Why Would I Need to Back Up My PS3?

That is exactly what I asked myself about a month before my Playstation 3 hard drive crashed on me.  While I have always been cautious about my computer back-ups and archiving precious documents I never spent time thinking about all the media files I keep on my PS3.  Then one day my Playstation 3 hard drive crashed and all my content was gone! I had years of movies, music and photos accumulated and it was now all gone. I was upset about this and wondered why there was not a very easy way to back up your Playstation 3.

So the next day I came into the DIGISTOR offices and spoke to some of our design engineers wondering why there was not a simple and inexpensive way to backup your Playstation 3? It ends up our awesome engineering team already had a solution they had been using internally and testing was nearly complete! There had been a lot of talk about the value of an external media and backup drive for Playstation 3, but we were not sure of the markets interest level of such a product.  I asked our lab for one of their prototypes and sent some home with our employees to use. The conclusion was that this DIGISTOR Playstation 3 hard drive was very easy to use and we thought our customers would also enjoy the ability to easily back-up their entire PS3 operating system. Once we had completed our development process we put the new product for sale online and at a few of our distributors to see if our customers agreed.  We were pleasantly surprised to see how many people had the same problem as I did and with no other easy-to-use inexpensive solution on the market, our PS3 backup drive took off!

You can now back up your entire PS3 using the Playstation backup utility to the DIGISTOR™ Hard Drive for PS3 and also play back video files – any standard or high definition Divx or MPEG files (with no copy protection and < 4GB).  Completely portable powering off of USB with no A/C adapters needed.

View photos and images using the PS3 Photo album rendering system, as well as Listen to your audio files, complete with album art (files with no copy protection).

When we first released this product a few years back, it was just an idea our engineers thought would help a few people.  Now we have extended the models to include Xbox 360 and PS3 both at 500GB & 1TB models based on customer demand.  This is a very easy to use product that will give you an extra layer of security for all of your media files stored on your gaming device, and we learned something very important: We learned to build products we think are cool and solve a problem, regardless of how much perceived value is in such a solution. Do yourself a favor and make sure and take care to back-up all your media files or your entire PS3 OS before that hard drive crashes!

DIGISTOR™ 500GB Portable Hard Drive for Playstation3 (PS3) USB 3.0 / 2.0
Model: DIG-82522

DIGISTOR™ 1TB Portable Hard Drive for Playstation3 (PS3) USB 3.0 / 2.0
Model: DIG-82123

How to Decide on the Best SSD Drive…

With such a large number of existing Solid State Drive (SSD) vendors it can be very confusing for the end user to decide which drive is the right drive. If you have done even a little research on SSD the first thing you notice is the overwhelming number of SSD manufacturers available, as well as the huge range of prices and specification variables. It can be quite confusing trying to understand which SSD drive will work best for your specific application. The first step is to understand your application requirements and focus on finding a product that will give you exactly what you need. There are many variations of SSD’s available on the market, some are designed to be Hard Drive upgrades, and other drives are configured to make sure they will never fail even in the toughest conditions. Military applications may call for a drive that can handle very high temperatures and vibration, while a user wanting to upgrade a computer may just want a simple performance boost thus a lower grade SSD may suffice.

The DIGISTOR Professional Video Series SSD was designed with one very specific application in mind, Uncompressed HD Video acquisition and work flow utilizing the Blackmagic Designs Cinema Camera the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle and the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio. Our design is optimized to handle high definition uncompressed 10-bit and 12-bit RAW video capture. The DIGISTOR™ Professional Video Series SSD drives use the highest quality controller and NAND memory components which allow for high performance, but also multiple data deletions without performance degradation.  An unfortunate quality of many Solid State storage devices is that the more data or in this case video files that are deleted from the drive, the performance can start to decline. The DIGISTOR™ Professional Video Series SSD drives were designed to fight against data deletion performance loss, which allows for users to get the most out of the SSD drive from both a performance and durability perspective.  This will allow for a tremendous user experience both now and as the drives are used in the coming years, at a very reasonable price point.

