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Thread: Assistance from a Mac User

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    Assistance from a Mac User

    I have a iMac . I am not a Techno head


    I have thousands of photos on my computer and would like to copy them on a DVD for archival/ storage.

    I am wanting an utility that compressors as well as well as indicates how many photos are on the DVD etc...
    The choices seem to be "Toast" ( basic and pro) and Popcorn 2.

    Could somebody advise what the best for me would be.

    Also which is best Blank DVDs I should buy?

    Sue

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I have Toast titanium, and it will burn to disc, but not sure if it will compress prior to burning or catalogue the images, but I can say it burns most anything with no worries on my 2010 MBP

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Generally for backups it's a lot better to avoid compression. That way if the backup ends up being dodgy, a recovery company can pull uncompressed data a lot easier than compressed data.

    Also, image files don't compress well in general.
    Dave

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    Thanks for the information - Does Toast titanium, provide information as it copies the images i.e how much is on the disc and much place is left etc.

    Also Is it best to get the Pro or basic for my needs?

    Sue

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    hmm I didn't know I needed a special program......I just put a disc in and it asked me if I wanted to burn something onto it? What am I missing?
    cheers
    Jan

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    If you just want to burn images off onto a disk, Finder will do that.

    Insert a blank DVD, when prompted select "Open with Finder". It will appear as "Untitled DVD" or somesuch in the finder window on the left hand side. Drag files/folders onto that (Press Apple+I when you've clicked on it to change it's name). Apple+I when in that window will also tell you how much space you have left, etc. Then when ready, hit the Burn button (top right of the window).

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    I was advised to buy a burner that will provide more information in relation to space on disk that what the inbuilt Mac DVD burner does. Apparently the Mac DVD is good with iPhoto - but not with images from Lightroom

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    If your photos are JPG, they are already compressed versions (JPG is a lossy format), You will find zipping a JPG will not make it much smaller, and as Dave above says, compressing a backup can be an issue if recovery is needed.
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    I shoot in Raw and the idea is to burn the originals to keep as a backup should something happen to my computer

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    As above, I wouldn't compress/archive them before burning. As for burning the disc, Toast will do the job the for you, as will the built in burner app. What you probably need, judging by your commentary, is a program which will catalogue the dscs you burn so you can easily identify what's on them (qty/preview/etc.). There used to be an app around called cd finder which was great for this sort of thing.

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    I burned discs yesterday......using the inbuilt burner from lightroom and PS.....no issues that I can see. Give it a go and see if you can save some dollars. I burnt tiffs, jpgs, pdf's and raws.......some whoppers of files amongst them.....now if only I can stop burning the chops .....hubby would be happy!
    cheers
    Jan

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    Thanks ricstew -

    does the inbuilt burner provide information on how many images are on the disk and when the disk is full?

    Also how many raw images to do get on a disk?

    What is the best quality disks around?

    Sue

    P.S I like your sense of humour

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    Hey Sue.

    Thsi is not "mac specific" but the way I'm reading your initial thread is that you want to burn your images to disc(in this case DVD) for archival purposes, in that this means as a backup or storage system independent of the computer?

    If this is correct, then the best advice is to forget DVD burning and get yourself an external hard drive, something along the lines of a Seagate Freeagent(or any other brand of your choosing).

    Sorry, but I don't know what an iMac is(ie. mobile laptop computer or desktop) but I chose to use Seagate as the brand, not only out of respect in their support of AP, nor the fact that they kindly sent me a cute lil USB hdd drive as a pressie for being a good boy!.. NO!! But simply because before of their presence on AP, I already had two of their USB Freeagent drives(@ 1 Terabyte each). Very cool and for less than $100(I think). These external drives are so much more secure than DVDs as a backup medium.
    As for brand of DVD, Taiyo Yuden have traditionally been one of the best for quality, also SOME Verbatim's are known to be of a very high quality.. but even still, I have burnt DVDs of video/data/movie backups(bloody kids scratching DVD!!!! ).. and they all start to deteriorate after approximately 6-12months... and that's of non use!
    So if they start to slowly deteriorate after say 6 months of non use, stored in their black DVD cases in a bottom drawer, what good will they be after a few years?
    Granted the data errors are very minute... infinitesimal in terms of read integrity, but there is far more likely hood of losing an image or two if storing on a DVD than there will be in using a hdd that doesn't get used a lot.

