XDCam Saving Files
I have some questions about how I should be saving my files for future use.
We are using EX1s to film scenes over the next three months. It is way too much footage to just keep stored on the sxs or SD cards, therefore I need to save the footage to an external hard drive so that I can work with it later in FCP.
Currently, I'm using the XDCAM Transfer tool to "wrap up" the MP4 to mov files and save the mov files to the external hard drive. I'm then backing up that external hard drive to another external hard drive. Should I also be backing up the BPAV folder? It makes sense to back up that folder, but if I have 2 copies of the mov file that was created by XDCAM Transfer then what is the need to back up the BPAV? Am I supposed to be running a 3rd hard drive (or even a 4th) as my backup of the BPAV file?
When I import my saved mov files into FCP, I have no quality issues. I just want to make sure that my stuff is right at this time next year when I need to go edit it.
Thanks in advance for all of the help!
[Brandon Carter] "Should I also be backing up the BPAV folder?"
Yes. Think of the BPAV folder as the new video tape. Don't forget that this 'digital negative' is still in a format that can be read by both Mac and PC. Somewhere down the road you might need that capability, so don't limit yourself to just Mac.
[Brandon Carter] "Am I supposed to be running a 3rd hard drive (or even a 4th) as my backup of the BPAV file? "
[Brandon Carter] "I just want to make sure that my stuff is right at this time next year when I need to go edit it. "
Put your archived BPAV stuff on a separate hard drive. Spin it up every couple of months just like a car in temporary storage. Don't use an old hard drive for the obvious reasons. Store this drive in a location other than where you store your other media.
Brandon, Don is so so right with his advice. I was new to this camera (as we all were I suppose) and I followed that route and (so far!) have had no problems.
Why are you converting the BPAV files to .mov if you're not ready to bring the media in to your edit system? I only do that, with the Sony Transfer software, when I want to start my edit. The BPAV folders (complete) are safer stored away on various drives, after all they don't occupy all that much space given the capacity of modern external drives. The only question you might raise is that you want to view the material from time to time. I believe you can do this with Clip Browser, although I don't use that myself.
Amen to what Don said. Imagine that all you have are the Quicktime files, which are in an Apple-only XDCAM codec that comes only with Final Cut Studio. Then you get a call from a client who needs their footage in MXF format to cut on an Avid. You're hosed until you find a way to transcode all that footage.
We keep our material on a pair of RAID units until the project is completed. Upon ingestion we burn it to optical discs as well (XDCAM discs, in our case) and keep those in a huge fire safe, soon to be located off-site. Once a project has been completed we move its footage from the RAID it's on to an external hard drive. If it's something we will likely use again we just keep it on the RAID.
The goal is to always have one mechanical archive (hard drive) and one non-mechanical (optical disc) in addition to spinning on the RAIDs. We just bought a new building so the off-site thing is still on the horizon.
Everyone is giving you good advice but if you're in a position where you know for certain that no other editor will ever need the raw files or the project is on a very strict budget, here's my advice. Take the BPAV folders and back them up onto one hard drive. Then use the Sony XDCAM Browser, or whatever you use, to put the mov files on a second hard drive. That way if the first drive got destroyed, you'd still have everything you need to edit in FCP, or if the second got destroyed you'd have the original files and could easily remake the mov's.
Personally we've been using EX-1's since the month they came out (early 2008 I think?) and our workflow has always been back up the BPAV folders onto two drives, then when we're ready to edit, import the footage onto the internal drive of whichever system is editing it. So far I've used nothing but Western Digital drives and never encountered a problem with the 20+ drives we've used, knock on wood.