)

FizzGiGG (865653) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878171)

What's the point though, when you more than likely already have the latest media player or storage device. It would be another waste of $$ having to purchase old hardware for the sole purpose of converting.

Re:groovy man (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878095)

Uh, buy a reel to reel or use one of the hundreds of services that will convert the audio for you?

And considering that the 60s is 40 years ago and the question is for 20 years? In most likeliness you were using a cassette deck at the time if you were into amateur recording. Cassettes and their players are still a dime a dozen today.

The chances of not being able to find a CD/DVD player in 20 years is pretty far fetched. We already have billions of them with trillions of their media floating around that show promise of being usable for decades more to come. What's the problem? And considering that both the BluRay and HD formats were backward compatible? These little wonders will be around for a long long time even if somewhat a novelty item.

Storage array. (5, Informative) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877889)

Build a simple storage array with RAID from a barbones PC, your favorite Linux distro, configured for fault-tolerant RAID. It doesn't have to be complicated, and it doesn't have to be powered on unless you're actually pushing data to it.

Every couple of years, you can add an extra couple of drives. With drive capacities increasing as fast as they are, cost shouldn't be a huge issue.

Re:Storage array. (1) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877943)

Bad form to reply to one's own comment, but this is how I manage my data at home. Essentially, almost nothing ever gets deleted from the backup array. I can access it via Samba, NFS, or SSH if I need to recover anything. Some of my backups are straight copies of data, while others use rdiff-backup [] if I might need to revert to an older version of a directory from a specific point in time. For me, it's a "good enough" setup.

Tape (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877903)

From what I understand, tape is still one of the best archival storage types

Re:Tape (2, Informative)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877979)

nope. All magnetic storage have a (relatively) short storage life. Optical is much better if they are stored properly (ie. cool dry place and not touched much to avoid scratching)

Re:Tape (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878161)

Most tape media is virtual tape these days anyway, usually to a RAID array of harddrives that are moved to an offsite location every n days.

Use backups (5, Informative)

z00_miak (1305831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877911)

Regardless of the methods you choose, I would highly recommend using at least two different media.

If these videos are important enough to be stored for 10 to 20 years, then they are important enough to be backed up - it is always difficult to foresee long term failures in any technology. If you read the article on tin whiskers [] they mentioned that some failures can not be tested using short time span methods.

buy an external eSATA RAID5 array (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877913)

a few years ago, this would have been exorbitantly expensive overkill, but this stuff keeps getting cheaper by the day

with raid5, your videos will last forever, as long as someone keeps replacing the dead drives

any other media format is physically static, which can degrade. raid5 ensures that the files live on after the physical components degrade, as long as new drives are continually added to the system

and when the technology becomes ancient and archaic, simply move the files over and upgrade (obviously to a new file format as well)

as long as some continually performs low level maintenance, your videos will last forever

Someone actually had sex on this site? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877931)

My kid is now 1 year old and I already have 100G of digital video

Riiiight, this is /.

So people: How can this guy be sure that in 10/20 years time his Bangbus collection will still be readable?

Do what IT departments do (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877935)

Use multiple different media, with redudancy.

Store it on HDDs. Mirrored RAID like RAID 1 or RAID 10 is preferred. but even RAID 5 buys you some extra integrity protection.

Then back it up. CDs. DVDs. BluRay. Tape. Whatever. Multiple times, multiple ways. Every few years do some copies onto new media.

Keep at least one copy off of your premises. A safe deposit box might be good.

Tattoo it on your penis (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877939)

Then you can show it to all your Mac friends.

Stone Carvings (1, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877941)

Step 1: Review video footage.
Step 2: Carve memorable/important parts into stone.
Step 3: ??? (mummies?)
Step 4: Profit!

Re:Stone Carvings (5, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878023)

Step 1: Review video footage.
Step 2: Carve memorable/important parts into stone.
Step 3: ??? (commandments?)
Step 4: Prophet!

Diversify. (3, Insightful)

Lux (49200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877947)

If you can afford it, I'd recommend a utility computing platform, like Amazon S3 or whatever Google's offering in that space. Verify that they're built out for long-term, fault-tolerant storage (ie: replication + automated verification and repair.)

I wouldn't trust that 100%, though, so keep them locally as well.

Super 8 (1)

JCOTTON (775912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877963)

My dad has some now that are over 50 yo. Thank you. "Hello, world."

One word, USENET. (4, Funny)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877967)

Video I posted 20 years ago is still there....