    Just some food for thought, before you commit to storing 'important stuff' on DVDs.

    So, (hopefully my reply is changing your mind! ).. if you decide to go with the external hdd solution, then you kind of have a few options to go with, and because I don't know if your iMac is a laptop or a desktop, There are two basic variants of the external hdd to be aware of. Even though there are more, we'll concentrate on the two easy to find types.

    Desktop types and mobile versions.

    in the Seagate range they may be called something like The FreeAgent and the Go, where the FreeAgent is the desktop type and the Go is the smaller more portable great for laptop users on the go.
    The difference between the two is the power requirements. Where the Go is powered by the Laptop, so doesn't need to be connected to a household power point.. the FreeAgent obviously does.

    Go versions are really cool(never thought I'd ever 'need' one until Seagate kindly sent me one a few months back).. but I can see how handy these lil things can be.. and I don't have a laptop to make better use of it!
    The Go is also more expensive on a per unit of storage space compared to the much larger FreeAgent types. I think FreeAgents can be as big as 2Terabytes, whereas I've only seen the portable Go type @ 500Gigabyte.

    500Gigs may sound large, but in the long term this end up being uselessly small!
    I have over the 1Tb in image files alone now, and with about 350 Gig(or so) of other backup types(home movies mainly)... you can see that one of those 2Tb drives could be filled after only a few short years of fun.

    Seriously reconsider the task of archiving/storage of your images over the long term.

    For short term/temporary backup storage uses.. there's nothing wrong with DVDs.
    I do that all the time, sent off one or two images on a DVD(a waste I know!).. but I don't do that too often, and rely on USB key drives for transferring from PC to friend/family/etc.

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    iMac user here .I agree with with Arthur external hard drive is the way to go,and don't forget that on the iMac you have Time machine which is great for backing up onto an external drive in case you ever have a problem. I normally back up to 2x external drives and keep one in a safe and separate place for security reasons i.e. fire ,theft etc.. Plus the size of the drives these days give them great portability.
    Mike
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    I have an iMac and an 500 gb and an WD external hard drive - I have red somewhere that one should not use time machine to back up images?.

    Your thoughts are getting an extra external hard drive for images only sounds good. One thing what happens if the external hard drive breaks down?- there goes my images - If my computer breaks down there goes my images. For this reason my thoughts are to achieve the images on DVD ( which don't last forever either) maybe 10 years.

    Captured frame please explain your mode of working - i e saving images to a separate external hard drive which you place in a separate place for safe keeping. Do you plug in this external hard drive only when saving images and then unplug to put in a safe place?

    Sue

    sue

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creativepro View Post
    .....

    Your thoughts are getting an extra external hard drive for images only sounds good. One thing what happens if the external hard drive breaks down?- there goes my images - If my computer breaks down there goes my images. For this reason my thoughts are to achieve the images on DVD ( which don't last forever either) maybe 10 years.

    Captured frame please explain your mode of working - i e saving images to a separate external hard drive which you place in a separate place for safe keeping. Do you plug in this external hard drive only when saving images and then unplug to put in a safe place?

    Sue

    sue
    The number of times, I've thrown out perfectly good DVDs that simply refuse to work on either a DVD player(video obviously) or even on a PC(both video and data) and then backed up those DVD to new DVD media from data stored on my hdd's is simply not funny!
    Pressed DVDs are a different matter, they're not burned as writable DVD media are.

