Use instaport.me and REWIND to Archive your Instagram Photos

No doubt you’ve heard about Instagram and how they are planning on using users data according to its new privacy policy. Instagram, the media, and the users are in a cyber-argument over this topic, but at the end of the day it is your personal choice where you’d like your data. Using Instagram as a photo sharing method is great, but hoping to also use it as an archive of your photos doesn’t work out so well.

Whether you decide to keep your account open or not, we at DIGISTOR thought we’d let you know there is a way to download all your Instagram files to your PC or Mac, then archive them to Blu-ray disc for safe keeping.

Using instaport.me you can download all your Instagram photos to your computer in a single .zip file. You can unzip this file in your photos folder so you can easily view them. Also using REWIND you are now able to select the photos you’d like archived to Blu-ray disc. It’s simple and secure!

Side note: instaport.me is being hammered right now, and may be very slow at responding. Give it some time to settle, and then export and archive away! instaport.me has opened up secondary servers for overflow and is able to give you your Instagram photos within a few minutes of request!

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How to: Update and Continue an Archive in REWIND

Adding files to your archived Blu-ray discs is as easy as starting the archive to begin with. Using REWIND to store your files to Blu-ray means you can continue your archive, even if you started your archive on a write once BD-R disc! Yes, you can continue burning to this same disc until it’s full, then REWIND will span multiple discs to keep your files safe no matter how many GB’s you have!

We put together a little video showing how to update and continue an archive you started using REWIND.

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How To: Archive your iTunes folder Permanently

As your iTunes collection grows, you may want to keep a permanent local copy of all your created playlists, XML files, library files and apps! Let’s face it, if you lost your iTunes collection, and had to redownload all your GB of apps, plus reorganize your music into the playlists you want, you’d be at it for days.

Here’s a quick <1min video on how to ensure a permanent copy of your iTunes folder by archiving to Blu-ray with REWIND®

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Insurance policy for digital photos

Just think about how many different insurance policies a typical household might have:  medical, dental, life, homeowners or renters, personal articles, auto, long term disability and my favorite the personal liability umbrella.  Some would say that we live in a world of insurance overload.  Perhaps, but insurance makes us feel safe and we sleep well at night knowing that we are protected.

That’s why it is so surprising that most people make little or no effort to protect their most valuable and irreplaceable digital assets such as photographs, videos, music and other personal data files. The average consumer does not have their data properly backed up or archived and could easily lose a lifetime of precious data at any time.

An external hard drive is great for managing continuous backups and day to day changes in your data and the cloud is perfect for sharing, collaborating and meeting basic backup needs.  However, I would not consider either of these solutions a real strategy for the long-term preservation of your digital data.  Why?   Well the reality is that hard drives will eventually fail; they might last a year, they might last six years.  The only certainty is that they will eventually fail.  While cloud backup solves this problem by offering redundant offsite backup, it opens the door for a host of other concerns and you should really think twice before offloading your permanent data storage to the cloud.  “Another Day another Cloud backup company”

To truly ensure the long-term protection and preservation of your digital photos and files, it is important to properly archive to a data storage media that is specifically designed for longevity such recordable Blu-ray. DIGISTOR’s Personal Archive Recorder comes with everything you need to permanently archive and easily manage and restore a lifetime of personal digital files. We like to think of it as an insurance policy for your digital data.

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Blu-ray BDXL Writable Discs Are Here to Stay


New advancements in optical disc technology are continuing to make their way into the consumer market.  For instance, BDXL is the newest format in the Blu-ray category. BDXL consists of 100GB BD-R/RE and 128GB BD-R discs.  Boasting even more capacity, these discs should (at one point or another) be part of your archive arsenal.

But you don’t need to wait to enjoy the benefits of Blu-ray.  You can start enjoying the benefits immediately with units such as the DIGISTOR line of Blu-ray products.  For those concerned about future compatibility with this new format, fear no more.  All DIGISTOR Blu-ray drives and the include REWIND™ software, comes with built in support for BDXL straight out of the box.  This hardware/software combination, along with REWIND’S endless disc-to-disc spanning, means your archive can truly be limitless.

