I’ve lost original video files before, and sometimes even the compressed versions. I’ve had to rip my own video from Revver so that I could own some version, and it’s a horrible pixelation relative to the original file (or even the compressed low-rez version). Now I have a few simple rules to save you from this agony:
1) Whenever you finish a video, export it as a FULL digital file and stick it on a backup drive (they’re down to .20 cents per gig so there’s no excuse here… don’t buy a 1 terabite drive- get a few cheap 500-750 Gigs… it’s a hassle, but the more drives you have the damage one crashed drive will inflict). Then kill the master edit file (too big) unless you think there’s a good chance you’ll have to rescore or condense the video (both are hard when the music becomes smooshed with the audio.
2) Upload the best version you can. It pains me that I was uploading 5-15 meg files (when the max on many sites were 100 megs) because it was easy… I could explort as “CD-ROM” in seconds. As a result, my old videos weren’t even taking advantage as the resolution of that time. Now I always upload larger files so they’ll look good as the potential delivery quality options evolve (YouTube feeding to Comcast or Verizon or AppleTV). Sometimes I even upload the full DV file if it’s within the 1 Gig limit.
3) Use the high-end uploader on TubeMogul (by the way, I don’t make money from TubeMogul but if you’re not using it you’re an idiot. You can upload to all the sites in one swoop. Who cares if nobody finds them on Yahoo Video or the dozen other sites. It’s worth a shot, and it helps you in search engines. The company is my favorite video startup and is always adding new features and tools. Well guess what they now allow you to do!? You can download your video in its native form (I believe). That’s huge. How many times have I ripped my own video because it was the best archive. Now I’ll always be able to at least retrieve the highest version I submitted.