Burning thousands of jpgs to optical media

vbimport

#1

Helping my parents back up their photo collection.

I think I read that if you’re burning nothing but thousands of small files (such as .jpgs) to optical media, it’s better to create and burn from an image, rather than burn the files directly. I think the reason was so the data is all in one contiguous place on the HDD (well, at least more so than with thousands of jpgs) to be read more readily as it’s transferred to the burner. Is this true?

(If so, would this be the only thing to watch out for if burning a large number of small files? Is there normally anything else that’s done to help ensure the files get burned well? I’m also considering including .par recovery archives on each disc, though not sure if necessary. Anything else?)

Thanks very for any help – appreciate it.


#2

In the days before underrun proofing, burning dispersed small files was very risky, as if it didn’t keep up, you wasted a disk.

Now, with all writers supporting some form of underrun recovery, it’s not crucial. Many burning programs will also maintain a fairly large software buffer.

PAR files may help if it were to become partially unreadable, but probably as well to make two copies on good quality media - possibly different media to avoid a defective batch problem.


#3

If you are going to burn to DVD’s, I’d recommend Verbatim AZO 16x media or Taiyo Yuden 8x or 16x discs. Don’t use Verbatim “Life Series” discs. The AZO discs and TY can be found online at Amazon.com, or many other sites like rima.com or supermediastore.com if you are in the US.

Burning to Blu-ray, I’d prefer to use Panasonic discs for archival use.

Burn at a moderate speed, half the rated speed is usually ok for Verbatim AZO discs, though the TY 8x discs are almost always good at their rated speed of 8x. For Blu-ray, I always burn at 4x.


#4

Also, if the files are not already divided into folders, and assuming the disc will only be used in devices that can navigate through folders, divide them up. Optical drives have slow seek times, and if you use it on a computer that tries to preview every image, you’ll be waiting a while for the thumbnails to appear.

Bonus to using folders: good organization might help your family find particular pictures in the future.


#5

Buy them a USB thumb drive to use as a second level of backup. Never rely on just optical discs.


#6

[QUOTE=CDan;2738698]Buy them a USB thumb drive to use as a second level of backup. Never rely on just optical discs.[/QUOTE]

Always a very wise move. :iagree:

Also if they’re really important make sure you keep another copy off site, at a friends house for example, as catastrophic fires etc. do unfortunately happen.

[B]Wombler[/B]


#7

Thanks so much for the help, everyone.

Matth – So, I guess the issue is that if the buffer (hardware and software) stays filled up, and the burn is never slowed down, then the fact it’s dispersed small files is having no effect on the burn. It’s reassuring. I’ll probably keep an eye out on the first two burns or so (for the buffer levels, as you pointed out), but, yeah, it seems like it should not be a problem.

Kerry56 – Yes, I actually do have Verbatim AZO 16x. I am aware of Taiyo Yuden too, but have read posts from recent years with people questioning the quality of both the Verbatim AZO’s and TY – with TY I think it may have been workforce cuts associated with the purchase of JVC, and with Verbatim it may have been the discs made in the India plant (though don’t remember reading if that was the only issue). I remember that years ago, people seemed to consider TY to have a slight edge. In your opinion, are TY’s still as good as before (are they slightly better than Verbatim AZO’s)?

Albert – Thanks, they are divided into folders already, but that’s something I hadn’t thought of at all. I’ll see to make sure if the folders aren’t too big.

CDan – I hadn’t thought of that… at all. It’s funny b/c I was in fact using a flash drive for temporary backup myself on a smaller scale, but for my parents’ pictures, I had a mind block and thought there must be another way but drew a blank.

Wombler – Thanks for that as well – another thing I hadn’t thought of. Will try to make it work (a sibling’s house).

I realize they might not be as relevant since they’re arriving just as people are moving away from optical media, but do you guys feel [B]MDiscs[/B] are a good option, or simply too much of an unknown despite the Dept. of Defense tests? (they’d be in addition to regular DVD+R’s.)


#8

Its hard for me to judge the current quality of TY DVD’s. All of the blank TY I have are 8x +R and date from 2006-2007. Lots of the complaints we see on current TY have been nitpicking to be honest. They play back perfectly well, and the scans are well within limits, and even belong in the excellent range from my perspective.

I’ve used a lot of Verbatim 16x -R AZO discs over the last few years and have no issues to report with them.

We’ve been recommending both types for years and I don’t see that changing.

There aren’t too many of us that have even tried MDiscs. I certainly haven’t, nor do I have a drive that is capable of burning them.


#9

SD cards in various sizes are also good for extra storage.
Do three or four for extra backups.
The only drawback is they are so small they are easy to lose.
Small size in GB external hard drives might be the most dependable storage.


#10

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2738824]There aren’t too many of us that have even tried MDiscs. I certainly haven’t, nor do I have a drive that is capable of burning them.[/QUOTE]

One of our reviewers did a review on these a while ago but I haven’t used them myself.

One thing that does strike me though, there’s a lot of disbelief online regarding their capabilities, and that’s understandable, but for those that have actually tried them you never see any complaints.

That would suggest to me that they’re probably a viable option.

I certainly like the idea of a disc that doesn’t degrade over a long period of time and even if they only lasted 10 years, rather than the 1,000 purported, that would be good enough for me as I think I could cope with redoing permanent backups such as photos that you want to keep forever every 10 years or so. :slight_smile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#11

Thanks Kerry56. I feel OK with both TY and Verbatim AZO then, and since I’ve started learning about scanning, will play around myself.