In addition, there’s already so much out there for existing dual layer (50GB) and single layer (25GB) counterparts.  Watch as prices on these BDXL discs drop and most likely have a trickledown effect on single/dual layer discs as well.

By adding just 1 additional layer (3 total) to the typical 50GB disc, there’s now 100GB available space at your disposal.  How can this be done you ask?  Simply by putting more data on each layer (33.3GB to be exact).  Think of how many of us have small hard drives with data we want to keep, and ideally stored on something other than conventional USB flash, hard disk or SSD that’s completely vulnerable to electrometric fields I might add.  Simply put, no other format has this much capacity and electrometric immunity that Blu-ray XL can deliver.

Let me help by breaking it down to the all the various formats available on Blu-ray discs:

25GB BD-R single layer – A solid, reliable, most cost effective powerhouse that’s the fastest of the bunch for writing – up to 16X on some burners.  Due to their simplicity, they’re inherently the most compatible for use with stand-alone Blu-ray players and PS3 gaming console.

50GB BD-R dual layer – Offers more space per disc with a reasonable price premium.

100GB BD-R and 125GB triple/quad layer:  The latest and the greatest, requiring new Blu-ray hardware and updated software to burn. DIGISTOR supports BDXL media in REWIND, and we also sell 100GB BD-R discs.

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Not Just Another Backup Program

When speaking with friends and business acquaintances about our new software release (REWIND Archiving Software) the initial response is usually something like “um, sounds interesting but aren’t there already dozens of backup programs that do the same thing?”  It takes a quick explanation about the differences between backing up and archiving and then comes that Aha! moment.

Even if you regularly back up, the typical hard drive will fail in 3-5 years. Unless you maintain a regimented personal backup policy including multiple copies in multiple locations (which most people don’t) or are technically gifted enough to setup and maintain a comparatively expensive RAID system, your data and files are at risk art panels for inflatables.

Of course a cloud backup solution will solve some of these problems by offering redundant, offsite storage.  However, most people fail to consider several important factors before moving to the cloud.   For instance, how long would it really take to restore your all your files from the cloud?  If you have a significant amount of data it could take weeks or even months to restore.  The annual costs is also something that can quickly add up if you have large files such as photos, music or video and what happens if you have a financial setback and can’t pay for a year or so – what happens to your data?

So why is archiving with REWIND different? Well, unlike a backup, an archive is a permanent copy of your digital data such as photos, music, videos and files that you want to keep forever. Rewind allows you to easily archive all of your digital assets to a recordable Blu-ray disc which when properly used and stored have lifespan of up to 50 years or longer. If you need to restore your data, it’s as simple as inserting a disc and selecting the files you need.

Archiving to Blu-ray is not a new concept and there are several established providers of enterprise level archiving systems that utilize Blu-ray technology.  But until now the options for personal archiving have pretty much been limited to off the shelf data burning software that were not designed for ease of use for archiving or restoring.

If you want to protect a lifetime of digital photos, music, video and other precious data we encourage you to give archiving with REWIND a try.

Show Press Release: DIGISTOR Ships First-of-Kind Archiving Software for the PC and MAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DIGISTOR Ships First-of-Kind Archiving Software for the PC and MAC.
________
REWIND offers unparalleled ease-of-use for permanently archiving and restoring of digital files.

CAMPBELL, CA — July 26, 2012 — DIGISTOR announced today that REWIND™, its novel archive and restore application for the PC and MAC, is now available for retail purchase and is shipping with select hardware bundles.

REWIND software allows users to easily and securely archive all of their digital assets such as photos, movies, music and documents on scratch resistant 25GB, 50GB or 100GB Blu-ray recordable discs for permanent storage. With an embedded restore application, REWIND offers the ability via a simple 3 click process to restore files directly from the archived disc(s) to any computer without software installation required.

Compatible with all Blu-ray burners, REWIND is designed with an exceptionally user-friendly interface that can be configured in 3 simple steps as shown here: http://youtu.be/UpBmcJS_YlA. It also features unique cross-platform compatibility for use on PC or MAC. REWIND also offers several unique features such as:

• Automatic file and folder tracking:
Automatically tracks the files and folders selected for archive. File tracking keeps individually selected files up to date in the archive. Folder tracking will track changes and new files or folders added to the tracked folder

• Easily update archives and span multiple discs:
With REWIND it’s easy to update an archive as digital assets grow and can keep an archive going forever. REWIND will continue to burn to the Blu-ray disc until it’s full, then it will span to multiple discs allowing users to continuously grow an archive.

