Check out the information on these websites.
But come back here when you're done.

<DIV CLASS="indented">
<a href="">Overview</a>
<a href="">Video Demo</a> Please use Safari or FireFox
<a href="">Main Menu</a>
<a href="">Preferences</a>
<a href="">Project List</a>
<a href="">Project Detail</a>
<a href="">Shoot List</a>
<a href="">Shoot Detail</a>
<a href="">Import Clips</a>
<a href="">Clip List</a>
<a href="">Clip Detail</a>
<a href="">Notes</a>
<a href="">Other Menus</a>
<a href="">About Backing Up</a>

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<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Table of Contents</b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

The buttons around the right and bottom side of the film Easter Egg perform various jobs in MoviTraX. The first four, <b>Project List, Shoot List, Clip List</b> and <b>Notes List</b> do the same thing as the tabs at the top, which are described on the <a href="">Overview</a> page. Let's look at the others here.

<b>CD Labels</b> takes you to a page that works for Neato CD/DVD labels. If it works for what you need it for, great. Otherwise, just ignore it. We only used it a couple times ourselves and now it just sits.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Menu</center></caption><tr><td><IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

<b>Find Notes</b> takes you right to the Notes page ready to perform a find for some specific text.

<b>Preferences</b> takes you to the Preferences page of MoviTraX. You can read about the preferences in this manual by clicking <a href="">Preferences</a>

<b>App Map</b> takes you to a page similar to the Overview page of this online manual. You can go to that part of the manual now by clicking <a href="">Overview</a>, which is more complete than the App Map page anyway.

<b>Web Tutorial</b> takes you to the Table Of Contents page of this website, but you're already here.

<p align=right><a href="">Preferences</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Main Menu Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

<map id="Map2" name="Map2">
This is Ray Clements' clickable link concept, but it doesn't seem to work on my page (even after the commenting out is taken off). He may have extra CSS info somewhere that I don't have. On closer examination of his web page, there is actually a large area made into a link. It works that way because web users can change the size of their font and mess up the exact position of the link in relation to the image.

By the way, this note is very cool here because I can comment out an entire area with the regular web codes. And none of the commented out info shows up in FireFox's Inspector. It also means I can comment out returns to keep things nice and neat.
<area href="" coords="61,29,831,483" shape="rect">

The first thing you need to know about the middle three tabs (Project, Shoot and Clip) is that they alternate between List and Detail views. For example, clicking once on the Project tab will take you to the Project List, and clicking it a second time will show you the details of the currently highlighted Project. The Shoot and Clip tabs function the same way - once for List and the next time for Detail.

However, reaching for the mouse every time you want to change screens can get a little tedious, so we've build a set of keyboard shortcuts. Command+2 (Control+2 for Windows) will take you to the Projects tab (which just happens to be the 2nd tab from the left). Clicking that combo a second time will toggle you between List and Detail view of the Project tab. Command+3 is the Shoot tab and it too toggles the view. And Command+4 for Clip. You can find these keyboard commands along with a few others under the Shortcuts menu at the top of the MoviTraX screen.

Clicking on the gray arrow to the left of the list will take you to the Detail page of that specific Project.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Project Tab</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

You can sort the projects by Date, Project Name or Client by clicking the text at the top of each column. That's not such a big deal with only three projects, but that gets more important once you have a good number of projects into MoviTraX. The same pattern of sorting by clicking a column head follows throughout most of the rest of MoviTraX.

Look at the four light blue buttons in the upper right. <b>New Project</b> gives you a new blank row for your next project. <b>Find</b> provides you with a single blank row in which you can enter one or more search criteria. If you were to start a find and type "Boogie" in the Project Name column and click the Find button again, you would end up showing only the Boogie Stomp project. (You don't need to type all the words or even a whole word to make a Find work.) Don't worry, the other items aren't lost, they're just hidden. It's the same as if you pulled a file folder out of your file cabinet. The other folders aren't gone. They're just not on your desktop. Click the <b>Show All</b> button to bring them all back into view. And I think you can figure out what to do with <b>Print</b>. You'll see a similar set of buttons in the same location throughout MoviTraX.

<p align=right><a href="">Project Detail</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Project List Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

The three white fields on the Project Detail page (Date, Project Name and Client) are the same as those on each row of the Project List page.

The green list shows all the Shoots for this Project. Notice that the green matches the green of the Shoot tab. The colors of various boxes throughout MoviTraX provide clues about where the data "lives."

Clicking the gray arrow to the left of a shoot in the list will take you to that shoot.

In the upper right corner of the list is the Add Shoot button. Clicking it will take you to the last row of the list ready for you to provide the Date, Location and a Description.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Project Detail Tabs</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

The little red trash can on the far right lets you delete a shoot. Be careful with that one! It deletes the shoot, along with all Clips and Notes you may have entered to go along with it. The results could mean days or even weeks of lost work. (You do keep backups, don't you?) You will have a chance to cancel a delete, but take that warning seriously before confirming the delete.

The four buttons in the upper right are similar to those on the Project List page so I won't explain them again. But if you create a new project here, it will indeed appear on the Project List page next time you go there.

This is an abbreviated image of the Project tab. If you have a tall screen, you can drag the lower right corner of the window to accommodate more shoots in the list. And of course you can use the scroll bar to show any that aren't in view.