Another very key feature is drive formatting; most drives on the market today are unformatted leaving it up to the end user to deal with compatibility issues on their own. The DIGISTOR™ Professional Video Series SSD is formatted in the exFAT format which allows for maximum compatibility with Mac, PC and Blackmagic Design devices without the constant re-formatting. There are no proprietary drivers or software needed, the DIGISTOR Professional Video Series SSD drives are the most compatible drives on the market. The Professional Video Series SSD drives from DIGISTOR™ were designed and are certified for use with the Blackmagic Design platform of products and currently come in 240GB & 480GB configurations.

Another day another “cloud” back-up company…

Lately there has been a large number of online “cloud” back-up companies popping up and announcing large funding commitments from their venture partners. From a business strategy perspective it seems to make a lot of sense, as essentially online back-up providers are selling customers the promise of data preservation, and using economies of scale to maximize profits for their shareholders. While I can certainly understand and respect this cloud back-up strategy from a business and finance perspective, as a user I question the effectiveness for many reasons. I am most concerned about the security of the actual data transfer as well as how secure my stored data actually is.  Is your data secure and encrypted when you transfer it?  Is it safe once it is sitting on your provider’s servers?  What happens if your provider’s infrastructure isn’t quite as robust as they have advertised? What happens when your cloud back-up provider goes out of business?

History proves that fashionable companies such as this come and go and today’s in vogue cloud back-up provider is yesterday’s pets.com, or other defunct dot com bust of years past.

Companies such as Carbonite (www.carbonoite.com) like to promote “worry free back-up” which is great until your hard drive is fried and you need to restore your collection of files, photos and videos.  How do you know your data will be there for you, and if it is, how long will it take for you to get the critical files you so desperately need?

I was reading documentation from Carbonite’s SEC filing last year where they had to release inherent business and technology risks before their public offering, and I found the following statements to be very disturbing.

The company wrote that a disruption in service could be very harmful for its business, indicating that there have been occasional interruptions, but nothing serious so far. However, the company does not keep separate redundant copies of customer files, meaning that a Carbonite data center failure, at the same time as a customer failure, could mean a loss in data.

“Our systems provide redundancy at the disk level, but do not keep separate, redundant copies of backed up customer files. Instead, we rely on the fact that our customers, in effect, back up our system by maintaining the primary instance of their files. We do not intend to create redundant backup sites for our solutions. As such, a total failure of our systems, or the failure of any of our systems, could result in the loss of or a temporary inability to back up our customers’ data and result in our customers being unable to access their stored files,” the company wrote.
Via: http://www.crn.com/news/storage/231002967/carbonite-prices-ipo-at-106-million-outlines-business-risks.htm

No redundant files?  Who is accountable for your data if they do have an outage, or data corruption?  That’s right.  It is still your responsibility to have a local back-up or archive or you will have little recourse if your data is corrupted by a 3rd party provider.

A few of my personal key worry points:

  1. It will take a very long time to upload the data.  If you have over 200GB’s it could take weeks to upload.
  2. It will take a very long time to restore all data if needed. If I need everything back, I want it quickly.
  3. How secure is the data being sent out to the internet?
  4. How secure is my resting data on 3rd party cloud back-up provider’s servers?
  5. How robust is the capacity and infrastructure planning?

I am not 100% against online back-up.  I do think there is potentially a place for it in your workflow, and the most notable value I would say is having a copy of your data completely offsite in case of a natural disaster.  With that said I am far from sold on this model from an overall data integrity point of view and question the validity of the long term effectiveness of this model. And isn’t that what your back-up or personal archive plan should be about anyway, the long term?  Your back-up and personal archive plan shouldn’t be about a trendy business model or marketing tactic, it should be a way of protecting precious memories and files for the rest of your life.

Top 5 cool functions you can perform with your Blu-ray Burner…

Since its emergence into the market just a few short years ago, Blu-ray technology has evolved into one of the most stable, cost effective and remarkable technologies to take up space in the optical drive arena. What once was considered a high cost alternate to DVD drives and recordable DVD media, is now the most economical and advanced substitute (if not soon-to-be the replacement) for traditional DVD. With its cost reducing dramatically and its almost limitless archival capabilities, Blu-ray technology has become the technology of choice for Film, Television, Videography, and Photography professionals worldwide.

Fortunately for us, DIGISTOR has always been at the forefront of this progression and over the years, has sold tens of thousands of Blu-ray recordable drives into the market. We are excited to see what the next phase of Blu-ray technology has in store, and with so much experience and knowledge under our belt, we wanted to share with you the 5 coolest functions you can perform with your Blu-ray burner.

