The 'Unofficial' iMovie FAQ

Archiving your finished movies for posterity

Last edited: 28 November, 2004
Author: Lennart Thelander
Q: What is the best way to save my movies?

A: Whatever works best for you. DVD, Export to tape, External hard drives, Archive to CD or DVD

I like to put mine to DVD. The problem with that is if I want to edit those files in the future, it will be a big pain to get the files off DVD and back into an editable format. I also keep a export tape of the DVD I made. This tape only has a shelf life of 10-15 years. If your are going to depend on leaving all you things on tape you should:

  1. Store them upright.
  2. Keep a copy in another location, they are fragile.
  3. Fast forward and re-rewind them once a year.
  4. Transfer them from one DV tape to another (or another format) every 5 years.

They say mold, humidity, or something will get to your tapes in 10-15 years. DVD last 50-100 years.

  • Optical drives are also a possible solutions. Newer ones hold up to 60 gig.
  • I know several people that buy cheap IDE drives and write the files to there and put them in a safe place.
  • You may also use a backup application and tapes, CDs or DVD's. One such application is Retrospect from Dantz. Remember that DV (which is what iMovie uses) is already compressed, so you must use the native (not compressed) capacity for the media you want to use. Retrospect automatically splits large files across multiple tapes/disks.

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