To dovetail off of backing up your files, backing up your video files can be a little trickier. Over the years, I’ve used various ways of backing up my students’ video projects. I would spend days at the end of the school year going on each computer in our lab, exporting to tape or QuickTime files and then compiling everything. It wasn’t until last year when I found the quickest and easiest way to archive:
Podcast your videos and then subscribe to it.
We started podcasting videos about 4 or 5 years ago, but it wasn’t until I was in a panic trying to find a story for a contest entry (on deadline, of course) when I realized how valuable that was. When you subscribe to a podcast, what you’re doing is downloading a compressed version of the original file to your computer. What I found was that the podcast files (usually .m4v files) were smaller, more manageable and there was negligible loss of video quality when compressing for web or DVD. In fact, we upload the .m4v files directly to SchoolTube, so that saves us a step when putting it on our website. Now, I have one story in three places:
- On the original computer in our lab
- On my laptop as a podcast file
- On a backup DVD
I still back up all of the files at the end of the year, but, rather than using 6 or 7 DVDs, I can easily fit them into 1 or 2. Now, at the end of the year, I throw in a DVD (maybe 2) and archive all of our stuff. I should consider using external drives to back up my stuff as has been suggested, but I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love them. They hate me.