Storage for your clients

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by wedding-photography-denver, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Having spent a lot of time caring for the data I provide my clients, I want to give it to them in the most permanent way possible. Well, I just got an email through my site from a company that claims "permanent" storage on a DVD product.
    This it their site
    My question is, has anyone used these and/or got any feedback about the veracity of their claims of permanence?
  2. Look, without having used these guys (and with every respect to whatever technology they may be using), ANY physical medium is subject to erosion, corrosion and decay. This has nothing to do with the discs themselves or with the laser etching methods but rather with the way people care for them. If you place your discs on a shelf where the sun hits it for 4 hours a day, then, trust me, regardless of HOW it was etched, it will, VERY quickly die a horrible and silent death.
    People rarely pay attention to CDs/DVDs, regardless of whether they are gold or platinum or made out of a special alloy only found in Pluto! They are all classified as "CDs" and treated accordingly...unfortunately.
    IF you are so bent in provinding your clients with some sort of permanent solution, then burn some high quality DVDs with their images and keep them yourself, in controlled conditions for, say, 10 years, for a nominal charge (or for free). After that, let them make the choice and if they choose to take guardianship of the discs, give them a "care sheet", package the discs properly and wish them the best.
    My money is on the "10-years-later-they-cannot-find-the-discs" OR "the-discs-which-we-took-such-good-care-of-cannot-be-read-by-our-brand-new-laptop-with-Windows-2020-with-the-new-EVE-drive" scenario though...;-)
  3. Short answer to your question - No, I haven't used them and therefore I can not validate their claims.
    At this point - I don't think anyone could validate the claims they make - short of taking a cd burned by their technology and aging it 20 or 30 years - in lab conditions.
    They may have solved the problems with traditional cd or dvd technology regarding the media - but the other question that they fail to answer is whether or not the technology to read their media will exist in 10, 20 or even 30 years? 30 years ago the permanent storage solution in IT was either mag tapes(reel to reel) or Disk storage packs that were about 18 inches in diameter. Now - you can't find a working device to read them, even if the disk or tape is in good shape.
    25 years ago - it was the laser disk. Again - the disks may be in perfect shape - but there isn't a reader around that will handle them.
    15 years ago - there was the iomega zip drives - same deal - I had one of those and tried to plug it into an XP powered machine and guess what? No drivers available plus media not recognized.
    Point is there's always something new, and companies start supported the new and stop supporting the old. To parapharse Danny Devito from Other People's Money - you don't want to be the last, best, horse buggy maker in the world, you want to be the first new thing maker.
  4. feedback about the veracity of their claims of permanence?​
    Call me crazy, but I doubt anyone posting on PN is 200 years old.
    200 years ago there were no DVD's; 200 years from now (if we last that long), who knows what the media will be?
    I also doubt Ansel Adams cares now if his images survived.
    Permanent? Nothing is permanent.
    I have boxes of prints from 30 years ago. I can still see them, they look pretty good.
  5. More to the point, what are you going to do, two decades from now, if their claims are incorrect? Assuming "they" are still in business, of course! If they're wrong, and still available to talk to, you're likely to get ... a re-print of the disk, at no charge? They're certainly not going to be liable for the damages done to you or your client because of the lost data.

    Better for you to maintain a well-oiled IT rig with continually refreshed drives rotated through off-site storage, and to tell clients that that's how you work and that that's part of what they pay for when they engage a pro. Deliver to them a couple copies of their data on whatever is the conventional media of the moment, and tell them that it may only last a few years, and that they should explore the same options for preserving that data as they would their other family data (no family that wants a burned copy of thier photographs is otherwise unplugged from that way of life).

