Originally Posted by Mary Burnadette
I am a multimedia student. I use USB drives for most backups, but when backing up important files that I don't want corrupted by viruses, I prefer to use single write DVDs.
Unless you're using archival quality DVDs the shelf life of that backup may be as short as 2-5 years.
"CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer. However, a variety of factors discussed in the sources cited in FAQ 15, below, may result in a much shorter life span for CDs/DVDs. Life expectancies are statistically based; any specific medium may experience a critical failure before its life expectancy is reached. Additionally, the quality of your storage environment may increase or decrease the life expectancy of the media. We recommend testing your media at least every two years to assure your records are still readable."
That said, the recommendation is to refresh your digital archives every 5 years anyway.
When handing up large video assignments one uses DVDs. This is a requirement of TAFE.
A multimedia student should be aware that the 1080p workflow is now pretty standard and that "large video assignments" won't fit on a DVD unless your definition of "large" isn't.
While I appreciate that an external drive has advantages, e.g. if the drive fails one can replace it, without having to send the entire computer to the repair shop. I do like the simplicity of using a single device rather than cluttering up the desk with a variety of peripherals. In my experience the internal DVD drive has never failed and our current iMac is over six years old.
The internal drive is abysmally slow in comparison to external drives and won't burn blu-ray. If I had to burn discs on a regular basis I'd get a quality external blu-ray burner.
If Apple want to take out the DVD drive then one would hope they would increase the number of USB slots, but I don't find this to be the case. As a multimedia student I use 2TB drives (for large video files), I can't always operate these drives when they are plugged into USB hubs and often have to insert them directly into the computer drive. This makes backups a trial as there are not enough slots to insert the backup drives.
The problem with the iMac isn't that there aren't enough USB ports but that they are located behind the effing screen. Which is just dandy if you don't plug stuff into them on a regular basis but a royal pain in the arse if you do. That SDXC slot is nearly effing useless as well if your desk (and iMac) is against a wall.
There are 4 USB 3 ports on the back of the iMac. How many do you need anyway? If you need to plug in 5 external USB drives at one time you're doing it wrong.
I tried using a bluetooth keyboard for a number of years, but the batteries had to be replaced nearly every month - I kept a record for well over a year. One month I had to replace the batteries twice. The Windows machine that sat next to the iMac only required battery changes every six months. Not a good advertisement for Apple bluetooth keyboards. In frustration I purchased a new bluetooth keyboard, but the battery usage did not improve. Finally, I purchased a standard USB keyboard and mouse. This unfortunately blocks one of the USB slots.
I use the logitech K760 that is solar powered. In my Apple keyboard I used eneloops and didn't worry about it and I didn't replace the battery every month either.
I use a range of Adobe software including Encore. This generates DVDs as an output. Sending the output to an external drive is slower and could cause the output to fail.
First, Adobe products in general have stupid issues with external drives that have little to do with the external drives and a lot more with Adobe. Encore, Premiere, etc all seem to suck because they query at the OS level and not at the hardware level.
Second Encore can write ISOs. Folks that uses Encore a lot will write to ISO and burn later because Encore is not reliable in generating media everyone can read even when it works. imgburn is one of the more common burning apps used.
You should author to iso anyway because even if Encore didn't suck at burning bad media still occurs and you can always toss an iso on a usb stick if you have to. Double clicking on it should mount it in OSX and you can play it in a pinch.
Third, I have found that external drives work better. At least decent external drives.