    I remember once I had a mission to load a version of Linux, That I burned onto DVD for my own use, onto my brothers small micro laptop PC, as he wanted a more "windows like" Linux OS to try various things with(his kid's eeePC I think it was).
    I remember the sinking feeling of many failed attempts at installing the the OS from the DVD, and wondering why. DVD had been not used for many months(6?.. 8? whatever, stored in a shiny new black DVD type case, and then stored in the second from the bottom drawer in my filing cabinet.. technically safe from damaging light rays and very scratchy kiddie fingers
    yet the DVD still contained enough corrupted sectors to not allow installation of some vital files, which made for both frustration!... and more importantly my embarrassment to him, as I'd been waxing lyrical on how easy this version of Linux was to use.. with everything he and his sons needed for safe computing.
    Luckily!! I still had the ISO image on my PC's hard drive, burned another DVD, in about 5 mins and then we we're off and running!
    Since then(about 18months ago) I decided that for just about any and every situation DVD's are really only temporary solutions for storage(for me that is).
    I don't even burn the kids DVDs to DVD any longer, I prefer to burn a XVid version to a USB thumb drive and they can watch the movies that way. Luckily now they're getting older and losing some interest in most movies(DSi's Wii's and other games devices must be more appealing I guess)

    Bottom line is(and through experience) that I just don't trust them for important stuff... many failed movie DVDs and then that Linux(mandrake actually) stuff up was the final straw.

    if you worry about failed hdds, then have two hdd backups and alternate between using each hdd every now and then, and backup not only from the computer hdd to either, but also from one external to another every now and then too.
    This is what I do.
    I use a (Windows only) program that is so simple to use, I back up to the main eSATA 2Tb drive very regularly, and then very occassionally to my final desktop USB drive as well.
    I use the USB drive very rarely both because it;s slow, and more so because I think that limiting its use may help to keep it less exposed to breakdowns. I have all my old files on there(from last year and prior), whereas, the main backup drive(being eSATA) is used all the time.
    I'm figuring that: even if I have one hdd failure soon, either my main PC hdd or the eSATA drive, it'll only be one and not both at exactly the same time! The USB drive not being used so much shouldn't be prone to failure as much as a drive that is used constantly. BUT be warned, that a lot of advice seems to be that hdds need to be switched on regularly so that the very fragile bearing don't cease up. I'm not so sure about newer drives and mechanical failure rates with bearings and so forth, but that was advice I was given many moons ago.
    I think hdd failure rates a something of insignificance, and they fail at the rate of something like 1 in 100000 or more, that is, if you had 100, 000 hard drives, that one of them is almost certain to fail on you.
    My feelings are that for burned DVDs(haven't burned a CD for close to a child's lifetime now ).. anyhow..I feel that DVD failure rates are more along the lines of 10 disks for every 1 that is burned!
    (that is, there is a 10x chance that your DVD will fail within the first year of it's life in darkness).

    currently my USB drive sits with no power or connection attached to it. Never had a problem with that drive.. ever.
    in fact, over the past 10-15 years of tinkering with just about everyone's PC, I've only ever experienced one failed hdd in about 50 or so hard rives that i've ever had personal contact with(there goes the 1 in 100K theory )
    I curreently have about 8 old hard drives of various sizes(250G to 320 Gig sitting with various forms of data on them) simply sitting around various parts of my small office. They've all been in and out of PCs for whatever reason, never had any of them fail due to non incompetent user interference(that'd be me).
    i have had some data corruption tho, and again that was simply due to incompetent user interference.
    I stil have that external drive too tho, but it was at full capacity @ 1Tb, and this was before I replaced it with the 2Tb eSATA drive. What I used to do was still backup to it regularly, but I used to delete older images not worth keeping. SO if I shot 4Gigs worth of images and I wanted to transfer all 4gigs of images onto the full drive, i had to delete something off the drive first.. it was literally 100% full. Apparently full hard drives are the main cause of data loss(I finally find out!).
    if you trasnfer lots of data around this can be a problem, but if only smallish files not so much. Well I found out how true this can be, as I eventually went looking deeper into the files on that full drive, and found many corrupted images(and a few other files here and there(camera settings, and stuff like that too)but my main concern was corrupted and unusable raw files from a long time ago..
    Well... wasn't I then lucky I had that second external drive with only really old files on it, and that really only means hardly any new files from the current year, and only files from the previous years or earlier.
    Talk about tedious tho!, I reckon I have about 2-3 thousand folders alone .. not to mention the vast numbers of raw files in each one. I had to search through as many as I dared, and look for any thumbnails that wouldn't display correctly in my software of choice. Then find the same files on the backup backup drive and replace onto the corrupted drive.
    But this drive corruption was entirely my fault. I filled the drive to the brink, I've defragged it a few times.. etc, etc.. all not good. Try to keep drives to not more than 80% capacity.. which is also good for speed.
    ATM, on this old files archive external drive, I have all of years 2006, 07, 08 and 09, and a few months worth of '10. Once I've finished with '10, I'll cull a lot of images, send them to this backup backup drive and then archive that drive for good. ie. not backup any more files to it, just connect it to view old files every now and then only. from '11 and onwards, another drive will be used.. but from now on, only eSATA(or maybe USB3). USB2 is too slow on my PC.

