How to make great sports video: Storing your video – External Hard Drives
Backing up footage on an External Hard Drive
One of the most important and valuable tools for a Videographer to have is an External Hard Drive to back up all of their footage on to. Video files will take up a lot of space on your computer and it makes sense to invest in a decent back up device.
I started filming rugby seven years ago and have built up a huge amount of raw video footage, which I have backed up onto external drives.
There are many storage options available for backing up footage, when I first started I copied files onto DVDs but eventually decided to buy an External Hard Drive.
My first Hard Drive (HD) had a capacity of 500GB and allowed me to store many hours worth of footage, but as I upgraded my camera and increased my workload I found that the space was filled very quickly.
Thankfully the price of HD’s has come down a lot since they first came onto the market. Over the years I have purchased two brands: Western Digital and Seagate. Both have been very efficient and reliable and have allowed me to work quickly, both editing and transferring files.
Most HD’s come with USB 3 and/or Firewire available allowing for even faster transfer
rates between your computer than the older USB 2. My current Hard Drive is aSeagate 3TB External Hard Drive. It has a USB 3 connection and requires a power supply via an AC adaptor. I also have a 500GB portable Hard Drive which I use when I’m travelling as a temporary storage option – allowing for connection via USB without the need for an external power supply. You can even purchase wireless portable hard drives, with built in battery.
Most External Hard Drives will let you simply plug in and start transferring without the need to install software. Some come with their own back up software which you can choose to install if you wish but you will most likely have a feature on your PC allowing for automatic back ups to be made. If you are a Mac user you can open up ‘Time Machine’ in Applications and select your portable hard drive and arrange regular back ups of your whole computer – a very useful feature. You can then re-boot to an earlier version of you desktop in the case of accidental file loss, etc.
One important feature that sometimes arises when using both PC’s and Mac’s and external hard drives is partitioning the drive so that it is compatible with both computers. If your External HD is not formatted for Macs then it can cause issues with transferring over files.
To format your drive on a Mac go to: Applications-Utilities-Disk Utility – This will then allow you to select you External Hard Drive (EHD) and chose to either partition it or just set it up for use on Mac only.
CLICK HERE to go to a useful webpage I found running through the process in more detail:
Most EHD’s however will mention on the product description if they need to be formatted for use on a Mac, many will allow you to simply plug in and start using straight away. Western Digital are very Mac friendly and will only need to be reformatted for use on a PC, CLICK HERE for an example of a 3TB Western Digital ‘My Book’ Mac Drive, it is a decent price with plenty of storage:
Overall, there are lots of great options out there, whether you are after a portable option or standard AC powered EHD. There is a great selection on the PC World Website;
I’m on my fourth External Hard Drive, increasing the storage size with each new drive purchase. Not only can I make regular back ups and store my video files but I can also edit straight from the External Drive when using editing software such as Final Cut Pro.
If you’re serious about filming & editing then I would suggest purchasing at least a 1TB Drive. You will be able to store many hours worth of footage as well as any exported video files that you have created and uploaded to Coach Logic. There are lots of great deals on External/Portable Hard Drives and are well worth spending the money to keep you computer clutter free!
Jonathan Fowke. JPF Sports Media
Written By Jonathan Fowke of JPF Sports Media