Media 100 Operating Tips 2
File Management 101
The Media 100, with its Project Window, provides an efficient way to keep track of your required files within a project. In fact, if your system is only used for a single project at a time, file management may not be a problem. As soon as a second project is added, or you want to back up a single project, you need an organized system. If you bought a VideoDesktop, your system was shipped with the basic elements for project organization in place. We suggest that you follow this approach as you create new projects. Other Media 100 users will have to depend on their system integrator for a file management system, come up with their own. The notes below may help.
The Files in a Project: As you work on a project, many different file types are created for Media 100 and other 3rd party applications used within the project. The Mac may know where these files are, but you should have them organized so that you can quickly locate any files having to do with your project. This approach will allow you to locate all files in a Project quickly when you want to delete the project from your system, or when you want to know what you have to back up to save the entire project, or for trouble shooting, when you are trying to find a particular file. Basically, you want to keep all files associated with a project in one Project Folder. Then keep all Project Folders in one master Projects Folder. Here is how you would set up a typical system.
Start by creating the following basic structure:
Each project contains the following file types. You must help your Mac store these files in an organized fashion.
- Top level project folder (*Projects). The * locates the folder at the top of the list on the Macintosh HD system disk. An alias to this folder appears on the desktop for easy access. This folder contains all the individual project files for the active projects on your system.
- Individual Project Folder. You must create this folder before creating a "New project" from VideoDesktop. You should create a new project any time most of the video material will be different (except for things like leaders, openings, etc.) Name the folder the same as you name the new project under Media 100 that will go in that folder, such as "VDT Demo Project". Including the name Project helps to identify the file when you are looking at files in the finder. Much of the naming convention discussed here has to do with making it easier to find all files associated with a project, or selecting files for a proper archive.
With this organization, you can be guaranteed of a complete copy of the project by archiving just the Project folder and each of the Project Media folders. Two other folders are hidden in the Media 100 Application folder, program Backups and Titles. While not necessary to make your program play properly, save these files in your archive if you want to continue work on your project where you want to edit titles or access backup programs. They can be located easily from the aliases, "zBackups" and "zTitles" at the bottom of the list in the *Projects folder. If you are creating your own structure for organization, here is the hierarchial structure for your folders where you have Projects "A", "B" and so on. Display your folders by "name" in list mode, so the contents will be alphabetized.
- Bins, Programs. These files will be created as you work on your project. Make sure they are going into the correct Project folder.
- Graphics, picts, EDLs, log lists. Make sure any stray files, even invoices, notes, scripts and so on all go into your Project folder.
- Media files. These large files will not go in your Project folder. The media files contain the actual video and audio information. They will be given the name of the project automatically as, "VDT Demo Project Media", and be located on your hard drive array as designated by you under "Media Settings".
Macintosh HDA word here about assigning media locations in Media 100. We suggest assigning one disk partition at a time for all types of media (four balls straight across) for the following reasons:
Project A (folder)
Project B (folder)
Proj B BinProject n......(folder)
Proj B Pgm
zBackups (alias to graphics folder in M100 folder)
zTitles (alias to backup folder in M100 folder)
Application Note Index
- Easier to locate all media files when archiving.
- Good management also reduces disk file fragmentation, resulting from adding and deleting files over time. The best approach to keeping fragmentation under control is to keep media files organized such that every so often you are able to completely clear out a partition as you delete a project. This allows the partition to start accumulating files in an orderly fashion once again. See the section on Defragging Disks.
Backing Up with Retrospect
Backing up or Archiving? This note is intended to help you get the most out of your tape backup system when used with Media 100 to archive your video projects or other data. Retrospect is the software package that is included with most backup systems. It acts as a driver for the tape drive and a data base for your archived files. However, Retrospect is primarily intended for regular backup of business applications and the manual does not say anything about its use for video applications. With a business application, one is concerned with backing up all files on a daily basis, should a disaster occur. When a video project is archived, we do so most likely to save all files necessary to restore a particular project to the editing system at some time in the future. Because video project files can easily take up multiple 12GB tapes on a DAT system, it is important to be able to identify and store only the information for a particular project. With Retrospect, you can do this fairly easily, once you figure out a game plan. The "plan" starts with the organization of your projects in a manner that will allow you to do backups quickly and accurately. This organization will also allow you to locate all pieces of a project, should you want to carry it on your hard disk to another Media 100 or VideoDesktop facility.
