Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two Terabyte Tape Capture

This morning I wrapped up my MiniDV tape capture project. I false
started on Pinnacle Studio prior to 2008 because of the general
instability, poorly scaleable storage strategy, and general lack of
personal satisfaction in being able to do anything with the gigs of

With iPhone, Apple TV, YouTube and 15/15 Mbit pipe and public/private
web resources, video is where I want it when I want it.

I restarted my efforts the weekend I installed Mac OS X Leopard in
February on my MacBook Pro Intel 4GB with 17" screen. While I was in
King of Prussia at the Apple Store buying Leopard, I grabbed a 1TB
Western Digital Home Edition drive at Costco. Since then I got a total
of 4 drives, two for backups. The prices started at $279 and came down
to $229. One grand for 4TB of storage, quiet as a mouse, and take up
as much space as a six-pack of beer.

Using Drive Utility on Mac I formatted as Extended Journaled file
system using GUID partition table. I used Drive Utility to make

S5 Video 001
S5 Video 002 (backup)
S5 Video 003
S5 Video 004 (backup)

I kept one drive connected and patched off drive to Sony DCR-TRV900

I used iMovie 2008. It was a champ. Absolutely great program. Along
the way we even took some time to create some YouTube videos


Battle of the Hoth Force

Has 12,000 views in 3 months and is upwards 2.0 on popularity
according to YouTube InSight.

In iMovie we have almost 1000 video events over nine years. I got the
Sony TRV 900 from a video production consultant in Florida on eBay for
$1800 and he only had used it for some cut-ins on one job. I mostly
used it with a high performance wide-angle 52mm lens and sometimes
used the 9m underwater housing sledding, snorkeling and in pools waves
and rain.

During capture something wore out on the camera. I was getting frame
drops and chirps. I had to send it out and it received a new head back
in April. Pretty much okay after that.

The MacBook would get pretty warm, especially during LP 90 minute
captures. I kept a Targus dual cooling fan USB powered pad underneath
and this helped. I had a few SP 90 minute tapes from Panasonic and LP
recordings on those were going beyond two hours and over 25GB. The
MacBook froze on two occasions and iMovie core'd fairly often after
capturing more than three tapes in a row. After the iMovie and Mac
OS updates in May and June I never had problems since.

My strategy for naming events was

YYYY, Description Of Event

It probably takes about 15-20 minutes per hour of video to organize:
splitting events, renaming, cleaning up 1 second clips which often
come from the capture and realize tinestamps of TODAY. The
organization of events in iMovie is very helpful. The is one bear trap
however. You cannot select a disk or year node in the event tree
without causing that entire scope of video thumbnails to display -
kill iMovie wait a long while.

A regretable shortcoming of my technique was lack of cross referencing
back to tape. I should have labelled tapes 001-1xx and kept this
value in the event name.

I am going to turn my attention back to Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 and
what is probably tens of thousands of negatives and slides to scan.
Since Tara and I mistakenly threw away our negative box from 1988-1997
I have a ton of photos to scan on the Epson. I am hunting for my 1080p
HD camera solution.

Hopefully we can knock out some videos each couple of weeks. Here is a
list of some special events I want to get to:

Marrying Tara at Villanova in 1994

Birth of Matthew, Jack and Jillian

Delta Rocket Launch with Jack

MTV Camera Tower at Live 8 Philadelphia

Presenting with James Gosling at JavaOne 2004

My live reaction to watching World Trade Center collapse

Driving in: Big Sur, Bangalore, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia,
Japan, Czech Republic, mountains, golf carts, bikes, jeeps, auto-
rickshaws, limos, buses, go-carts, dirt roads, autobahn

Disney, Sea World, KeyWest, South Beach, Devon Horse Show, Valley
Forge, Muir Woods, Cape Cod, Central Park

Snorkeling, water slides, sledding, wagon rides, flying, para-sailing,
deep sea fishing, boating, fireworks, air shows, museums, soccer,
baseball, skiing, crabbing, fishing, singing

Subways, Buddist Temples, beaches, parks, zoos, trains, rainbows,
flora, fauna, airplanes, helicopters, Legos, "parachute-airplanes"

Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, Ground Zero, Air Force One

Weddings, births, birthdays, baptisms, eating, sleeping, laughing,
crying, partying, cooking, barfing, working, school plays, injury

India Austrailia Test Match (cricket)

Me 30 pounds more than I should be 99-04

NetDynamic, ObjectStrategy, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Comcast

lots of people...

1 comment:

Mridul said...

Hey matt - got to your blog through linkedin ! Hope things are going great with you.
I would love to see what you captured in that test cricket and the auto ride in blr :-D