Getting Your Random Video Files In Order!
Videos are a great way to preserve some of your most precious memories, like your kid’s first birthday party, that family vacation you went on to Florida or that workplace party that you’ll remember fondly for years to come. The technology that lets you capture videos has come a long way. Earlier we had huge VHS cameras that were a pain to handle and we had to store our videos on tapes.
Now we have high-definition cameras that are small enough to fit into our pockets. They also let us store videos digitally, on memory cards, flash drives, and hard disks. This can soon lead to a huge collection of huge video files which can eat up a lot of space.
Challenges you Face While Managing Your Video Files
If you’re fond of taking videos, you probably have a large collection of them by now. Like most people, they may be stored in different places, like on old-style VHS tapes or on memory cards, on your PC or on an online cloud storage service. Videos are not easy to organize or store as you probably know by now.
If you haven’t categorized your video files already, they can clog up your drive and simply be a nightmare to sort. First, you can’t always go through a video file to see what it is about, as some videos can go on for several minutes or even hours. They are also large and hard to move from one place to another. You also don’t always know how to sort them, either.
Do you organize your videos by the date you shot them? Or do you sort them by theme? For example, do you keep your vacation videos together or do you bunch them with the other videos you shot that year?
5 Tips for Managing Your Video Files
Managing your video files can seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s not really as hard as it seems. Given below are 5 essential tips that we think will help you manage your video files better:
#1 Name Your Videos Chronologically
We recommend that you sort your individual video files chronologically. What do we mean by that? Read on to find out. Most modern-day cameras will sort your videos automatically by the date they were shot. There will be a series on unintelligible letter and numbers, but it’s easy enough to make out the date. Take the time to rename these videos in the YRMODA format. For example, if that video of your dog chasing your cat up a tree was shot on 13th of December 2010, rename it to 101213. Here, the “10” is for the year 2010, the “12” is for the twelfth month December and the “13” is for the day of the month you shot the video. This makes it very easy to find when that individual video (and even photo) was taken.
#2 Group Videos by Tags and Folders
Along with the chronological naming scheme, add a small word that will help you identify what the video is about. For example, the video 101213 can become 101212_1st_bday. This makes it easy for you to tell what the video is about or to search for it later.
Sometimes it’s impossible to rename each and every video you have. In this case, just create a bunch of folders by year and put your video files into them and worry about renaming them later. In all cases use subfolders within your folders. For example, all the videos you shot in 2011 will go into the “2011” folder. You can make several subfolders inside this, like the “2011_party”, “2011_vacationbeach” and “2011_college”. Then each file, following the YRMODA format, can go into these folders.
If you make a living shooting or editing videos, you can use software to help you sort your videos. For the average user, though, manual tagging is enough.
#3 Shift Your Videos to a Single Platform
We recommend that you move all your videos from your phone and camera to your PC. Both your phone and camera have limited storage that gets filled up really quickly. Also, they are portable devices that you may lose any time.
If you have a ton of old VHS tapes, you can convert them into the digital format. Some services specialize in doing that for you (they will also sort your videos automatically). Having all your videos in one place makes more sense than having them scattered about on different platforms.
#4 Backup Your Video Files
Backup your videos, at least once. You can use external hard disks or cloud storage services for this. If you ever happen to lose your phone or camera or if your PC ever crashes, at least your videos will be safe. Backing up your video files also helps you sort through them.
If you own an iPhone, you can use iCloud to back up your videos. There are several Android and PC services that can help you store your videos, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
#5 Keep a Record of the Videos You Shoot
If you shoot videos all the time, it pays to keep track of when you shot them. If you shoot 5 videos today, for example, create a simple spreadsheet with the names of videos you shot, the date you shot them and where you stored them. That way, if you ever want to find some videos later or splice two particular videos together, you can just refer to your spreadsheet and find them quickly.
With a bit of ingenuity and diligence, organizing video files doesn’t seem as daunting. To sum it all up, just name your video files with a simple (YRMODA) and use folders and subfolders to organize them. Use tags to make them easily identifiable in a folder.
To make it easier to store them, centralize your video files and bring them all to a single place, your computer for example. Upload (or store) a backup copy preferably on an external hard drive for safety. Archive them often to save yourself some space. Finally, keep track of any video you shoot henceforth. Simple tips, but very effective we think.