Re:One word, USENET. (1)

Flaystus (887453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878083)

But my god the resizes reconversions and image stamps that would be one it!

My parents wedding (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877977)

I watched a video of my parents wedding a few weeks ago. I was surprised that it still worked. It was on VHS and 20+ years old. (second marriage, I'm older)

I believe the general consensus is that no form of media will last much longer than 20 years. However, digital media does not experience generational loss (you can make perfect copies). Therefore you can just make a new copy every 10 years or so and it will last forever.

Look at it this way: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877985)

Instead of hiding behind the camera the whole time, actually interact and play with your kid. The videos and memories aren't as interesting as who the kid will become.

MPEG-2 (1)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877987)

MPEG-2 will always be around. Like JPEG and MP3 decoders.

On Amazon S3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877991)

Amazon will be around FOREVER. That's what they tell me anyway.

keep copying it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877995)

Make 2 sets of copies and every 1 - 2 years copy it to the most appropriate format.

So first time round it'll be 20 DVD-r's, then in a few years or so 4 blu rays and so on. After 10 years it will probably just be 2 copies of some holomagical disk that will take about 20 seconds and thus be so easy as you'll forget to do it.

Re:keep copying it (4, Funny)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878085)

As I understand it, holomagical disks will be loaded with so much DRM, nobody will be allowed to view the contents. Period.

Air-tight (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877997)

As a general rule, long term storage of pretty much anything means keeping it away from oxygen, water, and sunlight as much as possible. I have audio tapes from the 50s that still work fine because I stored them in a fairly air-tight Coleman ice chest. (an antique model - steel with a plastic liner, insulated with fiberglass)

Simple - disguise it as porn (4, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878005)

1. Rename to "xxx 18yr old bj strip"
2. Upload to P2P protocol of choice.
Let it proliferate around the internet and retrieve it when necessary.

Re:Simple - disguise it as porn (0)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878229)

"My kid is now 1 year old
1. Rename to "xxx 18yr old bj strip"
... and the police will be sure to archive it for the child pr0n charges, too!

Wow, that's a lot. (4, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878007)

I sure hope you're shooting in 1080p and RAW, because otherwise your kid must think everyone has cameras growing out of their skulls... Seriously, put down the camera and live a little.

As for storage, I would personally go through and put together maybe a movie and and picture viewer DVD for each year. And then have those professionally mastered onto pressed discs. Keep those in your fire-proof storage and use burned copies for everyday (I hope not) use and sending to relatives and what not.

Re:Wow, that's a lot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878081)

also make sure that if you're sending these 100gb of video out, that you're sending it to people who WANT it. not people who you say, oh they'll like to see hours and hours of my kid drooling on himself

Re:Wow, that's a lot. (3, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878109)

100G is less than 10 hours of MiniDV footage. Birthday parties, time with the grandparents, 10 hours over the course of a year goes by fast.

Re:Wow, that's a lot. (4, Informative)

pruss (246395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878147)

I have not been able to find anybody willing to press discs in quantities lower than about 150. Pressing discs in quantities of, say, 5 would be a nice service for archival purposes, but it would presumably be expensive, since I think the setup costs for pressing discs are high.

Re:Wow, that's a lot. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878179)

That's kind of what I was thinking, except the poster specified DVD quality footage.

Seriously, consolidate and get rid of the crap. I've got tens of thousands of photos, and most of them suck. Mostly I can't be bothered to sort through them and delete the bad ones, but I know I should. Find the good material, spend a good amount to back it up very securely (local Drobo that syncs up with Amazon S3 and one of the online backup services maybe?), rather than trying to find a way to store tons of material that will never be viewed again. Your family will appreciate you for it too, since they'll end up with one disc of great moments, rather than a DVD spindle of boring crap.

Still readable (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878013)

As the other guy mentioned, CDs are still readable, almost 20 years later. However, they didn't have a viable alternative until about 10 years ago. I think that you will easily be able to find a DVD drive for many years to come, at least the next 20. The problem becomes ensuring that the actual media doesn't get scratched. I wouldn't trust DVDs to last that long, even if you just leave them on a shelf, away from the sunlight. If I was really interested in saving the stuff, I would put it on hard disks with at least 1 redundant copy, if not 2, stored in different places, and transfer over every 3-4 years. Still, it's going to be a lot of data. Your kid is only 1, and you already have 100 GB of stuff. Just think about how much that will balloon to once the kid has an attention span of more than 43 seconds. The first hockey game, all the school plays, all the other junk you could record.