<p align=right><a href="">Shoot List</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Project Detail Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

In most cases clicking on the Shoot tab will take you to the Shoot Detail page. A second click will take you to the Shoot List, which we see here. This area should be familiar because it's so much like the Project List page.

Clicking on the gray arrow to the left of the list will take you to the Detail page of that specific Shoot (as will Command+3 on a Mac or Control+3 on Windows). You can sort the Shoots by clicking on the text at the top of each column. Notice the red highlight on the last Shoot. Clicking anywhere on any one of the rows will make it the highlighted shoot. If you type the keyboard command or click the Shoot tab, it will take you to the Details page of the highlighted shoot.

Capture Location tells you which hard drive most of the clips are stored on. Notice the little plus sign (+) to the right of the BB 17 hard drive. That means that BB 17 is the main hard drive, but one or more of the clips for that Shoot Location are on another drive. You'll be able to see which drives on the Clips tab.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Shoot Tab (List)</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

In this particular project we have not kept track of Code or Tape Locations. I personally prefer to number my tapes so I can retrieve the clips if something goes wrong with the copy on my hard drive. You may have multiple shelves for storing your tapes, so Tape Location may be more important to you. I only have one tape rack. I was asked by a client to provide a Code column, so there it is. If you can find a use for it, that's what it's for.

The four green blue buttons in the upper right operate the same as they do on the Project tab. Click <a href="">here</a> if you need to review their function.

The little red trash can on the far right lets you delete a shoot. Same warning as with the project. If you delete the shoot, you'll also lose any Clips and Notes you've associated with that shoot, which could be very time-consuming to recreate, so exercise some caution. You will have a chance to cancel a delete, but once you choose to move forward, it's gone for good. Better have a backup.

<p align=right><a href="">Shoot Detail</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual <font size="+2">The Shoot List Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

The six white fields on the Shoot Detail page let you track information about the Shoot. As you can see here, we haven't filled in all the fields because our particular project is fairly small. It's all there if you need it, but not required.

The gray fields indicate that the information comes from somewhere else and cannot be edited here. In the case of Project and Client, that data comes from the Project area and you can go right back to the specific project by clicking the gray arrow that points to the left.

The teal (or blue) list shows all the Clips for this Shoot. Notice that the teal matches the teal of the Clip tab, again hinting that's where the data "lives."

Clicking the gray arrow to the left of a Clip in the list will take you to that clip.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Shoot Tab (Detail)</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

In the upper right corner of the list are the <b>Add Clip folder</b> and <b>Add 1 Clip</b> buttons. You can certainly add a clip at any time by clicking the <b>Add 1 Clip</b> button. But more often you'll have multiple clips stored in one folder and you can import them all at once using the <b>Add Clip Folder</b> button. When you add a folder of clips you'll see a series of dialogs that will guide you through the process. <a href="">Click here</a> for more on that.

The little red trash can on the far right lets you delete a clip. Same warning as before, although less drastic here. If you delete the clip, you'll also lose any Notes you've attached to that clip. You must confirm a delete, but once you do, the data is gone. There is no Undo.

The four buttons in the upper right are similar to those on the Project List page so I won't explain them again. But if you create a new shoot here, it will indeed appear on the Shoot List page next time you go there.

This is an abbreviated image of the tab. If you have a tall screen, you can drag the lower right corner of the window to accommodate more clips in the list. And of course you can use the scroll bar to show any that aren't in view.

<p align=right><a href="">Import Clips</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Shoot Detail Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

In most cases clicking on the Clip tab will take you to the Clip Detail page. A second click will take you to the Clip List, which we see here. This area should be familiar because it's so much like the Project and Shoot List pages.

Clicking on the gray arrow to the left of the list will take you to the Detail page of that specific Clip (as will Command+4 on a Mac or Control+4 on Windows). You can sort the Clips by clicking on the text at the top of each column. Notice the red highlight on the last Clip. Clicking anywhere on any one of the rows will make it the highlighted clip. If you type the keyboard command or click the Clip tab, it will take you to the Details page of the highlighted clip.

Most of the other items in the list have already been explained. In the case of the picture on this page, you can see we haven't named the cameras used to film these clips. It didn't fit our style at the time. If that detail is important to you, please use it.

There are a few items that need explaining here. First of all, notice just under the Show All and Print buttons some text that says <b>Viewing 5 of 1213</b>. This tells you that there are 1213 clips spread across all three projects we have in our file. We're just looking at 5 of them. If you click the Show All button you'll see all 1213 clips in a very long list. With all the clips sitting in front of you, you can now see the value of the Find button, which will help get you back to a manageable list.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Clip Tab (List)</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

Look at the two buttons under the Clip tab that read <b>All Clips This Shoot</b> and <b>All Clips This Project</b>. Sometimes you'll be working on this page and want to quickly get to all the clips for the shoot or project. What's important to know is that these buttons will find the items related to the clip currently highlighted in red.

<b>Reorder the Clips</b>
Look over on the right at the black, double-headed arrows in each row. This tool lets you reorganize the clips in any order that makes sense to you. You can click the question mark in the circle at the top of the page for instructions about how to make this feature work, but here they are for you now.

1) Single-click the double-headed arrow next to the clip you want to move. The red highlight will turn to green. (If you click on a clip that is not currently highlighted in red, the currently highlighted clip will change to teal and the one you clicked will turn green immediately.)
2) Single-click the arrow next to the clip where you want the green clip to go. The clips will reorganize and you're done.
3) However, if you decide not to move the green clip after after all, just click its arrow and it will stay right where it was.

