A Quick Note on Archiving

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the February, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


As long-time readers may remember, I am advocating LTO-5 tape drives for archive and backup of our Final Cut Pro media.

However, while I’ve talked to people that use them, I have not actually set one up and run it.

Recently, thanks to the efforts of Bob Gobielle, HP sent me an EH958A LTO-5 tape drive to evaluate.

However, while HP provides fairly simple installation for Windows and Linux, I still have not gotten this unit to work on my MacPro.

I am continuing to try. However, as a caution, while I am still convinced that the best option for long-term project archiving is LTO tape, be SURE before you spend your money, that you get a unit that is specifically designed to interface with the Mac.

I’ll have more on this when I get it to work.

UPDATE – MARCH 3, 2011

Andreas Kiel writes:

Some notes which might be interesting to your readers, since you mentioned backup.


I experienced quite a lot misunderstanding when people work tapeless or just with still cameras when doing a back up or copy.


One issue is to save the card’s structure another one the format the card should be saved to.
On LAFCPUG and a german FCPUG there were threads about these things again recently. Several users obviously don’t know exactly why to create .ISO images and how to create those images from there cards as backups.


It could be a real good idea to create this ISO kind of image as it they keeps all the card information in a format that any OS and any camera or card reader will accept — different from a .DMG file which which moves the card’s file format info into an HFS+ format which only can be read on MacOS.


You can do that with DiskUtility. Though it’s bit tricky on the first glimpse. Rather than clicking the clicking the ‘New Image’ button in the toolbar go to Menu->New Disk Image from Folder… (or use the shortcut for that). Then select your card. In the options of the save dialog select for ‘Image Format ‘ hybrid image (HFS+/ISO/UDF)’ — you won’t see this option when you clicked the toolbar button.


To make things easier for people, I created a little app called ‘copyCards’ which takes off the burdon from the user to know what exactly he has to copy from a card and how to create ISO ‘images’.


The app can watch the Finder for new cards, will accept any file from cards dropped or loaded and always will find the mount point to make secure copies of any FAT-32 formatted card (which is the standard).


Though the app does have a little interface bug (not updating correctly the list of removed cards) it doesn’t do any harm to any data (as long as you have a working OSX without any hidden errors) and assures that all your invaluable data are transfered and/or copied in a reliable way.


And yes it is a free download from here: http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/copyCards/copyCards.dmg


The app contains a help PDF which can be opened with Menu > Help.

Larry replies: Thanks, Andreas, for the update. Also, Nick Gold sent me some great advice on archiving software, which I will add later today. Check back later to read his comments.

Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Quick Note on Archiving

  1. Brian Barnes says:

    We have been using an LTO3 drive for many years. When I was the head of technical operations at Mersey TV (a UK television production company) we used LTO2!. We use final cut on a Mac Pro and we use retrospect software, there have been some issues but we shall certainly be upgrading to LTO5 in the near future. One of the issues is we need to archive bigger and bigger jobs so LTO3 at 400gig isn’t big enough to record and verify overnight. I create a job folder and everything goes into that, rushes FCP files, masters, DVD etc. it is simple to recover the whole job file and carry on from where you left off at any point of the production chain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.