• Finish Later – Pause your archive mid-burn:
REWIND features a unique Finish Later feature, allowing users to pause an archive mid-burn and finish it later picking up right where they left off.

• Restore Anywhere:
Easily restore to any computer by simply inserting an archive disc and running the Restore app from the disc, no software installation required! Have a large archive that spans multiple discs? No problem! Simply insert the last disc in the archive and the restore application shows files across all discs and will request the discs needed for restore.

“As the amount of digital data continues to grow at an explosive rate, it’s more important than ever to maintain a secure, permanent copy of precious digital files” says Brian Friss, Vice President of DIGISTOR. “Previously, consumers and small business were reduced to backup to massive hard drives or cloud environments not under their control. REWIND is the first software of its type designed to offer reliable, scalable and easy to configure, digital archiving at an affordable price.”

REWIND is available online at www.amazon.com and www.digistor.com with a suggested retail price of $39.99. REWIND will also be bundled with all DIGISTOR Blu-ray drives beginning July 26, 2012. For more information on REWIND or other data storage or multimedia products offered by DIGISTOR, please visit www.digistor.com.

About DIGISTOR

DIGISTOR, a division of Sunland International, LLC, is a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of digital archiving products and secure storage solutions.

Serving the industrial and global OEM market since 2001, DIGISTOR provides industrial-grade archiving and digital-video storage solutions to consumers, professional users, SMB’s and specialized industries such as photography, broadcast, videography, medical imaging and security/surveillance.

DIGISTOR™ and Rewind™ are trademarks of Sunland International, LLC.

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Best storage for your archived discs (and video games!)

When it comes to archiving you can use the best hardware, highest quality discs, and the greatest software to get your files burned to your personal archive, but where do you store the discs?

Maybe you haven’t run across the DIGISTOR™ 80 disc Storage Cabinet. We have been selling (and using ourselves) this storage case for CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-ray discs and even video games for a while now, and it’s perfect for storing your archived BD-R discs!

Every time I show someone this storage cabinet they are always impressed that it easily slides open with a battery-free gliding door, and clicks closed with ease. So, the best way to show the product is this quick video.

A feature that is also hard to believe how great it is until you experience it is that these units are stackable. They really interlock when you stack them, and will not fall. I used to have two units stacked on top of my subwoofer, and they never moved!

When you’re looking to store your archived data, or even just have quick access to your video game discs, this DIGISTOR™ 80 disc storage cabinet is perfect. If you have any questions about it, just leave a comment below!

Source: DIGISTOR™ 80 Disc Storage Cabinet

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3 Steps to a Perfect Personal Archive

Archiving your digital assets, especially your can’t-live-without documents and photos, is more important now than ever before. Everything we create, save, and share is on our PC or Mac computers. Fortunately, archiving your entire digital life has become more affordable, and amazingly easy with the release of DIGISTOR’s consumer friendly archiving application called REWIND™. DIGISTOR has seen an increased interest in Blu-ray burners and 50GB BD-R media for archiving use, especially in the Mac community as of late. REWIND™ allows your PC and Mac to turn into a powerful permanent archiving machine.

You will need:

  • A Blu-ray burner
    • DIGISTOR offers a great slim sized external Blu-ray burners for ease of installation, and portability. One Blu-ray burner can be transferred to all the PC’s and Mac’s in your house!

     

  • Blu-ray recordable discs

     

  • Archiving Software
    • This is where REWIND™ comes in. We’ll be going over the 3 easy steps to creating a perfect personal archive with REWIND™. You don’t have to use DIGISTOR brand Blu-ray burners and Blu-ray media with REWIND though. If you already own a Blu-ray burner, we will be offering REWIND™ as retail software next month.