Personally, I just don't bother with recording much. My wife gets on my case for not taking a lot of pictures with the kids, but I'd rather be interacting and paying attention, rather than trying to ensure we have everything recorded. Sure sometimes like during school plays you can record and not miss anything, but a lot of times, I find when I'm trying to take videos, or photos, I end up missing out on the actual fun.

The strength of digital in archiving.... (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878019)

isn't long term storage, though it may have it. The strength is that you can reproduce it with high fidelity to the original numberous times.

The best way to store digital vidio for 20 years is to make numerous copies of it. 10Gigs is about 3 DVD's at the lowest density. Add a dvd of checksum files (something like a PAR [] ) and you should still be able to make five sets for under $20 if you are shopping around for DVD media.

Once a year or three, load up one of the sets and run it through the checksums. Correct any errors discovered via the checksums and copies from the other sets, and make another five sets.

Volia. Repeatable as long as there is any sort of cheap digital recording media that can easily fit your files out there.

The real question is how you do this when you have 1,000 Gig to backup.

Re:The strength of digital in archiving.... (1)

Al Kossow (460144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878175)

"The strength is that you can reproduce it "

Preservation through replication. If you care about something,
move it to newer media, and verify what you have to detect for
bit rot.

So when he's 20... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878021)

You'll have 2 Tb? Or a lot more, if technology goes asymptotic?

I suggest you invest in an editor, and slim your storage down to what is reasonable given current technology - perhaps 5 CDs?

Then transfer to new technology as it appears, keeping only the amount that each new technology can reasonably handle

Alternatively, buy yourself a data centre..

Oh, there is one other way. Just send a few messages off to Iran asking about nuclear materials, and then send all your kids' photos over the net. The governments of the US, Europe and the Middle East will then keep all your data in a high security storage facility, free of charge...

CD DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878031)

I would Say CD because those have been around forever and I don't see them dieing out any time soon, look at tape. DVD's would save you the hassle of storage, even with blue-ray, because DVD has been an established standard for so long I don't see any means of reading it going away any time soon.

Live your life, don't record it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878033)

Quit being creepy by chronicling every time your kid goes number 2. He'll thank you, as will everyone else who knows you.

Re:Live your life, don't record it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878071)

It's also important to remember that your kid isn't special or important, even though you feel like he is. Unfortunately, all this constant recording of every little thing he does will turn him into a self-important jackass.

Several options (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878047)

These days we are offered the luxury of cheap storage in a variety of formats (Flash, Magnetic, Optical, Offsite/Online services).

The last thing I'd trust would be magnetic media, especially media with moving parts (portable USB hard drives being the worst offender).

Optical is nice enough, if you take care to store the media in a safe place, or offline easily. I'm not a huge fan of burning data to disk, as it's usually a task of finding a sharpie before just setting the thing somewhere and forget what's on it. (I've literally got a whole spindle of "unknown stuff" because I'm too lazy to commit to the task of doing it right).

Off-site/online backup is very convenient with software being able to automate it nearly seamlessly for you, assuming you have the bandwidth to get it up in the cloud and trust your storage providers. Assuming you do, at least you can rest somewhat assured that they have redundancy and backups which removes the worry/maintanance on your part. It's a nice "set it, and forget it!" mentality, and prices are reasonable so you don't have to worry about it.

I'm a victim of not being able to take my own advice however. I usually just fill up a 250GB harddrive, take it offline and let it hang out in a static bag in a cluttered desk drawer. I'm surprised that my QuickBasic files from 1992 migrated their way somehow from floppy to mass storage.

90% of the stuff I squirrel away is nostalgic crap however.

Many formats in many locations (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878055)

Store some on DVD, some on Blu-Ray, some on flash. Store multiple copies. When new formats come out, copy to the new formats. Archive source code for the decoders. Redundancy is the key.

Why oh why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878065)

Who is going to want to watch 100 gigabytes of your kid? At 5 GB / DVD, that's 20 movies = 40 hours. I don't care if my kid is the next Beethoven, I'm never going to watch 40 hours of diaper footage in my life.

I suggest keeping it on CDs in different places. Hopefully about 15 seconds of footage will survive.

