Information Technology Reference
upstream bandwidth levels, your backups would never, ever finish!
For offsite backups, use physical media instead. If you can't afford
(or manage the logistics of) offsite backups with high-capacity
hard drives or RAIDs, at least use fireproof, waterproof, theft-
resistant storage devices for your local backups to minimize the risk
of losing them. (For further discussion, see my TidBITS article Do
As for active video projects, at minimum, use backup software to
copy them onto an external drive and update that copy periodically.
Better still, set up a versioned backup of your active video data—
separate from your regular data—on a hard drive. This will give you
at least a few intermediate versions of your work in progress, should
you need to go back to an earlier one. (How often you update this
backup depends on available disk space and the software you use.)
But note: When restoring projects from a backup, all of the
components—including the raw video clips, the project settings,
and any additional graphics or audio—must be returned to their
original locations (that is, wherever iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or other
video app last knew them to be). In addition, it's best to restore an
entire project at once, not just individual files. If you restore only
part of a project or put any of the components in different places,
your video editing software may get confused and turn your project
into a work of abstract art (and not in a good way).
When you've finished a project and know you won't be editing
it again soon, copy your project files onto optical media or archive
it on a spare hard drive—preferably, use two or more sets of media
that you'll store in separate places. Then delete the project files from
your hard disk and recycle your video backup disk by erasing and
starting over again with a full backup of your next project.
In other words, treat your video data with the same care you give your
other files, but don't get hung up on long-term storage of every single
edit you make of every movie. The most important things to back up
are your original footage, versioned backups of projects currently in
progress, and your final project files.