It's best to use this feature on a small list of clips. If all clips are showing, you'll get a warning that it won't work.

<p align=right><a href="">Clip Detail</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Clip List Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

This first image here is a reduced view of the Clip Detail Tab. Scroll down to see close up views of the left and right sides of the clip detail page.

On the left is a work area which is similar to the Project and Shoot Detail pages. In the upper left you see a light green Shoot rectangle with gray fields, which indicate that the data "lives" in the Shoot tab. The green matches the green Shoot tab, and clicking the gray arrow will take you to the shoot.

Many areas commented out here for testing purposes.

--><table align="center"><!--
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""><!--

--><caption align="bottom"><!--
--><center>Clip Tab (Detail)</center><!--


For the above image, the caption code is below the image which is more intuitive since that's where the code instructions are telling it to be. It works.

The white fields are where you record as much detail about your clips as you need. You can see in our own project we're not tracking information in all the fields. The white fields in the upper right are the same kind of data you can track in Final Cut Pro. When you import clips, the Description field is automatically filled with the name of the clip. You can overwrite that if you want. You'll still know the name of the clip because it shows up over on the right in the box under the picture of the clip where you can see the entire path/directory to the clip.

I want to repeat here that it's very important you decide how to store the clips on your hard drives and not change the names of the drives, folders, or clips once you've imported them. Otherwise you will lose the path and need to reimport the clips one at a time rather than using the timesaving method of importing folders of clips. If you try to use the import folder method, any notes you've made will no longer connect to their clips. However, you can use the Insert Movie button above the clip image here to connect a lost clip back to the set of notes that belongs to it. And if you haven't made any notes for the clips, there's no reason you can't go back to the Shoot tab and import a folder of clips again.

The lower left of this page is where you make notes about the clip. This is where the real power of MoviTraX lies. The notes you enter here end up in the <b>Notes</b> tab and you can search for them using key words. (More about that when we get to the Notes tab.) You may have already figured out that you can also track start and stop times (in and out times) in the clip where specific things are happening. That can be especially helpful if you import long clips and you need to quickly target the exact location of specific footage.

--><table align="center"><!--
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""><!--

--><caption align="bottom"><!--
--><center>Details of the left side of the window</center><!--

Notice the <b>Dup Note</b> button above the Stop column. Sometimes you already typed a note and you want to copy that text and just make a few changes. Certainly you can highlight, copy, and paste as in other applications--or you can put your cursor in the note that has the text you want and then click the Dup Note button and it will do the work for you.

Also notice the <b>Add Note</b> button. As you work, you may be adding more notes than will fit in the window. You can use the scroll bar to the right of the purple notes area and scroll down to a new blank note--or you can use the Add Note button. You can make unlimited notes about a clip, literally thousands if you like. And you can type millions of characters in each note. However, the more you put in a note field, the harder it will be to find the specific text you want. We recommend no more than one or two paragraphs per note field, but it's up to you.

If you need to add a clip to this shoot, use the <b>New Clip</b> button. MoviTraX assumes you want to add the clip to the project and shoot in which you're currently working. If that's not what you have in mind, go back to the shoot tab until you're in the shoot where you want to add the clip.

Occasionally you'll find you figured the number of tapes in your shoot incorrectly. You can make the change manually here (recommended). But if you know you have only the clips you want in the clip list, you can use the <b>Renumber</b> button in the upper right (below the Print button) to renumber the set automatically. This doesn't work well if you break tapes (or other media) into multiple clips. Since that's the way we work, we don't use the <b>Renumber</b> button. We number them manually.

<b>Right Side of Clip Details Window</B>
The right side displays the first frame of the clip. If you click the <b>Play Movie Here</b> button, the clip will play. You can also click on the clip itself to display a play bar at the bottom of the clip. Clicking the play button there will play the clip just as you would expect.

Clicking the <b>Split</b> button will break the two sides of the window apart so you can make notes in one window and have the movie play in the other one. If you don't split the window, as soon as you start to type, the clip stops playing and reverts back to the first frame, which isn't too helpful. Once the window is split, you can bring back the full window by clicking the <b>Restore Window</b> button (not shown here) which appears near the <b>Notes</b> tab.

--><table align="center"><!--
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""><!--

--><caption align="bottom"><!--
--><center>Details of the right side of the window</center><!--


One limitation of playing the movie here is that you don't have access to any time information. If you click the <b>Open QT Movie</b> button, the screen will split and your clip will play in QuickTime (assuming it's installed on your computer) and you'll have access to all the QuickTime tools including the time bar. You can bring back the full window by clicking the <b>Restore Window</b> button (not shown here) which appears near the <b>Notes</b> tab. We've had reports that at least one version of QuickTime displays an error when using this feature. However, dismissing the error allows you to use it anyway. Go figure.

If you don't have a clip here or you've lost access to the one that belongs, use the <b>Insert Movie</b> button to find and add one. If you're having trouble displaying a clip that shows a path in the box below it, you can follow the full path back on your hard drive and find out what happened to it. Possible reasons a clip is missing is that one or more of the folders along the path or the file itself have been renamed or moved. Again, it's important that you decide how you'll organize your folders before you start importing your clips. Then don't change anything.