Garbage bin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878073)

Nobody is ever going to want to watch videos of your toddler 20 years from now, including yourself... that is, unless he, your wife, and extended family are all killed and you end up drinking yourself to death with old home videos playing while you plot your revenge. That is really the only scenario where anybody will ever end up watching that crap. Since this is obviously your first kid, it's understandable... you'll realize in a few years how little digital home video storage really matters when you have real family issues to worry about.

insert [ext storage] device here (1)

mea_culpa (145339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878079)

Keep backing up to whatever current ext storage devices exists. 1TB ext HDDs are available for $199 at newegg.
In 1.5 years it will be 2TB, and so on.
Just keep staying with current technology. The nice thing about digital is there is no loss when making multigenerational copies.
Video is now beginning to escape the restrictions of how the MP3 of the mid 90s was, when it would take hours to encode and consume an HDD pretty quickly. With CPUs and storage doubling every 18 months it won't matter much, it will be like your MP3 collection is now and how easy it is to move it from one storage medium to another.

Use S3 (4, Insightful)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878093)

With S3 [] you'd pay $15/mo (+bandwidth) to have it hosted online, instantly accessible. Will it still be around 20 years from now? One can't be certain, but if not, I'm sure you'll have enough warning to copy things off to another medium, and I'm sure there'll be similar services to take its place if need be.

Re:Use S3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878143)

If you're going with an upload plan and want the stuff to stick around long-term, a flat-rate service like Files Forever [] (run by major webhosting company, one-time charge by the GB, they'll preserve it until they go out of business) might be better.

Use ROMs for longer term storage reliability (1)

wireloose (759042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878099)

Generally, optical disks offer the best digital storage option. Of those, the best long term storage are the ROMs. DVD-ROMs are better than DVD-RWs. CD-ROMS are better than CD-RWs. (for long term storage) This is because of the recording method used, and the materials in the disks. I saw a study once, but of course I don't have it at hand, that valued the lifespan of a ROM disk at nearly 2x that of its RW counterpart. It was serious research, and I wish I could find the link for you.

Convenience (1)

bgillespie (1228056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878101)

If you're anything like my parents, then you'll end up with a rather large collection of home videos and other related media by the time you want to look back on it. In my parents' case, they had to transfer hundreds of hours of video from beta-max to DVD, which was a real headache. DVD to a future digital technology may be somewhat quicker to transfer than making the analog-to-digital jump, but swapping out DVDs over and over for days still doesn't seem like a fun prospect. I'd recommend storing data on a convenient medium such as a hard-drive and using redundancy to make sure that your data keeps.

Common sense (1)

jake_fehr (469788) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878137)

Counting on a single storage device for 20 years isn't a smart move. Anyone here still able to read 5 1/4 inch floppies on their main computer? What about 3 1/2? Even those are limited to cheap external drives. Pick a storage solution for the short to medium term, and make plans to switch to the next generation when the current one reaches the end of its life. In other words, DVD now, Blu-Ray down the road, and any future successor later.

And if you want an extra layer of redundancy, buy a decent external hard drive, copy the videos and photos to it, and place it in a safety deposit box. Pick a standard that should be usable with the next generation of technology (USB 2.0 if USB 3 continues the trend of backwards compatibility). So if we all switch to using 3" super high density optical discs before you can transfer your files off of DVD, you'll still be covered.

Avoid physical storage (1)

Deathdonut (604275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878187)

There are two concerns to deal with for long-term storage:

1) Physical harm to the media.

Most physical storage is susceptible to something be it moisture or grandchildren. Sharpie ink will eat through disk labels over a decade or so and that nifty external hard drive is going to be DoA when you try to plug it in. Unlabeled CD's and optical media should be good for 20 years, but be careful with storage and labeling.

2) Accessibility.

20 Years ago, I still had a nice collection of 5.25" floppies and though digital watches were a pretty neat idea. I'm sure I have ZIP and JAZZ drives around somewhere, but they're probably SCSI. What's to say that you will even have a PC 20 years from now let alone one that can read USB 2.0 or a DVD?

The best answer is to avoid the "store and forget" option. Keep a copy of your data on whatever media you currently use. Make regular backups and keep them offsite (safety deposit box). If you need to change media, you'll have a much easier method of converting at that time than 5 years further down the line.

Personally, I'm too lazy for this, so I'll go with:

The easiest answer is to use web-hosted data storage from a major company. Pay for it and you'll be pretty much assured of getting notification before it gets lost to the forces of capitalism. You can also be certain that data backups and storage procedures are handled with at least some professionalism.

Pictogram synopsis of each video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878193)

chiseled into stone.

Seriously, I ask myself the same question occasionally.

