Storing Photos, Video, and Digital Files

The formats for family keepsakes is constantly changing. Slides gave way to prints, which gave way to digital picture files. Home movie film reels lost to video tape, which is now losing to digital video. DVDs, which are making VHS tapes obsolete, now have competition from blu-ray. Hard drive storage is becoming ever cheaper, and the latest trend is to store your precious files somewhere in “The Cloud.” But what is the one best way to keep media memories and archive digital files?

I’ll be honest with you. There isn’t one. And by that I mean, there isn’t ONE. The best media and file storage is not so much a place or a format as a strategy. And the best strategy for protecting and enjoying your media memories involves both convenience and redundancy.

First and foremost, your media should be converted and kept in a format that you can presently enjoy and share with ease. For example, a photo book on a coffee table for guests to enjoy is preferable to a box of photos still in their store pouches. Video tapes from a broken camcorder should be transferred to a format you can play back. Digital images should be easily accessible on your viewing screen of choice, whether that be your portable ipad or the family room TV.

In addition to the ability to enjoy your pictures and video at present, a storage strategy should be mindful of protecting them for the future. Even if they are fine now, analog video tape, film reels, slides, and prints, all risk color deterioration over time. Humidity, dust, and sunlight can quickly age these formats, sometimes making them unrecoverable. In contrast, digital files do not fade over time, but are instead at risk of being lost due to failure or corruption of the hard drive or memory card. And everything, physical or digital, is at risk of loss due to fire or weather. Therefore, maintaining redundant digital copies, in multiple locations, is the best overall strategy.

A plan for redundant digital copies need not be complicated, and you don’t have to do it alone. Multimedia Memories can help you plan a strategy for protecting and enjoying your photos and videos for years to come.