1. Archive all your digital assets for life!
Digistor Multimedia & Archive KitYou may have tons of photos, videos and music that you’d like to keep forever. Some stored on hard drives, or backed up on cloud storage, and perhaps some just sitting on your computer desktop. Rather than risk the failure of the hard drive your files are on, or the reliability of your cloud storage provider, why not utilize Blu-ray disc and Archive software to consolidate all your precious memories and files into one central location? Yes, you can use Blu-ray to conveniently archive all your files safely and easily! When stored in dry cool conditions and depending on the quality your Blu-ray media, 50 years is a very realistic number for archival life. Compare that with the average 3 to 5 year life expectancy of a Hard Drive.

2. Archive and view your favorite movies and TV series on a single disc….

One of my favorite uses for my Blu-Recorder is to burn all my favorite TV show seasons onto a single disc. For example, I will rip and compress a full season of The Office to an .AVI or .MP4 file format and burn them to a 25 GB Blu-ray Disc. This helps me in a few ways. First, I now have an archive of my favorite show by season labeled and at my fingertips whenever I want it. Secondly, I can now duplicate a quick copy and share with any of my friends and family. Sure nowadays you can simply just stream these shows directly from the TV Network’s website but they are only available for a limited time and I like to have an archive of each season.

25GB BD-R 6X Media

I typically archive my favorite shows, movies and even some special sporting events that I may want to go back and watch at a later date. How do you play these types of discs? Well, some Blu-ray players, such as the Playstation 3, can play .AVI’s or .MP4 files straight off a Blu-ray disc. You may want to check the abilities of your Blu-ray player before trying this.  For a great convertor take a look at: http://www.dvdfab.com/tutorial/Convert-Blu-ray-to-MP4

3. Play HD Blu-ray Movies on your PC

Digistor External Blu-ray Burner

Maybe you filmed and edited your own Blu-ray movie or you have a brand new release from Warner Brothers, by utilizing Blu-ray playback software for your PC you can watch high definition content directly on your computer! There are a lot of choices when it comes to PC playback software but I prefer Total Media Extreme from ArcSoft. DIGISTOR actually bundles this software with our DIG-79102 external Blu-ray drive.


This software is expensive to bundle into our package but we feel it’s worth it as the product simply delivers when it comes to the playback features. Officially there is NO support to play back Blu-ray movies on Apple computers but we did find and test it with software that claims it can do so. http://www.macblurayplayer.com/ Unfortunately, we saw mixed results and do not support the product at this time. If you try it I would love to hear the results so please post it on our Facebook page or comment below.

4. Utilize Recordable Blu-Ray Recordable media for Cheap Permanent StorageDigistor 50GB BD-R Recordable Media

I hear from friends and family all the time how “cheap” hard drive costs are nowadays. I can’t say I disagree but when you look at the long term costs of Blu-ray as a permanent storage platform it is very inexpensive. The fact is that you don’t have to transfer your data every few years from Blu-ray Disc™ as you do fragile hard drives, which makes the pricing even better. Let’s put aside the acquisition cost of the Blu-ray burner for now and just look at around a $4.00 price per 50GB disc. With that rational you can procure 500GB of storage for about $40.00! That is a tremendous value on a platform that keeps your data safe, secure, and portable.

You buy a drive once and add storage as you need it, completely modular and scalable for long term storage of digital assets. Don’t give up on hard drives all together; they do have their place for everyday use and collaboration. However, for long term permanent storage Blu-ray is by far the best bang for your buck!


5. Become your own Hollywood Director…

Archive your life

The tools available to shoot, edit and distribute high definition video these days are truly AMAZING! I just returned from the NAB show in Las Vegas where I viewed many different types of capture devices, editing software and Blu-ray Authoring Software. Obviously, you can spend a lot of money on some of these products and some can be hard and tough to learn. However, there are some very easy to use products out there that allow you to create, edit and author all from the same program. These are programs that years ago were thousands of dollars that can now be procured for around $100. There are several on the market, we currently bundle ArcSoft TotalMediaExtreme 2 with all of our External Blu-ray Burners, a software suite that typically retails for $130 and is a great starter package. You should research the options and see what you are comfortable with before spending too much money.