There is every chance that your wedding day images will now be delivered on either DVD or USB memory. There is a big problem with this because digital storage has a time limit and the bad part is, we don’t know when that time limit will arrive. All digital media will fail, it’s only a matter of time.
Let’s look at the two main methods of digital image delivery and look at what we can you do to protect your precious and valuable images.
USB flash drives can last quite a while but again as with DVD’s there are things that should be considered.
- USB’s have a limited number of read/write cycles and although this can be large, it could still be an issue. The best use for USB drives are to move data from one PC to another.
- USB lifespan can also be affected by environmental conditions.
- Dust, dirt and possible oxidation of the contacts can be a factor. Keep the cap on.
- Don’t leave them in the sun or a humid environment.
- Use care when plugging and unplugging your USB drive and don’t leave it plugged in.
If you images are stored on USB, make sure you have at least two copies in a safe and secure environment where they won’t accidentally be written over.
Your wedding photographer will most likely and should provide your digital wedding images on either high quality DVD’s or USB flash drives. It will be up to you to make sure that you make additional copies and store them in a safe place.
There are two main potential problems with storing images on DVD and these are:
- The DVD Format will eventually become obsolete (such as floppy disks, laser disks, tape drives and zip drives to name a few), and be replaced by other forms of storage. The latest one is BlueRay. While DVD’s will be around for a while yet, you can count on the fact that eventually DVD players will not be available anymore and your DVD’s of your wedding day will become unplayable.
- The DVD lifespan is limited and they won’t last forever. The life of DVD’s depend on a number of factors such as environmental, type of DVD, quality of DVD and the disk burning process including the PC on which the DVD’s were burnt. It would be a good idea to make copies of your DVD’s every 3-5 years. You won’t forget will you.
If you are keeping your wedding images solely on DVD’s, then you should make a plan now to make additional copies on a regular basis and look at other storage options as mentioned below. Some manufacturers claim their DVD’s will last 100 years but that has still to be proved and I certainly wouldn’t rely on it.
One other storage method that has a long life is the printed image. After getting your main images made into quality prints, why not consider a quality photobook or better still, a professionally produced wedding album from a professional printer and manufacturer. There are plenty of example of pictures around that are over a 100 years old and still are of amazing quality.
I keep all finished wedding images stored in the cloud and barring any issues, should be available for many years to come if required. I can also produce a wide range of photobooks and professional albums which I highly recommend.
If you need any advice or help, let me know and I will get back to you.