Thanks Cholla. I am looking into SD/flash/SSD drives now. I guess the problem of SSD’s really finite number of reads/writes (which is what had scared me about them) is not an issue when you’re doing basically one-time archival backups.

Thanks Wombler. Yeah, that is pretty sound reasoning, I think. 10 years is a reasonable amount of time between migrating, and 10 years should be well within the lifespan of Mdiscs. I might end up going this route (in addition to regular Verb or TY DVD+R’s).

I imagine you guys and many of the regulars on this board already know of the NIST (U.S. National Institute of Standards) study on optical disc longevity – I was looking at it and it’s probably the best source I’ve found on the topic. I’ll post the link here for reference: http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rt/NIST_LC_OpticalDiscLongevity.pdf


#12

I bought an M-Disc drive (LG) and have burned both DVD and BD-25 M-discs with them. They burned using ImgBurn with no errors (family docs and photos and video) and while 1000 years have not passed yet I have every confidence that this is the very best optical media for archival storage available.

Of course, ask me again in 1,000 years how well these have worked-out! :wink:

I certainly would not trust any dye-based discs for long-term storage, and the suggestions to have multiple backups including flash memory are prudent, in multiple locations e.g. one in the safe deposit box at the bank or with a distant relative.


#13

Thanks DukeOfUrl. Safe deposit box – that’s definitely a good idea, especially since we’re not talking a lot of space (especially for the BD Mdiscs). I’m pretty sure I’ll do this. Thanks for pointing it out.

While nobody knows a lot about Mdiscs other than the accelerated aging tests, they really do seem worth a try since, if you’re not going to burn too much, the price really isn’t that bad, especially with the BD ones (about 1/3 the cost of DVD MDiscs per gigabyte IIRC?).


#14

[QUOTE=DukeOfUrl;2739103]I bought an M-Disc drive (LG) and have burned both DVD and BD-25 M-discs with them. They burned using ImgBurn with no errors (family docs and photos and video) and while 1000 years have not passed yet I have every confidence that this is the very best optical media for archival storage available.

Of course, ask me again in 1,000 years how well these have worked-out! :wink:

I certainly would not trust any dye-based discs for long-term storage, and the suggestions to have multiple backups including flash memory are prudent, in multiple locations e.g. one in the safe deposit box at the bank or with a distant relative.[/QUOTE]

I’ll stick a note in my diary, LOL. :wink:

It’s good to hear positive reports though as not that many people have yet bought into the technology and even fewer have taken the time to confirm their experiences.

I would consider these a serious prospect for long term storage of critical files.

[B]Wombler[/B]


#15

Regardless of a life, I would still suggest either placing it off site (e.g. relative’s home) or in a decent fireproof safe.

One interesting idea for an invention would be to come up with a flight recorder equivalent for personal data. Of course the price range would probably be outside that of most consumers also…


#16

I guess the modern method for “safe backups” is “the Cloud” what with all of the different places valuable stuff resides i.e. it used to be in our computers and now we have all the portable devices with pics and music and video and “notes in diaries” and whatnot.

But we live in the extreme country where Uploading speeds suck and Bandwidth is at a premium so backup to the Cloud is not a viable option. With my tinfoil hat firmly in place I am backed-up here, backed-up there, and backed-up everywhere to the point where it threatens to make me crazy once in a while.

I have all of M-Discs and USB sticks and portable (external) Hard Disk Drives in fire safes in two separate buildings on our tract. And just a couple of things in the cloud that I need for portability.

I have not checked again since researching M-Discs as to whether the US Government (the Army tested it iirc) does actually have a contract with Millenniata to supple them with discs. So I promote them whereever I can to try to help the company stay belly-up.

Does anyone other than LG make M-Disc burners? I dunno myself… sorry–nm ot.


#17

Seán - Yeah, I actually was looking at fireproof boxes (not safes, though), and there certainly are options. It’s not expensive.

DukeOfUrl - Yeah, Google to me seems like it’d be a really good choice for cloud storage with the (for the immediate future) stability of the company, and right now it’s free for under 5 Gb. But, yes, I also experienced slow upload speeds due to my connection.

I looked at the M-Disc site, and there actually are other burners M-Disc says work with their discs, though LG seems to be the only burner company that consistently mentions it themselves as a feature. One of 3 Asus burners on the list also (on Amazon) mentions M-disc. About half of the list seems to be discontinued models, but the other half has links to Amazon where there is some availability. I haven’t dug into it myself further yet, though. http://www.mdisc.com/m-ready/


#18

If you decide on using Blu-ray M-Disc media, you might as well go for an LG drive. The Asus drives supporting M-Disc BD media are rebadges of LG drives, so…no sense in potentially making a mistake and getting the wrong Asus.

Plus getting an LG drive would guarantee you would be able to choose either BD or DVD M-Disc media, and LG’s drive naming strategy + its retail presence means you can find a drive, order it, and actually know it is the very drive you need for your task.


#19

FWIW newegg had the WH16NS40 that I bought on sale last night for just $45 bucks. They routinely put it on sale for $60-65.


#20

Thanks, Albert and DukeOfUrl. I haven’t had a chance to look into the threads on Blu-ray burners here – I know there’s a fair bit of info – so haven’t had anything intelligent to say or ask, but, thanks.

This might be generally useful (since you mentioned the LG burner being on sale at Newegg, DukeOfUrl): you guys might already know of these price tracker sites, camelcamelcamel.com and keepa.com for Amazon, and camelegg.com for Newegg. You can get email alerts when a price goes below a point you set. I’ll probably use these for this purchase – I was able to grab a pair of nice Pioneer speakers when they went on sale for half price for two days, very useful.