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P2 back-up/archiving solutions...???

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P2 back-up/archiving solutions...???
on Jun 21, 2007 at 7:45:53 pm

Anyone have good solutions for backing up their P2 media after a project has been completed?

We're looking into using LT03 tape but then we have the issue of do we back up the original .mxf files AND the quicktime .mov that were created in FCP?

Ideally we'd like to intergrate Final Cut Server when it's released. Yet we're not sure if when you back up to LT03 tape and remove the media from the server if FCS still keeps a place marker and let's you search for the archived footage, then informing you it's backed up on a specific LT03 tape at whcih point you can insert the tape to retrieve the file. Thus allowing us to search the metadata for ALL our footage and not just for the footage that is online.

Then we reach the problem of do we just back up the .mov files or also the .mxf? (we recently had a case where all our back-up footage went corrupt and we had to re-import from the original .mxf files which thankfully we had on external drives- however the amount of drives is getting ridiculously high). Since we can't offline our P2 footage we also have to deal with a lot of files with large files sizes since it's a documentary styled show.

Would backing up to HD tapes be suitable? I'd imagine not because then you lose you individual clip names thus making a re-connect almost impossible. Also P2 is a compressed HD format so would backing-up to a full res HD tape even be suitable? Or is there another tape format that's appropriate for backing up the P2's HD DVCPRO 720p footage?

It seems as though the whole reason for switching to P2 was to avoid tape but do we now need to back up our P2 on tape, be it HD CAM or LT03 anyway? Why not have just shot on tape to begin with?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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Tareco, Inc.
Re: P2 back-up/archiving solutions...???
on Jun 23, 2007 at 8:48:28 am

In our case, we're using 8GB P2 cards. After importing to FCP/RAID, we back up the original MXF contents folder of each card to a dual-layer DVD, a neat fit. If you have 16GB cards, you'd need to wrangle files a bit to distribute to 2 DVD DLs.

A further step with some projects is, we back up the imported FCP Quicktime clips to a firewire drive (cheaper than insurance, cheaper than renting an HD deck). And an additional backup, if you're on Final Cut, is to use Media Manager to copy the whole project, bins plus media, to a FW drive to store it. That can happen after capture but before the edit.

Everything costs something, each project has its own time/money equation. The above steps are less time-consuming and cheaper than HD deck rentals if you don't own a deck. 720 clips are relatively small files in the world of HD media, oodles of hours fit on FW drives.

--"Also P2 is a compressed HD format so would backing-up to a full res HD tape even be suitable? Or is there another tape format that's appropriate for backing up the P2's HD DVCPRO 720p footage?"

You could always back up to DVCPRO 720 tape, but then lose metadata clip info.

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Woody Retherford
Re: P2 back-up/archiving solutions...???
on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:38:28 pm

I am on Avid so I don't have the 2 types of file problem but I back up everything to a good firewire drive immediately; and to 50 GB Blu-Ray disc, when I have the time. I ,too, shoot long form and the hard drives can add up even when they are 1 TB drives. I'll say one thing, as a shooter I have become more efficient because of the back-up issue(I don't want to back up a bunch of bad camera moves or just bad shots). I also try to delete any bad footage in the field(or the hotel room at night) if I'm sure it is something unusable.
In the field I use a couple of passport portable hard drives but these are for temporary storage to free up the cards and the firestore. The firestore posed a problem because it holds so much. I usually separate the different shots into smaller segments using the P2 content management software and put them in individual folders(as Day 1 am shots and Day 1 pm shots or whatever works)I try to keep the folders size small enough to fit on a 50Gb Blu-ray.

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