Back me up, Scotty!
November 27, 2006 2:03 PM   Subscribe

What are some good programs for backing up photo's to CD / DVD? Specific features requested.

I currently have over 50GB of digital images that I need to start backing up to DVD. I'm looking for a good piece of software to assist me with this. I've only found 3 or 4 programs on Google that were even worth looking at, but none of them meets all of my requirements. Here are some of my stipulations:



MUST have:
  • Support for NEF (Nikon's RAW format), JPEG and TIFF
  • NOT use any proprietary database. I want the pictures in their unaltered format. I don't want to have to install the program wherever and do some wacky restore whenever I want to retrieve an archived photo
Strongly desired:
  • Generate printable index/CD templates/labels/etc to help identify archive disc content
  • Allow splitting folders across discs if necessary, and other intelligent folder/file handling abilities
Would be nice:
  • Generates a web gallery automatically for quickly reviewing pictures
  • Intelligent indication of files that have already been backed up, like PhotoLightning has (pictures/folders that have already been backed up have a mark indicating that so you don't have to guess)
I don't need an all in one DAM tool or catalogue program as I already have a satisfactory workflow. I would be willing to install a larger DAM suite if only to use it for backup purposes, assuming a) the backup tools met all of the above criteria and b) it would not hinder my current workflow.

Any suggestions? Thanks so much!
posted by sprocket87 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
Forget the DVDs and CDs. Just buy a ~200GB external USB hard drive. Recordable optical media has a very short shelf life.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:27 PM on November 27, 2006


I would second the external hard drive idea. They are cheap enough nowadays that it's not a big deal cost wise. When you do this, you avoid the issues of splitting across disks and making labels.

As for file formats, it's just the files on a hard drive, and there isn't a 'database' or sorts. That also extends into allowing you to get at your data from any computer which supports that file system (NTFS will be supported by Microsoft for quite some time).

I assume that the masters rarely get deleted (ie, it's a one way synchronization), so the idea of which files have been backed up is pretty nil, you could just copy all the files and say "don't overwrite".

If you want to get fancy a program like Unison could match up your computer's directory structure with the remote one and make sure all the files get copied correctly with little effort on your part.
posted by cschneid at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2006


Good points made, but the benefit of CDs/DVDs is that you can store a copy (or two) offsite, in case of theft or natural disaster. I only mention this because I have been thinking about doing this also, and I already have an external drive.
posted by matildaben at 3:24 PM on November 27, 2006


So buy two external hard drives. Newegg is offering 300 GB drives for $110. (I don't particularly like LaCie drives, but at this price, why not?)
posted by b1tr0t at 3:38 PM on November 27, 2006


Thanks for the comments so far. Yes, I'm aware of the benefits of additional external hard drives but I'd still appreciate tips on the software. DVDs offer much more flexibility/convenience when you're adding a couple gig of photos a week. I don't have to keep lugging the spare hard drive(s) off site, etc. Besides, I already have most of my photos duplicated on a secondary external HDD, but I'd like optical copies as well for convenience.

Anyway, any more thoughts re: software? Thanks!
posted by sprocket87 at 8:12 PM on November 27, 2006


but I'd like optical copies as well for convenience.

What convenience? Optical media is slow to burn and slow to access. It doesn't last as long as anyone expects it to. Few of my CDs that are more than 5 years old are readable today.

If you have two hard drives, offsite backups are easy. Copy the new photoset to your local external hard drive. Then drive it to the offsite location, and store it. Bring the old offsite drive back home and copy the recent photoset to it. Repeat as necessary.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:33 PM on November 27, 2006


Okay okay, that's fine and quite honestly I'll try to pick up some drives when some cash comes in.

Anyway, in the meantime can anyone help with the original question? Thanks...
posted by sprocket87 at 5:43 AM on November 28, 2006


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