Archiving a Project to Tape: Assuming you have read the section above on File Management and the Retrospect manual, here is a workable way to do your archiving. Refer to the manual where instructions seem sketchy.
Intermediate Backups, Final Archive: Backing up regularly during a project is a nice idea, but so time consuming that you will probably choose only to archive the finished program. At this point some thought should be given to cleaning up your program before archiving. This will reduce the space required and the time required to archive. Look carefully through your files, delete unused programs and bins from the Media 100 project window. Now delete them from the project folder in the finder as well. Delete unused picts and other stuff. If you have a number of picts, take them into Photoshop and save them as JPEG files. Now do "Find Unused Media" in Media 100. After deleting the selected clips from the bin (option delete to delete media), check to see if your program still runs. Don't dump the trash until you've made this test. There are ways to reduce your project size further, but this is good enough for most archiving.
- Cataloging: Use a numbering system to label your tapes, i.e. 101, 102... with comments after the index number as required. Make sure when you store the catalog entry that it goes into the Retrospect folder, which is on the Macintosh HD. You will now have a list in numerical order of your projects. Even if you give the backup tape to the client, you will always have a record of the contents. I find it useful to keep a notebook with the contents of each tape and the status noted. This makes for a quick reference when you are looking for a particular item.
- Mode: Use the Backup mode in Retrospect for creating an archive. Run a few tests to make sure you can store to tape and restore before depending on the process.
- Your Media 100 files are already compressed. Do not use the optional software compression, as it will slow down the backup.
- To recycle or reuse a tape, say after making a test tape, you must trash the catalog entry in the Retrospect folder, "Forget" the entry in the storage set selection dialog, and choose erase when inserting the old tape for use as a new tape. In this manner, you can reuse the same catalog entry over again.
- When defining a new Storage Set, there is a box that you can uncheck to disable hardware compression in your drive. With earlier DDS-2 drives this may make little difference, however, with the Sony 7000 high speed DAT 2, unchecking this box will boost your backup rate up to as much as 42MB/min from 34. The new Sony 9000 DAT 3 drive will benefit as well, and should give you performance up to 59MB/min.
- When the dialog comes up to confirm your setup for archiving, at the bottom is a check box for "Verification". You may turn this feature off. Verification doublechecks all the data on the tape, and your archive will take twice as long. DAT, AIT, and DLT have a read after write feature, which means you will get an error message during the record process if the bits are not sticking to tape. An error correction process also helps to make these tape format s quite robust. We have never had a data error on restore, and do not use verification.
- Source Select: Use the Source select dialog to select subvolumes that contain the folders for archiving. These will be the Project folder and the Media folders. Before doing this, differentiate the names of the Media Folders on the various partitions. They will initially say "..... Project A Media" . Add something to each name, so you have, say, .....Media1, .....Media2, etc. This makes it easier to track the original locations of your media.
- Tape Capacity: After choosing the source and the destination storage set, choose preview on the confirmation page to see the total size of your archive. The capacity of a 4GB tape is typically 3.6GB or 10.8GB on a 12GB tape. If your project is over this amount, Retrospect will call for another tape to be inserted when the first fills up. This is the simplest approach, and works well if you intend to restore the entire project. If you want to be able to restore parts of a project and/or have tighter control of what files are on which tape, you will have to manually choose the number of files that will fit on one tape, then do the same for the next tape as a separate storage set. Retrospect will tell you the amount of data selected if you choose to preview the files selected. Once you start the backup process, you can choose to have the program run "unattended" and shut down when finished, providing the project will fit on one tape.
