Foxvideo Productions

Media Production

November 2013

Data tape backup - Result!

canstockphoto0196572

Back in the dark ages of digital video editing (well, 2005 anyway) the average external Firewire hard drive was around 320Gb and expensive compared to prices today. Video editing takes huge amounts of drive space and when an edit project was finished it was a major decision on how to back it up and archive it without the added expense of buying more hard drives. A master copy edit could be saved to tape, a small project file with TC information could be saved and the camera tapes saved, it would then be a matter of using the project file with the camera tapes to re-create the program for a re-edit or update.

Back in 2006 I bought a program called DVBackup that would use DV or DVCAM tapes to store data in the same way as a hard drive, you closed the project file with all the original material in a folder, connected a DV or DVCAM recorder via Firewire, started the DVBackup program, pointed it to the data you wanted to backup then set it off, depending on the size of the backup you went away and had dinner, watched TV, had a coffee and then hopefully it would have finished - to be honest it worked well and solved the problem of backing up large amounts of data cheaply.

I used it for one program I'd edited back in 2007 with around 18Gb of data, and then I filed the tape away. As per usual that job came back recently and I'd forgotten how I'd archived it, I searched all my drives and found nothing, so I went to my tape archive looking for the edited master and found a DVCAM tape with the name of the program and a label saying it was a DVBackup data tape.

The original program I'd downloaded was for a PowerPC and wouldn't install on my MacPro, a visit to the website and there was an update that would work with a MacPro, I just hoped my serial would still work - it did. Connecting up a JVC DVCAM deck via Firewire I loaded the tape and started the program, it then offered to restore the data from the tape!

2 hours later I had a copy of the original folder on a hard drive with all the data files and the Final Cut Pro project file, I clicked the project file fully expecting it not to open and throwing up all sorts of errors……No, everything opened and, when I'd converted the FCP 6 file to work with FCP 7 there was my original edit, a couple of tweaks and I had my new program. It's not a program I'll probably use again as large hard drives are so much cheaper, but it's handy to know it still works well and it could be a useful tool to use up my old DVCAM tapes as an added backup in case of an archive hard drive failure.

DV Backup home page

XEffects Toolkit for FCPX Final Cut Pro X

I'm almost tempted to buy FCP X just so I can buy and use this $49 plugin!

Logo Design Studio Pro 2 from Macware

lds

Some time ago I picked up a software deal, Macware's Logo Design Studio Pro 2, it looked good for the price and included 3 expansion packs full of customisable designs. Occasionally I get asked to design something for a video and I was also keen to design a logo for myself, this program seemed to fit the bill.

I installed it on a Mac Pro Quad with 12Gb of RAM, it seemed to load and work and then I left it alone for a few days until I had some spare time to investigate further. When I did I found numerous problems, it would 'Save' and 'Save As' but then wouldn't open any saved files, I then tried saving as a 'Template', the template saved but then wouldn't open!

A visit to the Mac App Store and I saw Macware were offering a "Lite" version for £1.49, as I already had expansion packs I thought buying and installing the Lite version might solve the problems. There were many negative comments about this "Lite" version, but I thought it was probably down to user error and I could sort it out, after all it was only £1.49…… wrong, it wouldn't even open without crashing out every time.

So an email to Tech Support via the web page and I thought it'd be sorted…..wrong again. 10 days and nothing, a further addition to my initial post and another couple of days…….Nothing!

An email then to Sales, 36 hours later an email back asking what my problems were, I explained again, another 24 hours and a reply saying they were aware of "some" problems with the software and giving me a link to download another version and re-install. I really thought this would sort it out, wrong for the 3rd time!

Nothing was different, designs would 'Save' or 'Save As' but then not re-open, re-designed templates would save and again not re-open, just to test it wasn't my OS causing the problem, I installed the latest download on my Final Cut Pro boot disk, all the problems still existed so then in a flash of inspiration I thought I'd try loading it to an old PowerPC I have lying around, it installed and ran but all the problems were still there!

So, I'm out of pocket and have a program that can only save finished files as .jpegs or .Tiffs with no option of re-designing or changing anything - Great!

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