To keep or not to keep

I'm cleaning up and backing up the hard drive on my main working computer today (it's a laptop, so this is always a ritual before taking it on a trip with me) and I'm contemplating my ever-growing folder of completed music videos. I tend to save everything, but I'm starting to wonder about the wisdom of taking up an ever-growing corner of my hard drive with old files for vids I completed years ago. I make my vids in iMovie, and the files are pretty large (generally 3-5 Gb each), plus all the clips that I saved too.

To toss or not to toss? The only reason I can think of for keeping them is that it would enable me to go back later and save/export them in a different format if I wanted to. It would also make it easier to remaster them with better footage, should I ever want to do that, but at this point the only ones that I have any vague desire to remaster are the really old ones, which I did in Premiere, and don't still have the files for anyway.

I'm reluctant to throw them away, and yet, the finished & exported versions are the important thing (the final MP4, WMVs, etc), and I'm definitely keeping those.


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I had the same thoughts about my vids as I keep all the project files and associated files for the projects. My vid folder got quite large! I started saving off the old projects on DVDs and getting them off my hard drive. That's always an option. I'm too much of a pack rat to bring myself to delete the project files. LOL
*fellow packrat high-five* Yeah, I really don't want to delete them completely. I'm thinking about buying a new external hard drive for backing up, and turning my current one (which has been written and rewritten hundreds of times, as I use it for regular backups) into an archive. Then I can just copy all those files to it and put it away somewhere to have them handy if I ever want them again.
*is also a packrat*

I've had too many external drives conk out on me and leave me panicking: 500GB of data completely inaccessible! Lost and irreplaceable! My music and writing and photos and movies! The sky is falling! (I was lucky enough to find a free trial program that fixed the problem long enough to rescue my files)

I'm burning most of my stuff to DVD now, though I'm thinking I'd like to switch to SD cards if I can ever afford enough of them.
Packrats Unite! (and be sure to bring everything.... ;) )

That’s actually on my list as well. I have way too much to backup these days to make it practical to use DVDs. Heck, my art/wallpaper folder alone takes at least 7 or 8 DVDs. My Vid folder can't be that far behind and we wont even talk about full HD episodes... LOL I had an external HD fail last year, luckily it was a slow fail and I was able to get everything off it, but it makes me pretty vigilant about backups. (that and a very old internal drive that I know will fail one of these days…)

But yeah, having a drive to use for archiving data, is a great idea too, if you have lots to back up, otherwise DVDs for small amounts, are an economical way to go. :)
Yeah, this is a growing problem for me. My "projects" folder (which is where most of the really irreplaceable stuff is, the original art and comics and fiction) is 23 Gb, and the vidding folder dwarfs it, and don't get me started on all my media files ... Backup on an external drive is my only sensible option anymore, though I do burn DVDs on a regular basis for the stuff it would kill me to lose, the fiction and such.
just found a 1.5 TB external hard drive (Western Digital), USB 2.0 compatable with USB 3.0 functionality at Best Buy for $89. Nice buy! Only $10 more than the 1TB. ;)

Sensible investment I think. :)
What I do at work is render out a high-quality master version if I want to render out smaller/different format files for whatever reason. If you want to packrat the files, depending on the options with your software, you could take the clips and render them out in a smaller, compressed format (say, H.264/AVCHD codec in an MP4 wraper) that has little visual quality loss. If you can get them all under 4.7 GB you could put the project files on a data DVD and "file" it away for that rainy day.

I have specific settings that I use right now to archive my ginormous NTSC DV AVI files into MP4 that seems to preserve quality but cut the file size down a third. I'm 99% sure there are free Mac programs that can do a batch render of files once you figure out what those settings are.
Oh, that's an excellent idea! iMovie makes it easy to render out high-quality MOVs (in fact, that's what it *wants* you to do). And they're not so huge that I couldn't get a bunch of them on a DVD.

I'll probably still keep the original iMovie files as well, but that's a good idea for archiving them in a convenient, relatively lossless format.

... dammit, apropos of nothing, there is a woodpecker on the house again. XD We have an ongoing problem with this. It's an issue when you live in a house made out of logs ...