A Facebook Conversation on Tapeless Media

Posted on by Larry

[This article was first published in the November, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.]


Recently, on our Facebook page, I started a conversation with readers when I asked: “The industry is committed to tapeless video. What are your biggest challenges with it?”

Over 1,700 people read this and many responded. I thought you’d be interested in a summary of what they had to say.

Noel McElligott Storage, damn hard drives break all the time!

Larry Jordan Noel, I’ve been writing and talking about storage for a long time. It is even more important than the speed or RAM of your computer. Here’s a tutorial that explains more: http://tinyurl.com/2vup8d6

Daniel Jacobs Archive!

Caps H I [have to] check all the time for supporting files.

Michael J. Müller Backup and archive.

Larry Jordan Daniel, Michael, Brian, I agree that archiving is critical – and it’s easy to do IF you have a lot of money. It’s figuring out how to do it safely and cheaply that is the challenge today. I’ll look into this further and see what I can do.

Rick Jones Conversions. If only all formats could be edited natively. Getting closer but not there yet.

Larry Jordan Rick, in spite of appearances, you don’t WANT to edit all formats natively. Many times there are too many trade-offs when editing a file in its native format. H.264 is a classic example. So is MPEG-2. It is far better to convert formats that take forever to render (HDV) into something that renders much faster and with higher quality (ProRes). Here’s a Tutorial I did that goes into a lot more detail about this: http://tinyurl.com/3yjg93w

Neil Gregory ‎[I agree with] what Rick said. When will FCP work with P2 raw files without transcoding, please?

Brian Pshyk Larry, for me it is archive with non-client content.

Jim Burns I already own 7 devices that use tapes. There is no compelling reason for me to move to a tapeless workflow. I’ll try to hold out for as long as it makes sense.

Don Lewis Tapes, Tapes, Tapes. We all have so many of them. And what about storage degeneration? How long can we store to tapeless media, or our external HDs, for that matter?

Ludwig Schramm backup and archive

Julie Smith Stoecker Fear of loosing my original footage. At least with a tape, I can recapture it if the file gets lost or corrupted. I can’t do that with tapeless. Space is also an issue, affordable space that is.

Peter Neill In local TV news, keeping track of memory cards, which are substantially more expensive than tape and compatibility issues – e.g. Quantel SqEdit doesn’t recognize AVI files.

Matt O’Connor loss of raw footage – I’ve still got the very first mini dv tape I shot on (1996) and it still plushest on a JVC GY-HM100U (“Apple Cam”) in March 2010, files corrupted and I lost the lotted the client.

Lance Ogren While sometimes it’s nice to have the original raw footage on tape, I occasionally spend too much time searching for an old clip that strikes my fancy….. and then what about all the tapes I’ve got for the cameras I had to sell when I upgraded. It’s a pain to keep borrowing different decks, but I don’t use the tapes enough to make buying a deck worthwhile. Sometimes I wish I had all the raw footage already digitized and backed up on hard drive. Wait, at least I’ve got easy access to all the Tapeless footage.

Johannes Schoutsen Simple, Archiving! I film on average about 140GB a weekend. This material sits on the Drobo till they come into the pipeline for the edit. The time it takes from Post to Delivery is a stressful time, for I do not have a hard copy (tape) of [my source media.]

Gerald Davenport Well, it’s all been mentioned: archiving, conversions, storage space, and…. you know with new technology that fixes or makes some things more convenient it breaks the bonds on others. Nothing is 100% prefect for everyone or every need.

Derrick Charleston Getting different software/computers to “talk” to the cards. Too many CODECS. It’s a “pissing” contest now. There needs to be a universal acceptance like mini DV tape was so simple! It just WORKED!

Larry Jordan Derrick: I agree that simplification is ideal. However, it won’t happen in the near future, it will only get worse. Sigh…

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