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Digital Video



Photo by Gene Han

If you use digital video as an integral part of your lectures, distance instruction, or research it will be important to preserve them for long-term use. Digital video preservation can be challenging, in that diligent updating is required for the files, hardware and software.  

Video generally comes in two flavors: file-based and media-based.  

Depending on the camera you are using, the quality of your footage can vary wildly.  The source of your video will determine how you archive it.

Archiving tips

Select your important files and determine the source:

Choose a master file format that is optimal for long-term preservation:

 When capturing footage, choose a high quality format such as:

If your footage is already a digital file you should simply transfer the footage from the camera/phone of origin to your computer.
From your computer you can make copies and back them up on external drives.  The format of the footage will vary depending on the manufacturer (MPEG-4 is a common format found on phones and small video cameras).  

If you want the higest quality footage, consult the owners manual for your video camera to make sure you are capturing footage at the highest resolution.

Subtitle Files:

Some of your videos may be in a foreign language with accompanying subtitle files. These files should be bound to the video. Two accepted formats for binding these text files to their videos are:

Choose an access file format that is optimal for everyday use:

Organize your files:

Make copies and manage them in different places:

Long-term storage is a key element in preserving digital videos. It is important to realize that no storage medium is permanent in the digital environment. Any storage medium used will require some maintenance to keep its contents viable for the longest period possible.

Check files and refresh storage media on a regular basis:

Migrate files to newer formats if needed:



Last Edited: 11 December 2014