<p align=right><a href="">Notes Tab</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Clip Detail Tab</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

Which finally brings us to the Notes tab. As I said before, this is where the real power of MoviTraX lies. Yes, MoviTraX tells you where your media are, and you can view and make decisions about which are the good clips over in the <a href="">Clip Detail</a> page. Those are powerful tools. But it's the notes that tell you what clips are keepers and which are duds. When you have hundreds or thousands of clips, you've got to get to the meat of the process as quickly as you possibly can. You simply cannot afford to keep asking where those clips are. Your notes are the key to everything.

The notes you enter in the Clip Detail page end up here, and you can search for them using the key words you've already typed. You don't have to switch over to the Clip Detail page to add to your notes. You can edit them right here. It's just that there's no way to create a note here that will be properly attached to the clip. You have to do that on the Clip Detail page.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>MoviTrax Notes</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

So what's the big deal? Let's use this screen shot as an example. In the upper right you can see we're viewing 82 out of 533 notes. Now suppose you wanted to find all the clips that have the text "Harp rehearsal" in the Notes field and "Glenn Gould" in the Shoot Location. Click the Find button in the upper right and type those words in the appropriate boxes. (Capitalization is not important.) Click the Find button a second time and you would end up with many fewer than 82 notes. Scroll down to make sure you have what you're looking for and then click the "Go to These Clips" button in the middle left. You'll be taken back to the Clip page where you can review these clips to make decisions about what you want to do with them - including adding new notes or editing the existing ones.

By the way, you don't need to perform a Find in multiple fields. You could simply search in the Notes field if that Find will get you what you want. Finding in more than one column simply allows you to narrow down your Find.

Once you've found the right clips, you can see what hard drive they're on and move them into your movie editing software. That's what it's all about!

If you end up with more notes than clips you want to look at, you can click the Omit button in the right column to hide the ones you don't want to see. Then when you click the "Go to These Clips" button, you'll only be looking at the clips you want to see. Or you can perform a more specific find if you prefer to start over. Once you see what items show up in the list after you perform a Find, it's easy to decide how to proceed. And if you see your notes haven't been as specific as you'd like, you can continue to edit them here.

You can see that the most important thing about these notes is what you type in them. You want to make your notes concise and as specific as you can. Include your favorite key words like "keeper" and "junk" or whatever you know you'll be able to find later. You can also include text from your script in the Notes field. But it's a good idea to keep it to a minimum. Every word you type increases the chances that that note will turn up when you perform a Find for something else. Even though the box looks as if it will only hold a couple lines, it will take as much text as you want to put in it - up to a billion characters! When you click out of the box, you can only see two lines. But when you click back in again, it opens up and you can see it all.

The "All Notes This Shoot" button in the upper middle will find all Notes with the same title as the Shoot Location of the note that's currently highlighted in red. In the case of the screen shot on this page, the three visible notes all come from the same Glenn Gould Toronto shoot. But it would certainly be possible that among the 82 notes in the list, not all of them are from the same shoot. It's just a quick way for you to narrow down your search without having to run a manual Find every time. You just have to remember that the button applies to the currently selected and highlighted note.

And, of course you can sort by clicking the column heads.

<p align=right><a href="">Other Menus</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Notes Tab</font></b></center>

<left><a href="">Table of Contents</a></left>

<B>MoviTraX</B> is a program that will keep track of all your movie projects, from the shoots, to the clips, to the detailed notes about the clips. You can even include the full text of your script. It's easy to use with a nice, clean interface.<br>
To understand how MoviTraX works, take a look at the tabs in the picture below. The tabs move from left to right (from Project to Notes) breaking the Project down to its smallest parts.

<a href=""><b>PROJECTS</b></a>
The overarching unit in MoviTraX is the Project. You can have as many Projects as you like. A Project might be something like “Jaws” or “The Ford Fiesta (fall 2011) commercial.”

<a href=""><b>SHOOTS</b></a>
A Shoot is when one or more camera operators go to a location and shoot footage. Every Project can have one or more Shoots.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>MoviTrax Tabs</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

<a href=""><b>CLIPS</b></a>
The pieces of footage created at the Shoot are called Clips. Some of your tapes or digital files may contain more than one Clip. Once you get back to your computer you may choose to break a longer clip into smaller clips. You should track them all since you never know when you might need one.

<a href=""><b>NOTES</b></a>
The notes you take to identify the clips or specific scenes in a Clip are called (guess what?) Notes. You’re not limited to keeping track of just the scenes. You can type any notes you want that will help you remember what’s in the clip. You may even want to include some of the dialog that is being spoken in the clip.

<b>Hard Drive and Folder Organization</b>
It's very important that you decide a clip and folder naming method on your hard drives before you begin importing your clips into MoviTraX. It's best not to change the name of your drives, folders, or clips once you've imported them or you will lose the path and need to re-import the clips one at a time. If you try to re-import using the folder method (on the Clip Detail page), any notes you've made will no longer be connected to their clips. However, you can use the Insert Movie button on the Clip Detail page to reconnect a clip that has been lost back up to the set of notes that belongs with it.

<B>Start Making Backups--NOW!</B> Backup both your MoviTraX folder and make mirrored hard drives for all your movie clips--maybe more than one. MoviTraX will help you keep track of everything, but if a hard drive goes bad or you delete the data, it won't matter one bit that you know where everything <i>used to be</i>. There are only two kinds of hard drives; those that <i>have</i> lost data and those that will.

