The best format to store on the hard drives depends on your future
anticipated use of these videos.
Is this project for preservation? Or is it for access? Will you be saving
the originals on site, or moving them to off-site storage (where you might
have limited access)?
If you are transferring for preservation, the only true preservation quality
digital file would be a lossless digital file, such as JPG2k (motion JPEG
2000). With this type of digital file, the "played back" video is
mathematically identical to the original. However, the files are relatively
large, which requires a lot of storage (the files can range between 30-90 GB
per hour depending on your encode settings and complexity of the video).
For access, an MPEG 2 file should be fine; however, these typically are not
the exact same quality as the original. Visually, they may appear fine, but
if you looked at them with monitoring equipment, you would notice a
difference. A DVD compliant MPEG 2 data rate is easy to work with, and the
files are relatively small (3-4 GB per hour), but you may want a higher data
rate depending on your intended use. If the files will be edited in the
future, you should consider MPEG 2 encoded at "I" frame only. This format
of MPEG 2 is easier to edit than the typical MPEG 2 file, because each frame
of video actually exists.
You also have to take into account your budget. Larger files, which will
tend to be better quality, require more storage and increase your expense.
JPEG 2000 is not as readily available in the industry as we would like, so
it may increase your cost, if you decide to go with that format.
Further, creating a digital file is not an end-all solution. Even if you
choose the best format and best storage medium available today, chances are
good you will need to migrate in the future. Consequently, there are
on-going costs with any digitizing project. Granted, those costs may be
lower in the future, once the file is already in the digital world, but you
need to be aware that at some point you will need to migrate these files to
new storage and may need to trans-code them into new file types.
And, lastly, make sure you get involvement from the other departments within
your organization. Whit I predict you will find is that archivists have one
idea of the perfect solution and your IT people will have a different idea,
because they will likely have to support the solution and provide the
infrastructure to support it. Make sure you have all groups involved
(management, information technology, marketing, etc.), on-board before you
move forward with a digitizing project.
I hope this helps you get started. Let us know how it turns out.
Media Archive Manager
An archival services company
From: Association of Moving Image Archivists [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Flavia De Facendis
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 3:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [AMIA-L] RAID storage
I am working for an organization holding about 2000 videos different
formats: Beta SP, Mini DV, DVD, CD, and some VhS.
We are assessing some strategies for the transfer and store all these data
on RAID and also have backup copies of them.
Can someone please help me, giving suggestions about the best approach to
archiving these materials, giving recommendations about:
- which is the best file format to be used in order to store the data on
- in which format would be better to have the backup copies
Flavia De Facendis
iMage, viewpoints on architecture