    If, ten years from now, they want a fresh copy, your own rotate storage farm should have a copy to (for a fee) re-deliver to them. Your own IT habits, with regard to current and recent project storage, can just be expanded a bit to include all the old stuff. It's just disk space, with is huge and cheap these days.
  6. Burn it to several DVDs then wash your hands, and walk away.
    I work with data every day and one of my headaches is not just storage degradation, but the ability to read the data storage.
    How many computers have iOmega Zip drives today? Floppy? How about QIC tape drives? These storage devices maybe around, but few people can still read them. If you can find the device, you still need the software.
    1973, less then a lifetime ago, 8" floppy - find a drive that can read them.
  7. Any job I do, I hand over the DVD(s)x2 and keep a copy myself and let them figure out how to store it. I'm with John. I have thousands and thousands of old negatives, I'm not keeping their DVDs now too. Their problem...
  8. I believe the best answer is always to have a diversified solution when it comes to back-ups. My clients receive DVDs, which I encourage them to make copies of and store elsewhere or in a safety deposit box. I also have DVD copies as well as hard drive back-ups for all of my client's final images. My favorite back-up solution however, is that my lab provides unlimited, indefinite archive storage which is always available to me by FTP. Plus, if anything happened to me or I closed my business, my clients would still be able to contact Pictage if they had an emergency or needed to replace everything they had.
  9. Thanks for the input.
    I do have a pretty solid (IMO) system in place already, but will always look at new ideas that give more/better performance. I get the point about formats changing too, although I remember DVD's being around since the 80's, so they have a pretty good chance of staying the course for a while longer.
    I wonder what will emerge as the leading storage method in the digital world eventually. Flash media seems the obvious choice for small amounts of data at the moment.
    Anyhow, many thanks for the input.
    Merry Christmas to y'all.
  10. With the advent of cloud computing, more and more people will probably also store stuff online. I know I plan to have a backup on some online storage platform, in addition to hardware backup solutions.
  11. This product was tested by the Department of Defense along with 5 of the top archival DVD's on the Market including the Gold disk. Every DVD failed and lost all of its data in fact most of them were not even recognized as a optical disk anymore. Not one of the M-DISC's lost any data actually the quality of the DISC's improved after the tests. I would be happy to provide anyone with 82 page report if you would like a copy please let me know.
    This technology is revolutionary and the only solution out there to preserve your precious data forever. If you would like to test it for yourself contact me and i'll get you a demo unit.
  12. The first DVD did not appear till 1995. It was the successor to Philips’ EFMPlus, and was officially released in Q4 of 1996.
    A standar DVD stores 4.7 GB of data. Curretly a 16GB flash drive can be purchased for less than 16USD. One can purchase a Solid State Drive of 480GB for around 1500USD.
    I hope next Christmas we will see these prices drop 50% if not more.
    DVD is dead (she just does no know it yet). Long live the Flash Memory. :D
    The problem with cloud is not the cloud itself, in my opinion, but wit the on/off ramp. Uploading even just 1 DVD is still a pain . . .
    And, a Merry Christmas to all!
  13. John is correct that a Solid State Drive holds way more data then the competition. The problem still exists that it is not permeant solution, a flash drive may last 12 years but its still not guaranteed. Once you write to a M-DISC you no longer have to worry about your data.
    The M-DISC is made for archival purposes so you can burn your photos, data, or whatever else you want to and not have to worry about it. Its peace of mind of all of you most important data.
  14. I'm not sure I see the advantage of M-disc over other archval grade DVD/R discs. both will last centuries (at least) if cared for properly, and both will fail utterly if abused. (I don't believe for a second that the m-disc would survive a house fire, or a rambunctious 2 yr old).
    Personally I just cant see spending $500++ for an archive system that doesn't seem significantly better than archival gade DVD/R that sell for $3 or $4 per disc, plus since it's proprietary, the m-discs won't work w/ another writer, and if the drive goes, the discs are really cool looking, expensive frisbees..
    And, for all the dollars, it really doesn't serve your client any better than any other archival grade solution.
  15. Marcus, what you fail to understand is that ALL DVD's and CD's corrupt overtime. Until the M-Disk was created. Go to and look at the government tests that have been done to show the differance in archival disks. Naval Air Warfare Center China Lakes provided the tests.
    Also the M-Disk is reverse compatible and once burned will read on ANY DVD player. But, will only burn with the M-Drive.
    I personally have spent hours and days checking out the M-disk and the company called Millenniata and this is the real deal. If you are truly wanting to give your customers the very best archival disk there is only one option. Check it out.

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