I'm trying to say this with humor, but it's not a joke. I've seen people (myself included) waste dozens of hours transferring their video content back onto a new hard drive after their only copy of the project drive went bad. I also saw someone delete items from their only copy of MoviTraX and spend dozens of hours recreating all their work. Backing up may be boring, but the alternative following that kind of unnecessary loss of data is not what you want to spend your time doing--especially if you're on deadline. Hard drives are cheap insurance. Just ask youself: What is your time worth?

Here's a link to a tutorial <a href="">About Backing Up</a>

<p align=right><a href="">Main Menu</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Overview</font></b></center>

<left><a href="">Table of Contents</a></left>

<b>Backup Routine</b>
(Don't let this first method bog you down. Other suggestions follow, so keep moving through the article until you find what you need.) There are a number of backup approaches I’ve seen recommended over the years. The one I use seems to be a good compromise between those methods. This process describes what happens the first 4-week cycle of the backup.

I run a backup of all my files at least once a day for two weeks, using a different removable media device each day, which might include external hard drives, Solid State Drives (SDDs including memory sticks) or rewritable or permanent CDs or DVDs. Assuming a five-day workweek, I archive the copies at the end of days five and 10. At the beginning of the third week, I reuse the media I used on the first day of Week 1. I do the same until the last day of Week 3 when I bring in a new blank media. You can't use media #5 because you're archiving it. I continue the same procedure of reusing media and archiving the last copy of each week. The following figure should help you better understand the process.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>In this diagram, each number represents a separate physical media. At the beginning of Week 3, reuse media #1, which you used on day one of Week 1.</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

After another month goes by, you can begin reusing your archived copies, but always keep at least one archive for each month. Archive more often if you’re in a period of heavy development. Put a date on it for the day it went into service. I’d start to question the reliability of media that gets to be three years old. That includes the most reliable, 5-year warranty Seagate drives. They'll replace the drive, but not your lost data - and which is more valuable to you?

Why not just overwrite your backup every day? Well, what if some of your customer records had been accidentally (or intentionally!) erased and it took you some time to discover it? You would try to retrieve the backup you made yesterday, but the missing records disappeared two weeks ago. A perfect backup of missing or corrupt data is not a backup at all. That's why you want to keep archival copies. That way you can go back as far as you need until you find a copy of the files before the data was erased or damaged.

Whatever your method, the worst thing in the world is to set up a backup schedule and not test out the backups until the day they’re needed. It could be tragic to discover that you weren’t backing up “properly” after a disaster hits. Every so often you should try to reconstruct the files from the backups to see if they work. Be warned: Some backup software has settings that overwrite the original file. Make sure you change that setting before you attempt the recovery test. And don't trust the software when it tells you the recovery has been completed successfully. Open the files and muck around a bit to see if they're really OK. Just don't get them mixed up with your current set of files.

Testing will also help spot other problems. I had one client who told me their backup process only took a second. That made me nervous. I stopped by their office and it turned out they were faithfully backing up the shortcut (known as an "alias" on the Mac), which was sitting on their desktop. They had many copies of the shortcut and none of the actual files that it opened. So, test those backups!

<b>While You Work</b>
Depending on how much data you can live without, you may want to run a backup more than once a day. I have some customers who back up their main data files every couple of hours. When I work on files, if I’ve put in three or four hours, I’ll make a backup. I’m not anxious to do all that work over. And let me tell you, when you’re developing a set of files, it’s not too hard to cause a crash. Backing up only takes a few seconds. Trying to recreate your work takes much, much longer.
<font color="#CC0000">Raid arrays
I personally have a bunch of "naked" drives and put them in a hot-swap drive bay. I had a project drive and its backup go bad on the same day, so I consider a second backup minimal. Ever since I started working that way, I haven't had any difficult recovery problems
<b>Using Commercial Backup Applications</b>
There are some good products on the market for both Macintosh and Windows machines that will take care of scheduled backups for you. Retrospect for the Macintosh (although I find the interface confusing) and PC Backup for Windows come to mind. You can also program AppleScript to perform backups on the Macintosh. In Windows NT, you can use NT Scheduler. I’m currently using SuperDuper! for the Mac because I find its interface much more clear than Retrospect. They also have great customer support. But it requires you backup an entire hard drive or partition to another hard drive or partition. You can't simply target a few folders.

You can (but shouldn’t) perform any of these backups while your MoviTraX program is up and running. It's sort of like trying to move a container of milk full to the brim without putting the lid on. You're gonna spill something. Quitting MoviTraX puts the lid on and prevents you from "spilling" any of the data.

I don't like to see Time Machine working while I'm importing audio from tape or while I'm working in Pro Tools or iMovie. I'm suspicious that it might be competing for processor time and mess up the final product. I'd prefer to trigger the backups manually. But it's so easy to forget. I suggest setting a kitchen timer — not a timer on your computer.

I highly recommend that you back up to removable media or a portable hard drive. Don’t forget to remove it from the computer and unplug it from the wall after backing up. Using another drive inside the computer is not a good choice because it's also subject to damage from power surges and lightning. And you should have multiple, portable backups anyway.

<b>Apple's Time Machine</b>
If you use a Mac running OS X v10.5 (Leopard) or later and you use Time Machine (TM) for backup, you may feel pretty comfortable about skipping the method I've been talking about. You would be wrong to do so.