Recently I had to clear the house of my deceased grandmother. None of my relatives was willing to do it, they wanted to put everything in an auction. I went through everything and kept things that I thought were sentimental or just plain shouldn't sit in a cardboard box at an auction. I'm glad I did. Aside from some real family treasures, I came across a footlocker in the basement containing about 20 pictures printed on tin of individuals and families. They had to be 80-100 years old. While I was looking through them I started wondering about the way I store pictures now. If someone found a cf card or cd or hard drive of mine 100 years from now would they be able to read it? Would it be readable even if they had the right hardware?

How many pictures are you going to keep? (2, Insightful)

ninjapiratemonkey (968710) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878201)

Honestly, you're probably not going to look at most of the pictures in 20 years anyways. Sure it's good to have a lot, but with 100 GB of pictures/videos, that's pushing it a lot; babies don't exactly do much. Go through the collection and cut out the bad/redundant pictures, print off the especially good ones, and put em on the wall: they'll get more use that way. But... with what you do save, try burning to CD/DVD/blu-ray, since they don't degrade too much over time, and if you have space/money, archive it to tape: it'll last the longest. HDD's won't last the 20 years, but if you want to, try a RAID, but it'll have to be recopied and replaced every so often. And... with whatever media you choose, keep it away from light/dust/too much humidity.

How much could you store? (4, Interesting)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878213)

No one's brought it up yet, so I will... As the price/convenience/long term compatibility and viability of storage goes down and down, I wonder to what end we will end up keeping this stuff? How many hours of video that you're paying (in time, money, security against fire/damage/loss, etc) to keep up you're actually going to watch? Sure, it's nice to have every single event in your child's life on demand at the touch of a button/click of a mouse, but aren't just plain old memories ok? Does his entire life have to be recorded and watchable?

At some point, I came to the realization that I had downloaded over 6 solid months worth of music. This doesn't include CD's, LP's, or 7 inch records, of which I probably have 1000 total. If I were able to put all that music on a big loop, and not repeat anything, I'm thinking it would last over 12 months. Some of these I'll probably never listen to. I'm thinking the same is true for the submitter's videos.

My parents have a big box of photographs from their childhoods, as well as those of their parents. There are some great photos in that box, and I could and have spent hours going through them. Each time I do, I make a mental note that one day I'll scan them and make them digital. Then I realize that we only drag out that box once or twice a year, and never do anything with the photos anyway, and resign to scan them once it gets even cheaper.

Do it like they did before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878223)

Use animal skin. Draw your data on goat-skin. I had recently an example in my hands dated from 1502. It still looks very good.

100G in one year? (3, Insightful) (771661) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878231)

100G of video in the first year? I guess you should archive it...he can show it to his therapist when he gets older. One way to solve the archiving problem is to do some editing (serious editing) so there's much less to store.

Good luck with that! (4, Insightful)

cpct0 (558171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878239)

People who say HDD have their heads in the sand. 20 years. Think about that. 1988. SCSI-1 40 pins. Nearing the end of MFM/RLE. Parallel.

People who say CDs and DVDs again have their heads in the sand. That's the Floppy Era.

The best format IMHO is the "current" format. DVDs + HDDs along with a live copy on your computer. DVDs and HDDs should be at two of your friend's houses.

5-10 years later, once one of the formats is obsolete (EXT3 is now EXT8, DVDs are now expensive again in drug stores), it's time to copy these to the new "current" format, and repeat the process.

Without meaning any offence... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23878241)

Without meaning any offence (and I honestly mean that), what makes you think your kid, or anybody else, is going to be interested in so much video from when they were that age?

I appreciate the desire to record the life of your pride and joy, but aside from the personal impulse you have that this is important, what is the point?

My mom probably has a few hundred individual photographs of me from when I was a child, and although I haven't ever looked at them, I'm sure a time will come when I will. Nostalgia is like that. Still, if I was born in 2007 and this was twenty-six years from now, there is no way on earth that I would be reviewing terabytes of video. I wouldn't have the time or interest.

I have sat down with relatives and watched their holidays videos and found it to be the most tedious experience of my life.

Photographs are great because they give you a glimpse at a moment in time, and the person (presumably, somebody you care about if you are looking at their photos) will tell you the associated story. Its interesting, its interpersonal and it is succinct. Videos are boring as hell because aside from what is on screen, there is no extra story told by your friend/loved one, or if there is, it is the same story you would get from a photograph, except you had to watch five minutes of a baby crawling in the kitchen instead of a snapshot of same.

I know you posted this to get advice on storage media, but for what its worth, here is some advice on a related issue. Stop recording so much video. Record a few, were the video enhances your story in a way a photo couldn't, but after that, take lots of snapshots and look forward to hours of story telling with your nearest and dearest.

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