Running a media production company that deals with all types of video and audio files, I found myself being inundated with the need to purchase more and more storage. Some of the hard drives were fast and dedicated to the creative process while others are dedicated to backup. The problem is, when is enough enough?
The short answer is ‘it’s never enough’. As I was discussing the issue with a colleague of mine from LBP Media Group (www.lbpmedia.com), I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one who was getting fed up with the never ending purchase of additional hard drives. After more discussions, and my dear friend’s quick and thorough research, we both settled on a solution for both of our companies that fit into our media archival needs as well as our pocket books-a BluRay burner.
The advantage of a blu-ray burner was almost a no brainer. Not only would I be able to archive projects on BluRay single (25gb) or Dual Layer (50gb) after they were completed and free up hard drive space on my current hard drive, it would also add value to my business by allowing me to offer BluRay delivery to my clients. With the addition of Roxio Toast Titanium 11 with the HD plug in, allowing burning of CD’s, DVD’s (both single & dual layer), BluRay (both single and dual layer) as well as alternative web outputting, this was all sounding very good to me.
So, we both did a little more research and settled on an LG burner from one of our favorite vendors, Other World Computing (www.macsales.com). However, during this part of the research phase I found myself jumping back and forth between whether or not this was too good to be true. Was this really a worthy investment for archiving? Yep, the naysayers on the web got me-for a while.
Many of the sites and blogs we read to research this argued that the only stable form of archiving was tape based systems that are extremely expensive and, from what I read, not as dependent as one might believe. So then I started thinking, okay, I have some hard drive enclosures and maybe I should just purchase more hard drives and archive that way (ugh!). Then, I read my favorite comment regarding this methodology that really sold me on and finalized my BluRay burner purchase. His post reminded me that unless you go with SSD, hard drives have moving parts. Over time, those parts can have problems moving, especially if you leave the drive unused and idol for a long period of time. And then there’s the whole ‘if you drop it’ concept. This was the comment that really stood out-if you drop a hard drive, chances are you’ve damaged it in some sector in some way. If you drop a BluRay disk, chances are it will work, especially if it was in a case. How often have your kids dropped DVD’s (or done worse) and they still work. This was my ‘ah-hah’ moment! Sign me up for BluRay!
So why is archiving good for your production business? First, it de-clutters your hard drives and forces you to organize older projects. Second, it provides you a stable and cost effective environment to transfer files to in case an old client comes back years later and says, ‘hey, remember that thing you cut, I’d love to re-cut just one part, any chance you may have it?’ and BOOM! you’ve got it-restore the project and impress the client. Third, and most importantly, you can never have too many backups.
There are those who will still feel the only true archiving is to a high end tape based system. But for those of us in the production business who are looking for a cost effective and stable platform to free up drive space and archive projects, I think a BluRay burner is a worthy investment.