The process of backups established by professionals over many hard earned years is described as <B>Automatic, Redundant and Restorable</B> or ARR. It's a slight misnomer because, although the software can provide automatic backups, there is nothing automatic about taking that hard drive with you. (That's not the case if you use a process that backs up to a remote hard drive and uses TM as a secondary backup.) Anyway, Apple's TM system does not provide the Redundant part of ARR. If you have a flood, fire or theft and you lose not only your main drive but your Time Capsule backup hard drive, you're outta luck, Chuck! The software will let you target different drives on different schedules. You can probably guess that's what I would suggest.

Don't get me wrong. I use Time Machine and like it. But I use it along with my other method. The trick is that I have two hard drives I swap out every other weekend. When I visit my mom, I drop off this week's TM drive and pick up the one I left the week before. If the Wicked Witch of the West flies away with my house, I can stop by Mom's and pick up a copy of my files to get me going again.

I currently have a stack of inexpensive ($100) hard drives I swap in and out. Over the years I’ve wasted so much time getting everything back to normal after crashes, I’ve come to the conclusion that my time is worth too much to mess with slower media or compressed backups. Part of that decision has been influenced by the steady increase in hard drive space along with the steady decline of hard drive prices. In 2008 I was able to buy Seagate drives with a five-year warranty for about 16 cents per gigabyte. In 2010 it was 10 cents. This downward trend in cost per gigabyte should continue, meaning that the cost of your backup "insurance" is dropping and decreasing your excuses for not doing it.

For your daily backups, make a copy to some medium and take it somewhere off the premises. Then use a second drive to backup the next day and take it off premises and pick up the one from the previous day to bring it back. Keep rotating them and you'll at least have minimal protection.

Don’t count on any backup media forever. You may have heard that the durable (but scratchable and meltable) CD and DVD have an expected shelf life of 25 years. It turns out that those figures only apply to factory printed media, not the kind you burn yourself, which only have a shockingly low shelf life of as little as 5 years. (That outta make you nervous! It sure surprised me.) Every other media falls somewhere short of that.

Keep moving your files to new media, roughly every 5 years. And you will probably need to import early file types into new programs to convert them. I have some old Photoshop files that the newer versions of Photoshop won't recognize.

Roger Nicols who worked as sound engineer on tour with Steely Dan in the '90s had an experience you should be aware of. He recorded every show to hard drive. A few years later he tried to play the drives. They had "frozen" up. Apparently you need to "exercise" a hard drive every 6 months or so to keep the lubricants from drying out. It is possible to have the platters removed from the drive and put them into a new mechanism, but it must be done by a professional, and it's very expensive. So along with all your other procedures I've talked about here, put an exercise schedule on your calendar. All you have to do is add and delete a little data from each drive to keep them from gumming up.

<b>Hard Drive Problems</b>
The driver cards in hard drive cases are notoriously unreliable. If you have a drive that goes bad, try putting it into another case. (That can be a little scary for somebody not familiar with electronics. But it can be done fairly inexpensively by a local computer shop.) If the drive is clicking loudly, it's probably not the driver card. (Loud clicking may be a little difficult to define, but there is a soft whirring, and clicking when a good drive is running. Loud clicking is definitely a different sound.)

<b>What to do with your backups</b>
Whatever media you choose, date each backup and move it off the premises. Get into the habit of taking the most recent backup home with you when you leave for the day. Don’t do anything with it. Just take it and bring back the copy from the previous day. Time Machine or some other onsite backup can cover for you when you can't run home after yesterday's backup. That should also cover you for the days you can't make it in. If you were the only person to have a backup when it was needed, your co-workers would be stuck. So if you go on vacation, have somebody else keep track of the backups.

Another offsite backup method would be to use one of the cloud storage drives now available. Cloud storage provides users with a low-cost, offsite, easily accessible, backed-up hard drive. Of course, using such a system would depend on how secure you feel about the possibility of your files being intercepted while traveling across the Internet or sitting on someone else’s servers. I found it a bit slow for my taste. But you can schedule an automatic backup in the middle of the night, so the length of time it takes won’t matter to you. You'll may have to pay extra if you exceed the space limits allowed in the basic package. Other options might include DropBox.

<b>Your System Drive</b>
For many years I had heard that you only need to backup your data and don't need to backup your system drive or the applications. The theory was that you can always reinstall from the original system and application discs. Well those days have gone, and I'll tell you why.

We now receive system and application updates regularly via the internet. In many cases we purchase and download applications from the internet and never own the software discs. Here's how I found out...

(If you don't what to hear my sad story, <a href="#jump1">click here to </a>skip ahead to the section titled "What to do." But my story may be your story.)
In 2005 my system hard drive went bad. I put in a new hard drive and installed the system software from the last set of DVDs I had purchased. As soon as everything was running I got a notice that there were system updates ready for my computer. Of course I clicked the button that invited me to download them. After it started the process, I got a message that it couldn't install until I downloaded and installed an intermediate version of the software. I went to Apple's website, but that version was no longer available. Now I was stuck not being able to bring my computer up to date. Well, after a few hours of Google searches I was able to find someone who had posted the the intermediate version on their website. I was lucky they weren't some malicious hacker, because I didn't know them and could have easily gotten an altered version of the update aimed at messing up my computer.