    SO... yep archive to external hdds, and NOPE!!!.. don't archive to DVD. Use DVDs to create slideshows, multimedia experiences, for sending images to relatives or friends you may have in Marlo and so on.. but not for backup purposes.

    Also note Sue, some people fear hdd loss due to flood fire or other natural disasters, or even theft too. And so they may have an off site backup plan.
    I don't. I'm simply presuming that as I have nothing much of value, 99.9% of burglars will immediately see that upon breaking into my house, and then quickly want to leave moving on to much greener pastures(of reasonable worth at least). Also, my house hasn't caught fire over the past 15 years, so I presume this status quo will remain in force in the foreseeable future.

    So, as for backing up to a single drive or more, yes you can switch off and disconnect the drive and only connect it for backing up the files you need too.

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    Ok I stick a random disc into the side and right click " get info" a new window opens and it tells me ............what I named the disc, when it was burned, capacity of disc and how much space is left on it.......it also has a preview section and Sharing and permissions ( so it tells me names and privileges ). This is a disc for a client so I also have a case cover and so on for ID. I tend to buy TDK c.d.'s. I haven't had a problem with them so far and they are very common in a supermarket.
    It works fine.
    But
    If I was seriously storing photos I wanted to hang onto for a million years I would not burn to disc as the primary method of archiving. I use an external drive for that plus discs to cover my but. But I also don't hang onto every blurred eyes closed one either......I only archive ones I need to keep (or family snaps ) plus sometimes make prints......seems old fashioned but hey sometimes I want a print in my hand to look at. Its just not the same ....sitting around the computer looking at pics or having a photo album open on the table with friends and a cuppa
    Otherwise I would end up with three squillion photo's I will never need and never open.
    I will never have a flood ( I live on a hill! ) hopefully never a fire but I have had a laptop stolen and lost all the pics that were on it important family ones and learnt my lesson on archiving important stuff. so be it disc's, external hard drives, thumb drives or prints do it which ever way suits you and your budget.
    cheers
    Jan

    editied to add I am using an Imac......love it love it love it
    Last edited by ricstew; 14-12-2010 at 6:51am.

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    Hi Sue ,I normally have 3 copies of all shots I take,one on the iMac,and then two others on different external hard drives, one of these external drives is left at another location after it is backed up. This is done in case of fire,theft damage etc, it also has a copy of all imprtant documents as well as shots of my home and all the contents for insurance purposes. Time machine is not a problem for backing up all my shots,it keeps a great upto date version of my library from Aperture ,iPhoto,Elemnts/Bridge. Have been an iMac user for 4 years and it has been the most trouble free time I have ever had ,just getting ready to upgrade to a new 27" iMac.

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    I appreciate your response

    sue

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    Your in-depth responses are great.

    A couple of other questions - How do you know when an external hard drive is full?

    Is it possible to delete files from an external Hard drive ( if so how)?

    I have done some research the external hard drive below has received a good review. What do you think?

    OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro
    1.0TB Quad Interface Storage Solution
    Mac / PC / eSATA / FireWire 800 / FireWire 400 / USB 2.0 & 1.1

    Sue

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