Step 1: Give your Archive a Name

Yes, we said this would be amazingly easy. A full step dedicated to giving your archive a name. REWIND™ can continue to span discs once the Blu-ray is full. You don’t have to limit your archives to just one specific group of photos like “Our Vacation to Hawaii”. You can broaden out your archive and save every byte of your photo albums and start an archive called “World Travels 2012”. Some other examples might be “Entire Music Archive” or “Scanned Documents”.

Step 2: Select Your Files

REWIND™ has a great file browser for maneuvering your computer and selecting files to archive. The thumbnail view makes it a breeze to view a large icon or thumbnail views of photos. Easily select a file or folder by choosing the checkbox next to it. You can click ‘n drag to select multiple items at once. For large archives, the select all button works really well. Visit the Pictures shortcut on the left, hit “Select All” and bam, you have all your photos selected for archiving.

An additional easy to use feature for selecting files and folders is the drag ‘n drop ability to add files and folders to the archive by choosing them from your regular PC or Mac file system and just dragging the files or folders on top of the REWIND™ Select Files window. The files and folders are now automatically selected in REWIND™.

 

Step 2b: Review your choices in the Preview Files Tab

Not really a full step in itself, REWIND™ gives you a list view to review your choices and make any final decisions to remove a file or folder.

 

Step 3: Create Your Archive

Yes, step 3 is nearly as simple as Step 1! All the settings are already chosen for you, but we’ll review them here anyway. If you’re using an External DIGISTOR Blu-ray burner, make sure it is plugged in, switched ON, and loaded with your favorite brand of BD-R or BD-RE media. The Choose Archive Burner dropdown only shows Blu-ray drives which means your burner should automatically be selected.

Select your archive speed from the second drop down. REWIND™ also does this for you by automatically selecting the maximum speed the drive and media can burn together.

REWIND™ gives your disc a name, but you have the chance to change that on this step as well. The disc name will have an appended disc number after it has been burned.

REWIND™ can verify the data while writing to the disc. This is checked ON by default, so you can have peace of mind that your data was verified as it was written to the disc. This does lengthen the overall burn time, but for important long term archives it’s worth the wait.

Click Archive it!

That’s it! You’ve archived your favorite documents, pictures, music, or all of the above!

Remember to write the name of your archive and what disc number it is so you can have a pleasant restore process if needed in the future.

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Another Look at Backup vs. Archive

Much has been written over the years about the difference between backup and archive but there is often still confusion. With all the buzz surrounding cloud storage and online backup lately, we figured it was time to revisit the discussion.
Backup to HDD or Archive to BD-R

Let’s start with a simple definition of the terms:

Backup: Backup is the process of copying active data (data that changes often) to some type of storage media as a form of short-term protection should your files become corrupted, deleted or destroyed.

Archive: Archiving is the long-term storage of your permanent digital assets; data that does not change such as photos, videos, music and business data.

What many people fail to consider when choosing a data storage solution is; what are you really trying to accomplish? Is it the ability to access a copy of recently changed data? Do you want a permanent, secure copy of their most precious files? What about the ability to quickly restore lost data or files? Or, are you simply looking for a way to easily collaborate and share files online? If you are like most of us it is probably all of the above. There is no single solution to satisfy all of these requirements and it is important to understand the difference between a backup and an archive. Here are a few things think about when considering your personal or small business data storage needs.

A backup is a copy of your current state of data, meaning it’s usually retained for a relatively short period of time and superseded with a new backup as the data changes. In most cases this means using a rewritable storage media such an external hard drive, flash drive, rewritable optical disc or an online backup provider. These can all be excellent forms of data storage for backup, but again it is important to distinguish the difference between a backup copy (temporary) and an archive (permanent).

Now let’s talk about archive, which is designed to provide long-term storage and rapid access to your permanent data. That is, data that will not change and that you would never want over-written. Archiving is generally performed less often than backup but this really depends on individual requirements. And, unlike backups, an archive should be copied to a write-once media that cannot be altered or overwritten. Because of the longevity, and reliability of BD-R recordable media, DIGISTOR has long been an advocate of Blu-ray disc for archiving.