So after a couple days of fooling around I finally had the system running and up to date. Now I began to install all my favorite software applications. Find the discs, install, download updates, repeat. But then I ran into a problem that some software wouldn't install from the discs because the system software was too advanced. It turns out, I had bought some of the software which was married to an earlier version of the system. When I had originally upgraded the system software before the crash, I also downloaded the updates for the application. But because the computer now had the latest system software installed, the applications were out of step and un-installable. So I started calling the software manufacturers to get the kind of personal help that requires finding the serial numbers (some of which do not match the ones on the discs because each upgrade requires a new install code), and many hours of idiotic phone trees and being kept on hold by companies who don't have toll free numbers. All this time my business is stalled - I'm not doing client work.

Then there are the software applications which never had install discs. Anyway, it took a full week to get running in basic mode and over two months of intermittent work of more than 25 hours before everything was back the way it was before the crash. Needless to say, the days of advice about only backing up your data have long since gone the way of the horse and buggy.
<a id="jump1" name="jump1"></a>
<b>What to do (System backup)</b>
You need to backup your system drive. I do this about once every 2-4 weeks or whenever I add one or two applications I don't want to lose.

Before starting this backup, if you're using a Mac, use Apple's Disc Utility to Repair Permissions.

I start up the computer from an external Firewire hard drive (you can startup from a USB drive on Intel based Macs) which is running the system software along with a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! (You may be able to start from a DVD with a minimal version or the system and one of these programs, or from an internal hard drive or a partition set up for this purpose. By the way, these are Mac applications. I don't know what to tell you Windows folk.) Then I backup to another external drive that is the exact size and hardware style (ATA, SATA, etc.) as the internal drive running the system software. This can be in a USB enclosure (Firewire is not necessary here). Both these backup programs will make an exact, bit-for-bit copy of the internal drive. It is possible to use a bigger drive with one partition of the same size or larger than the drive or partition you're copying. Just be sure your machine will support a drive of the total capacity.

The first time you make such a backup, plan to let it run over night. Save the settings the software used to make that backup and make notes about the settings so you can call them up the next time. The next time you run the backup, it will only take the amount of time needed to update the changes since the previous backup. For me it often takes only 7-20 minutes, certainly not overnight.

The result is that if your main drive ever goes bad, you can remove it and put the backup drive right into the same drive bay and be up and running in a matter of minutes. (This assumes nothing else is wrong with the machine.) I will also backup just before downloading any system updates, since I've often found that the new "improved" system software removes features and functions I feel I absolutely need. (For instance, one of the versions of iMovie removed a lot of features in their attempt to make it easier to use. You couldn't step back to the previous version of iMovie because it and the system were married to each other. And once again the previous version never existed on a DVD. I used my backup drive to step back to the old software and waited for Apple to correct their mistake. This is one place where Windows users have an advantage. They have system restore.)

But you should apply some caution with this method. If your mother board has been fried and you put the replacement drive in the bay, you can fry that drive, too. Yeah, it seems there's always some alligator waiting for you in that beautiful, blue lake. You should probably take your machine in and have it diagnosed before you put that drive into the bay. Bench fees are about $75. A new mother board can be between $200 and $500. And maybe your original hard drive is OK anyway. But if you eat up both your system drives and have to get a new motherboard <i>and</i> spend 25 hours restoring all your software, you're going to be very unhappy. I actually have two backups of my system drive which I alternate between. One is always onsite and one is stored remotely.

OK, full confession here. I have over 32 hard drives. I know that sounds crazy to most people. But here's why; I converted over 200 reel-to-reel audio tapes, 1000 cassettes and 100 videos to digital, which filled up 7 hard drives. Two backups of each of those (which I consider minimal) and you're already up to 21 drives. A couple backups of my system drive and a couple of my data drive and we're up to 27. The remaining drives are for video and audio projects that get worked on then cleaned off after the project is done. So you see, it's not really compulsive drive collecting after all. It's my job. That's why I consider myself an expert when it comes to advising you about the backup process. It comes from a history of pain. And if you listened carefully, you won't have to be in that world of hurt when your hard drive goes south.
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">About Backing Up</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

Clicking the <b>Add Clip Folder</b> on the Shoot Detail page will step you through a few dialogs that let you <font color="red">import multiple clips</font>. (All the clips that you want to import using this method have to be in the same folder. But you can run the process any number of times on as many folders as you need to.) The idea is that by entering some of the data in one window, it will travel to all the imported records.

First is the Import Choices dialog seen below. Our method of working is to bring tapes into the computer one at a time and break them into multiple clips. We store all the clips from one tape in one folder, so we usually work with the second radio button in this dialog. You can choose not to letter the clips, in which case you would empty out the box on the right in the second row. (In the picture it has the letter "a" in it.) When you fill in the Tape # box on either radio button 1 or 2, whatever you type will be mirrored in the other box. It's the same box being used for two purposes. Just didn't want you to get confused.
<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Clip Import</center></caption><tr><td>
<IMG style="padding: 0px;" float="center" SRC=""></td></tr></table>

The box showing the number 23 next to <b>Tape Name or Number</b> in the image can be used regardless of which of the three import choices you make. We encourage you to work out some system of tracking your tapes (or whatever media you capture video with) in case you need to go back to the source to recover lost data from your hard drive. That can save you hours of trying to find the source material, assuming you store them where you can find them.

