Archival Image Format?

A place to talk about anything else with other Pixelmator users.
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2018-09-23 19:08:01

I'm looking to go as paperless as I can on my home filing and am evaluating different systems. I've looked at a few apps but, as I want something that will, with as little maintenance as possible, last me my whole life, I have little confidence in any piece of software.

My current thinking is that the best way to futureproof is to save scans as bitmaps with unique filenames and to index them using text files. I'm going to do some research to see what others have done in the past but I thought I'd pick the brains of the Pixelmator community as to what image format (and settings) you would use.

Any and all suggestions welcome.
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2018-10-15 17:00:22

The issue with specialised software for archiving is that the software eventually will go end of life. When in luck the company owning the software makes it possible to transfer your archive to newer software but history usually tends to repeat itself and sometimes the software company itself becomes end of life. So personally I archive my images the digital old-fashioned way in folders and with descriptive names for folders and images. If you want to add a text file to it then go ahead of course.

One thing I am nervous about is the support for the image format and I would indeed for the most precious project never archive it in a lossy format. This way, if I need to convert to another lossless image format I won't lose image quality. For the less important stuff, I generally use a lossy format. Oh and I don't archive in layered image formats because of compatibility issues later on.

For archiving I use a raid configured NAS and I have a backup of the NAS on another location. But you could use the ordinary external harddisks as well of course.
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2018-10-15 22:06:28

Thanks for the reply, Sebastiaan. It looks like your thinking is very similar to mine (https://twitter.com/st3f/status/1043809855675535360).

As to what format I should keep scans in: I'm with you on lossless and single layered. I'm trying to choose between PNGs and uncompressed TIFFs. PNGs have the advantage that they are a web standard and are heavily used. Uncompressed TIFFs have the advantage of being a simple format that stands a higher chance of recovery if I get a corrupted file. I'm leaning toward uncompressed TIFFs, for the simplicity and because lots of people use them when they scan.