So you ask what should I do, backup or archive? The answer is both. To manage continuous backup and protection of changes to your latest novel, project or work assignment, an online storage provider or external hard drive will do the trick. For permanent storage of your photos, videos, music and files you need an archive or permanent data storage solution. Most experts agree that an ideal storage workflow consists of multiple backups in multiple locations as well as a permanent archive.

I realize we are just scratching the surface on a very complex issue and there are several factors to consider when developing a backup and data storage plan. Hopefully, this article provides you with some understanding of the difference between backup and archive and gives you some food for thought when considering your own strategy.

We welcome your comments, feedback or suggestions below or connect with us on FB, Twitter or YouTube.

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Not all Blu-ray discs are created equal, but does BD-R quality matter?

You may have noticed some BD-R discs state a clear warning that they are LTH (Low to High type). Why do they need this warning? What are your options when buying a recordable Blu-ray disc, and does the quality of these discs matter?

There are two types of Blu-ray disc material used to create 25GB BD-R discs.

Recording Layer Material Data Signal Polarity Technology
Inorganic alloy or composite High to Low (HTL) Sputtering process
Organic dye-pigment Low to High (LTH) Spin-coating process

Phase-change HTL media uses inorganic alloy or composite material for creating high quality Blu-ray discs. An inorganic recording layer means high resistance to the effects of UV light and aging, as well as high compatibility with multiple Blu-ray burners and Blu-ray players. All together this allows HTL BD-R discs to have a tremendously long shelf life with high compatibility across hardware, key factors in a medium that holds your data. HTL refers to the discs reflectivity during recording, changing the material from high reflectivity to low reflectivity.

Using the phase-change inorganic material also allows manufacturers to take the next step and create multiple layers on a single sided BD-R disc and even create rewritable BD-RE discs. 50GB BD-R and 100GB BDXL discs are possible using advanced methods to create multiple layers on an HTL disc. 50GB discs are double-layered at 25GB per layer, while 100GB BDXL discs are triple-layered and hold 33.3GB per layer. Though the multiple layers on both 50GB and 100GB discs are seamless when using the disc, 100GB BDXL media does require a BDXL capable drive to read and write to BDXL discs.

The process for creating phase-change discs is unique, and rather costly to get started on the manufacturers part. HTL media requires new equipment that uses a sputtering process of coating the disc, which differs from traditional CD, and DVD manufacturing methods. However, the result is a high quality high density disc that you can trust to hold your data for decades.

What is Sputtering?
Sputtering is a process used to coat the surface of a phase change HTL BD-R or BD-RE disc with inorganic material. This technique introduces argon gas in a vacuum chamber, and by applying an electric field, ionizes and becomes plasma. By kinetic energy transfer it ejects atoms of the inorganic material which move toward the Blu-ray disc to form a thin film.
  • Adhesion to the Blu-ray disc is high
  • It is easy to control attributions of a film
  • A clean film formation method

LTH media is an organic dye-pigment disc that found its way into the market to offer a lower cost alternative disc in Blu-ray’s infant years. LTH refers to changing the organic dye from low reflectivity to high reflectivity. Unfortunately, since this was introduced after Blu-ray entered the market, the compatibility of these types of discs are lower, requiring hardware manufacturers to create special firmware to recognize such discs.

The manufacturing process to create LTH discs is the same as older CD’s, and DVD’s manufactured on converted CD-R and DVD-R production lines, using organic dye and a spin-coating process. Initially, this brought a lower cost disc to market. However, over time problems using organic dye-pigment for long term data storage became apparent. The organic dye has a high sensitivity to light, and lower compatibility in the market, resulting in shorter lifespan of your data on the disc, and possible issues burning or reading the data on these discs.

BD-R Blu-ray Disc Light Resistance Test

Prices of recordable Blu-ray discs have continued to drop over time. The price difference in high quality inorganic HTL and lower cost LTH media is far less than it used to be. Some manufacturers can even offer high quality HTL discs at a lower cost than most LTH media in the market [ahem… see DIGISTOR media for such high quality, low cost discs]. Data integrity is of utmost importance when storing 25GB, 50GB, 100GB or more of data. BD-R quality does matter, and when choosing a Blu-ray disc for your projects, use a high quality inorganic HTL disc for long life, data retrieval, and piece of mind.

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