After you click the <b>Continue</b> button you should see the <b>Folder of Files Import Options</b> dialog below*. We would prefer not to display that dialog because it's confusing, but we don't have control over it. So the best we can do is give you instructions so you can move forward as quickly as possible.
<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Clip Import Step 2</center></caption><tr><td>
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In order to prevent other even more confusing dialogs from appearing, we had to create a Do Not Delete Folder which stays in the same folder with your MoviTraX program and acts as a starting point. Most of our users just click the <b>Specify</b> button and navigate to the hard drive and folder they want. However, if you have multiple levels of folders, you may want to uncheck the box next to <b>Include all enclosed folders</b>.

We highly recommend that you <u>DO NOT uncheck</u> the box next to <b>Import only a reference to each picture file</b>. First of all it makes the import take a very long time, and second it makes your MoviTraX program blow up like a balloon with the risk that it will crash. It also takes a lot longer to back up because the file is so much larger. There are no advantages to unchecking this box.

After you click the <b>Specify</b> button, find and select the folder of clips and click OK, it will bring you back here where you click the <b>Continue</b> button. If all goes well, you'll find yourself at the Clip List tab.

* <font size=-1>On occasion this dialog has failed to appear. To remedy that, we recommend you quit the program and restart your computer.</font>

<p align=right><a href="">Clip List</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">The Clip Import Process</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

This is the basic setup area for MoviTraX

The Thumbnails On/Off preference determines whether you can see a tiny version of the first frame of your clips displayed in various locations in the list views. As you get more familiar with your project, seeing those frames can help you find the clip you're looking for more quickly. However, in order to display them, MoviTraX has to go to each hard drive and get that frame from every clip that needs to be displayed. Depending on the speed of your machine, that can slow down your work considerably. You'll notice that it's set to Off in this screen capture.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>Clip Import</center></caption><tr><td>
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Keyboard Shortcuts On/Off determines whether the keyboard combinations appear in various locations throughout MoviTrax. Once you memorize them, you probably won't want to have them clutter up your screen.

The Warn if No Match preference is explained by clicking the question mark to the right of it. Here's what it says: "When navigating the tabs, if there are no Shoots or Clips associated with the record you are looking at, the default is to display a dialog telling you exactly that and giving you the option to go to the Shoot or Clip layout anyway. If you find that warning annoying, turn it off here by selecting 'Do Not Warn.'" You can see that we turned that off, too.

The Small/Large option determines the size of the QuickTime window that opens. We created MoviTraX to work on an older machine with a smaller monitor. Select Large if your monitor will accommodate it. You can always resize the QT window manually regardless.

<p align=right><a href="">Project List</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Preferences</font></b></center>

<a href="">Table of Contents</a>

The "Other Menus" are the the menus you see at the top of the MoviTraX screen. We'll look at each one and discuss the important parts.
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<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The MoviTraX menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>MoviTraX Menu</b> <br>You probably already know about most of the choices under the MoviTraX menu because they're so much like those in other programs. There are some choices under the Preferences, but you can investigate them yourself.
<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The File menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>File Menu</b> <br>Not much under the File menu either, but you may want to print out some of the lists from time to time. I wouldn't bother with the Save a Copy As either. You should follow other backup procedures outlined elsewhere in this manual.
<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Edit menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Edit Menu</b> <br>The Edit menu should be familiar to you unless you've just started using computers, in which case you're bound to have more trouble that I can help you with.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The View menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>View Menu</b> <br>The View menu needs a little explaining. Browse Mode is where you work most of the time. We've given you Find buttons on all the layouts, but you can use the option here instead. Preview Mode lets you see what your printout will look like, but it should look like the page you're looking at. And you know what to do with Zoom In and Out.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Insert menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Format menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Records menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Records Menu</b> <br>Many of the items under the Records menu are self explanatory and some are not of much use to you. But pay particular attention to the third item "Delete Found Records." We've included the capability to delete all records, but you'd better know what you're doing. Also notice that it's right below the Delete Record menu. If you're in a hurry and accidentally select the third menu, you could have a very bad day.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Shortcuts menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Shortcuts Menu</b> <br>The Shortcuts menu are keyboard equivalents of clicking the tabs. The final one "Keyboard Shortcuts" turns the shortcut hints on and off on various parts of the pages.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Saved Finds menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Saved Finds Menu</b> <br>Saved Finds keeps track of your Recent and (permanently) Saved Finds. If you keep going back to a particular Find, you can turn it into a Saved Find by selecting it and clicking Save Current Find, in which case it will be memorized under the gray Saved Finds subheading for easy retrieval in the future.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Window menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Window Menu</b> <br>The Window menu probably won't be of much use to you. If you choose Split in the Clip Detail tab, you'll see the Movie and the MoviTraX window at the bottom as you see them here, but it's only informative and not helpful. If you Minimize Window, MoviTraX will disappear into the dock.

<table align="center"><caption align="bottom"><center>The Help menu</center></caption><tr><td>
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<b>Help Menu</b> <br>Well, the Help menu isn't all that helpful. The Search box does not search for anything. And the MoviTraX Help Online just takes you to this manual - and you already know how to get here.

<p align=right><a href="">About Backing Up</a></right>
<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Other Menus</font></b></center>

<a href="">Chapter 1</a>

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<center><b>MoviTraX Manual<BR><P><font size="+2">Overview</font></b></center>