How to sequence files, audio files, graphics, and all manner of other digital work files populating your virtual folders or scattered around your desktop.
Not so fast! All those hours shooting, editing, laying down your audio and mastering your great effort are over. But if you're like most of us, your computer is littered with the electronic results of all your hard work. You have sequence files, audio files, graphics, and all manner of other digital work files populating your virtual folders or scattered around your desktop. And some of these files represent pretty big buckets of bits. Even if your computer came with industrial size hard drives, eventually you're going to run out of storage room if you don't learn the techniques of good computer file housekeeping.
So, essentially, this article is for anyone who has ever had to face the reality of having a drive or drives that are so crowded that you can't begin your next project until you dump a bunch of files from the last one. Which means, essentially, all of us.
Plan the Work, Work the Plan
Let's begin by acknowledging that an overcrowded desktop is often a sign that you're doing something right. After all, if you didn't have the next job, you wouldn't need to back up this one, right? So let's start out by defining some of the various classes of files you might want to store and different approaches you might want to consider for backing the important ones up and safely tossing others.
Video files -- these are the blue-ribbon swines when it comes to hogging data storage capacity. Standard def DV data files require around 200 megs of storage for a 1-minute video clip. So, if you just finished a 30-minute documentary -- you'll have at least 6 gigs of video files scattered around your hard drive (and that's at a one-to-one shooting ratio; you can easily have three to ten times this amount). The good news is that there's really no reason to back up this kind of large media file!
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