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On Mon, 8 May 2006, Christina Hostetter wrote:

> Good Afternoon.  I am in the middle of a debate on what is the best way
> to store large quantities of digital media (audio, video, and images).

I believe that there is no cause for debate for I believe there is no
best way for long term storage. Each modality has its limitations. I believe in the
basic notions of duplication of storage modalities, optical discs in duplicate, and
mainframe storage with clear ownership of files, with regular
evaluation of the integrity of files, coupled with duplicate storage locations.

You mention the modalities for access as being part of the equation. I
would agree and would also suggest that the ways in which you organize the
information, file formats used, etc. are also, all one in the same...for
me, a bit like the "Gesamtkunstwerke" of information. Unfortunately, it is all
unstable and interrelated. Data migration has become the default for
preservation...hopefully it will be more reliable than the modality suggested
in "Fahrenheit 451."

In short, if the stuff is important, and you have the bucks, I suggest
both discs (the right kind) and drives and multiple locations...and some
serious thought everytime you consider if something should be saved...and
consideration to the quantity and depth of indexing you intend
to provide...being mindful of the second law of thermodynamics...

If one believes some of the information theorists of today...look at what you
have now...ten years from now you will have twice that amount to deal
with.

Karl