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Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)

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Bob Zelin
Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 27, 2013 at 3:21:44 pm

Hi -
my question first, and then the Spike Guide for LTO delivery below -

when they say "confirm that facility is not utilizing proprietary LTO hardware and software" - I can only ASSUME that this means that they don't want BRU or Cache-A .tar files because they can't be read on "generic hardware" -
HOWEVER they go on to say -
"please confirm that it is not in LTFS format" - so exactly
what do they want ?

Bob Zelin
ps - I have the actual document if anyone wants it.

from Spike Production Guildelines 2012 HD For Air -

Post Production LTO Facility Request Guidelines:
• Confirm that facility is not utilizing proprietary LTO hardware and software. We will not accept LTO tapes created with proprietary software since it may have difficulty being restored at an outside facility.
• Comedy Central will only accept LTO-4 or LTO-5. Earlier versions will not be accepted.
• If you are delivering LTO-5, please confirm that it is not in the LTFS format.
• Media should be transferred to LTO Uncompressed.
• Archive data to one LTO tape at a time vs. a library of LTO tapes. This will prevent file structure problems later if you need to restore the footage at another post facility.
• Do not fill up the LTO tapes to storage capacity. Be sure to leave at least 50GB of head room per tape.
• Request that they not split or span folders (i.e. ½ media of one folder on 1 tape and the other half on another tape).
• Request that your post facility perform a Verification for each LTO to ensure that media has successfully transferred.
• Request that they label LTO tapes per LTO tape label rules above. **
• Ideal turnaround time is 48-72 hours depending on quantity of media & budget.
• Before you send your drive over to the post facility, you should create a backup on a separate set of drives or server that should remain in your office. If the drives are damaged in transit or lost, the media will not be lost



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John Heagy
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 27, 2013 at 5:36:47 pm

The only thing that comes to mind is they want the files written as tar, or a series of tar files, via linux/BSD commands.

I'd ask them for examples of non-proprietary hardware and software and how they plan to restore data from the tapes.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 27, 2013 at 7:40:00 pm

since it's saturday, and I can't ask anyone anything, and the only choice is .tar if they don't want LTFS - what "non propriatary" software are you aware of for .tar ?

Bob



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John Heagy
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 27, 2013 at 8:10:49 pm

[Bob Zelin] "what "non propriatary" software are you aware of for .tar ? "

Any major linux distribution will support writing .tar to LTO. OS X has the commands but Apple has not included any LTO drivers. Can't speak to Windows.

check out ioscsitape

http://code.google.com/p/ioscsitape/


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Tim Jones
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 28, 2013 at 11:08:40 pm

Of course, you can use TOLIS Tape Tools to create and read tar tapes on OS X...

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Joakim Ziegler
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 9, 2013 at 12:20:57 am

It's funny, I wasn't aware of any proprietary software for tar. POSIX tar is an open standard, free and open source tools are included in all Unix variants (including MacOS). I personally use gnutar, as it's a bit more featureful, but the file format is standard and works across all of them.

--
Joakim Ziegler - Postproduction Supervisor


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Tim Jones
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 9, 2013 at 3:40:27 pm

@Joakim, I think that you've misunderstood something in the discussion. No one is saying "tar" is not standard, just that you can't read a tar tape under OS X without external software that can talk to the tape device. The versions of tar that Apple ships in OS X (both BSDtar and GNUtar variants are included) have no knowledge of how to talk to a tape device since Apple physically removed the sequential access device layer from the Darwin kernel when they started OS X.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Tom Goldberg
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Apr 29, 2013 at 3:29:47 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I can only ASSUME that this means that they don't want BRU or Cache-A .tar files because they can't be read on "generic hardware" "

Bob - I want to clearly point out that Cache-A .tar files are readable on generic hardware - we use standard POSIX tar under the hood to write them. The only thing that is not readable without Cache-A hardware is our table of contents file which is just one small file at the end of data.

As John notes every Linux and Unix machine ships with tar, and tar solutions are also available for both PC and Mac environments.

Tom Goldberg
Cache-A Corporation
433 Park Point Drive #285
Golden, CO 80401
mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
http://cache-a.com




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Eric Hansen
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 1, 2013 at 10:13:54 pm

hey Bob

I've never seen a delivery spec for LTO before. For me it's always been video tape (BetaSP, HDCAM, etc) and now hard drives or FTP (DNxHD, ProRes, XDCAM)

Is LTO becoming more common? Because I like it. I hate trying to track down hard drives and get them returned.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Tom Goldberg
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 7, 2013 at 4:52:10 pm

Eric,

We've seen many delivery specs for LTO over the years.

Early on, specs from the likes of NBC/Universal and Technicolor have been around for a long time and don't necessarily make sense for everyone (i.e. requiring a separate tar for each film frame in a clip sequence).

Within the last few months, we've seen the Discovery Communications spec that relies on LTFS and is becoming a requirement for all their content suppliers. It makes requirements upon the tape writing software to place their metadata information on the index track which we are accommodating in our next software release.

This latest spec from Spike states that tapes must be written in non-proprietary formats like Bru or Retrospect (which we consider proprietary) but can't be written in LTFS (which we consider open). Go figure! At least they accept tar, which we've always supported.

Bottom line is that interchange on LTO is becoming more and more common and LTFS appears to be a driving factor in many cases, though there is still a large contingent requesting tar for interchange.

Tom Goldberg
Cache-A Corporation
433 Park Point Drive #285
Golden, CO 80401
mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
http://cache-a.com




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Eric Hansen
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 7, 2013 at 4:59:05 pm

interesting, thanks Tom.

hopefully whatever they settle on (most likely LTFS), can be a simple add-on for whatever LTO system a production house might already have. i would be disappointed if my $20k LTO system couldn't write the exact file that the networks are asking for.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Rick Lopez
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on May 30, 2013 at 2:59:55 pm

Could you send me the document? My company provides labels for LTO tracking and would love to see what the "label rules above" are.


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richard schultz
Re: Spike TV LTO Standards and Practices (delivery spec question)
on Oct 24, 2013 at 7:44:30 pm

Hi! I would love to take a look at the document if you still have it :). Trying to lay out my own specifications for archival and could use a guide. Thanks!

richard.d.schultz@gmail.com


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