Changes to Projects: If you make small changes to a project after it is archived, Retrospect does a fine job of recording only the new files. If you can, keep all the same folders that you used at first; Retrospect will keep your updated files for your project in "snapshot" folders.
Restoring From Tape: Start as the book says; the dialogs to set up the source and destination are similar to the archive process. You now have the challenge of getting the media to fit the hard disk space available. In the simple case, you will be able to identify the snapshots that make up your total project by confirming that the number of folders and the latest dates are all the same. Then restore each snapshot to a separate disk partition, and the project folder to the Macintosh HD.
If you are trying to fit your restored project on partitions with some media files present, you will need to manually divide up the media folders to get your restored media to fit. It may be better to move some of the existing media files to other disks to clear up enough space for the restore. It is all right to move media files from within media folders to another folder on another partition to free up the blocks of memory you need. Media 100 will find the media files.
The search function in the restore dialog can be very useful in locating a Project or a particular piece of media or file. If you have more than one Project on a tape and have been faithful in your File Management practices, you can do a search for all folders with that Project name and get a list for restore of everything you need for the project. (When the project is restored to your array, you can then quickly move the Project Folder back to your Mac HD. For finding an individual clip, you can select multiple sources in the restore/search dialog, which will allow you to search your entire library of archive tapes for a single file; handy for finding a mislaid title or pict you want to use again.
Beyond these basic concepts, you can explore the other features of Retrospect and put them to your custom use. One use you should consider is using Retrospect for what it was intended - regular backup of your business files, graphics works in progress or anything except complete projects. You might assign one tape for this purpose, and regularly backup your system hard drive. If you follow the advice in the book, you'll spend a lot of time just backing things up. One nice solution is to buy a second hard drive (there's an extra slot for an internal model inside the Mac) and do daily backups to it (with Retrospect), then occasionally, back up to tape. The nice thing about a back up hard drive is that you can set up a "script" to do this process automatically each time you shut down. Doesn't take much time, only a little effort and it is good insurance.
Other Tips: The manual reccommends the use of a head cleaning tape. It's a good idea to have one on hand in case the heads do clog (like a VCR). I tend not to clean heads as often as suggested, but instead keep an eye on the data transfer rate. As long as you're getting good mileage, no need to clean the carbureator. We can supply head cleaning tapes. The 7000 and 9000 light a warining light when the heads need to be cleaned. Don't leave tapes in the drive. You can set an option to "rewind on quit", which will eject your tapes for you.
Expect to spend a bit of time getting familiar with the archive and restore process. With good file organization, you will be rewarded with the convenience and security of an easy to use and integrated system.
Multipe System Folders; Maintaining a Backup System FolderApple recommends against having more than one system folder on your system. Of course they assume your computer will never crash, and if it does you will have all the time in the world to rebuild your system folder from scratch. Our approach assumes you are in the middle of a session when you experience problems and you need a quick solution.
The utility included with your system that makes this possible is called System Picker. It allows you to reboot your system from any number of system folders that might exist on your disks. To use System Picker, launch it and wait until if finds all your existing systems. Then use the popup menu to select the desired system and click restart.
With this tool, you can:
1. Have a master copy of your working system folder (made after you are sure your operating system is working smoothly). Do Not boot from this folder. Instead, if you suspect corruption in your operating system, make a copy of your master system and boot from that to verify the cause of the problem.
2. You may want to use your computer for business or internet connection. However, if you load software that is incompatible with Media 100, you will cause yourself a lot of trouble. The better approach: A second system that you use for non-editing purposes. If you screw it up, Media 100 will still run off the primary system. The System Folder is located on your Macintosh HD. You may relabel the copied System Folder anything you wish to identify it.
3. If you want to upgrade your Mac OS, you can use System Picker to choose between the new and old system. This can save a lot of trouble, as upgrading a new system is a guaranteed way to cause a lot of other problems with your system, and it is nice to have a way to go back to a configuration that works.
If you don't have System Picker 1.1, you should be able to find it on a number of freeware sites.
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