Storage and Retention of footage Opinions

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      I consider myself an intermediate novice (It is mostly a hobby for me, but I do some paid work as well), and I am struggling with how best to capture and store my footage and projects, and would appreciate others sharing their process. I do some paid work for a local organization, and I do some volunteer work at the local school selling DVDs as a fundraiser, and I editmy own personal family footage. My Current workflow is as follows:

      Footage is captured on Mini DV Tapes.

      I Digitize the footage and store on an external Hard Drive connected to my PC Via ESATA. This drive is essentially a dock so I can “eject” the disk when it is full and place it on a shelf for archival purposes (

      I save my data in folders organizedby “client” (Family, School, corporation), and then by Project (Holidays 2009, Christmas Pageant 2008 etc), and all of the footage and final projects are saved in that folder. When I complete a project, I burn it to DVD, and I will usually keep a copy for myself incase another master copy is neede by my client.

      Unless it is priceless footage (Birth of my child, or some one in a lifetime event) I will often times reuse the MiniDV tapes again for another project, partially for cost, but mostly because I have no place to store hundreds of DV tapes, and and saving a 1 hour DV tape for 5 minutes of highlight footage of an elementary school soccer game does not seem worth it.

      Do you Copy all of your raw footage and edited footage and final project off to another storage media?

      Do you keep your initial raw footage, or fo you only keep the files used in the finished projects?

      What sort of storage device do you used to store your projects? Network attached storage, a media server or Drobo seem like they would be good, but it places a huge strain on my homenetwork to be transfering 10-15 Gigs of data between my locally connected drive and my networked storage or USB connected Drobo (Although the new Drobo S looks interesting)

      Any other advice on workflow and long term storage of footage and finished products?

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