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Thread: What is your long term archive solution?

  1. #21
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    A few things, since Joel's original question was generational. So I guess we are talking 80 years plus.

    I have read about Data Degradation, if you are saving in multiple locations how much of a problem would it really be over the long haul?

    How about archiving photos? Of course we all make JPG's for viewing, but how about our digital negatives and raw files?
    Who is to say that Windows 20 will even be compatible with a program that would handle CR2 files. Is there a base negative file we could convert RAW in to that would for sure be available in the future?

    Unlike film negatives of the past which was put on a medium and remains on a medium, our medium is forever evolving and changing. Negatives of the past still exist as tangible objects. Where are photos exist as data on a computer that is continually upgraded, and to save our files we will continually be saving them on new computers and storage devices. The oldest digital pictures I have saved are from 1999 and they have been on at least 5 or 6 different machines, probably more. I have video from the same time frame shot with a webcam, I am unable to view it now. How will our digital pictures fair in 50 years after going through dozens if not hundreds of formats and memory transfers?

  2. #22
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    Trying to determine what file format(s) will be in use even 10 years from now is not possible. Having seen changes in file formats over the years I can also say that conversion programs have kept up with it. In the event of camera systems that are now gone, Contax 645 for me with an incredibly obsolete Kodak digital back, the original raw files are still editable in Adobe and Capture One software. No doubt in other software I don't have as well. At any time I can press a button and convert to a current format. As long as you are aware and check with new versions of software for compatibility there is no reason, nor excuse, that the files can not be migrated to new formats to keep up with changes.
    Negatives and prints are not forever either. The emulsions and print media do degrade, chemical reactions continue which change colours, storage conditions are seldom ideal, fires and floods happen, people throw out old boxes when cleaning up estates.
    All you can do is deal with it as it evolves and not obsess with future proofing which you can't do anyways.
    For orphaned video files I would suggest checking out the converters from NCH and DVD Video Soft if you don't have access to PremierePro or other video editing software. I know other folks who didn't keep on top of format changes, video has been rather bad for that, and were able to convert successfully.

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