Kai’s Question #3 – Storing Anime

I’m sure that any long time veterans of anime would have similar problems with mine: storing anime. With dozens and dozens of anime released every year, my very limited capacity at home is cutting short. What’s more, with HD formats like 720P and 1080P, the sizes of anime episodes had been getting absurdly high. What do you all suggest? Here are some things which I think I can do (or continue doing in some cases).

Burning DVDs

A DVD is around 4.7GB per disc and you can easily store a short-length anime with empty spaces to spare. However, I’m not a fan of discs as one issue I’m having is that it is hard to control the space usage. Most short-length anime (around 12 episodes) I downloaded are around 3GB, and if I burned it into a DVD, the remaining space left out on the disc is a total waste, as I can’t fit in another anime in that 1GB+. I might think about burning blu-rays once they get more commonly used.

Investing on HDDs

While I don’t have as much HDDs as most do, I had amassed quite a few. My first antique and most historical hard disk was bought a very long time ago. It’s a sucky 60GB which cost around $100 if memory still serves me right. A few years after that, I bought a 320GB hard disk and after that, a 640GB hard disk. Adding all those with my 1TB internal hard disk in my desktop, astonishingly, it’s still NOT enough. Even with that much capacity, I still had to delete some files in my 640GB hard disk to save space, and I think I ended up deleting my games folder by mistakes, which contain a lot of big major isos like Assassin Creed series, Mass Effect series and so on. Ahhhh, my carelessness..

I certainly thought of buying even more HDDs for my anime storing. The thing with them is that they are costly. The price for buying one hard disk is almost equal to a full scale figure, which I would prefer to invest on instead of the former.

Network Attached Storage

This is the ultimate last resort, and one which I may had to spend a great deal of money, building a home NAS. It sounds crazy but I’m sure the huge amount of capacity would do me good. I remember reading a forum where it’s possible to store literally terabytes of data in a network storage. I had no idea what to do if I really planned to do this though as I’m not too knowledgeable with them in the first place. This choice is pretty much a wild-goose chase for now.

Kai’s Questions
Kai’s Question #1 – Revealing Figures
Kai’s Question #2 – Android Online Games
Kai’s Question #3 – Storing Anime
Kai’s Question #4 – Light Novels?
Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?
Kai’s Question #6 – Sweaty Hands and It’s Effects on My Gaming Experience
Kai’s Question #7 – Best Girls of Love Live!

This entry was posted by Kai.

26 thoughts on “Kai’s Question #3 – Storing Anime

  1. With advances in technology, HDDs are getting incredibly affordable. You can usually find a 1TB HDD for around $100 which isn’t bad at all. I’ve got about 600GB of anime so this is probably the best solution for me. Even for those of us who have a few TB, external hard drives are still probably the way to go. That being said, is there really that much great anime out there worth holding on to?

    Recently though, I’ve considered switching all my anime to DVD format as a backup. If I did do that, I would probably invest in some cover labels so I can spruce up each DVD with a nice image. Considering the prices on Amazon, it would probably run me somewhere around $70 to transfer over my entire anime collection which isn’t unreasonable.

    • Not sure about the currency on your side, but I forgot to mention that technological prices here as much more pricey then other countries. A 1TB HDD can cost around $200 to $300 (depending on brand, location and promotion). 600GB is good but it’s still not quite enough, currently, I had to burn some anime into DVDs from my 640GB external HDD due to lack of space. Well, there are some..

      Pretty much what I’m doing now, I’m burning most of the new anime now (and some old ones from my external hard disks) and if I’m lazy, I just dump them into my HDD temporarily, and burn them later.

  2. I have been using hard drives for years. Since I upgrade my drives on my Macbook Pro, I reuse the small 120 GB hard drives as extra storage, although I had to get more portable HDs since I ran out of space after storing several series. But yes, HDs got cheaper (got a portable 1 TB for 70-80 dollars on Black Friday, I think…). Also, I use a server (which runs Windows Server 2008) that acts like a NAS to do bittorrent and storage. It does a bit more than an average NAS as I used to have a Mac Mini G4 doing those things, but it got a bit too slow so I had to retire it.

    If you have the knowledge of building computers, an Intel Atom, several HDs and FreeNAS or Windows Home Server will blow away any prebuilt NAS as it can do more than just storing files such as bittorrent, media streaming, etc.

    • How big is your upgraded new drive? I wanted to get more HDD too but like I said, HDD’s selling for quite an expensive price here. A server. Certainly an option, but still considering my choices.

      I have only the very basic knowledge in building computers and I’m afraid building a NAS or server or anything might require time and money, like I said though, NAS is pretty much a last resort.

      • I upgraded to a 500 GB Western Digital Scropio Blue back in 2009. I think I paid $90 for that (and you can get a 1 TB for that price now). Not sure about the other ones, which is a Hitachi 7200 RPM 320 GB HD and a Seagate Momentus 500GB 7200 RPM HD (which I don’t recommend since it have some clicking issue that cause the computer to freeze). But yes, if you have a old computer lying around, just repurpose it as a server and throw some hard drives in it.

  3. I tend to use HDD as these days, the amount of anime and size is getting greater and greater. In the past, they were no bigger than 200mb and now they’re all going HD on me. So I think using DVDs would take FOREVER in burning. Though my worst fear is, what if the HDD suddenly breaks – then you’d lose so much files (esp if it’s a large harddrive). I have broken one accidentally just by dropping it. I kind of wish Bluerays were used more, I don’t even know how they work.

    • The only problem is that these HDs (720p) tend to reach around 3gb+ for me, and if I used DVD, the remaining spaces left out is a waste. They certainly take time, but I wouldn’t say it took forever, though that’s excluding transferring an entire collection of anime into DVDs. I guess that’s what SSD is for? A disk storage with no moving components: less hardware failure, though I never used it so not much comments for it yet. Aren’t they like DVDs? Only thing is you are going to need a blu-ray writer, and burning one disc is probably going to take much longer due to the larger capacity.

  4. investing on NAS is as much as invsting on HDD…. because NAS is just a (mostly) small PC with NAS OS.
    and what inside is just a bunch of HDD stucked together.

    DVD on the other hand has a pretty short live time if considered. it break and hard to read the more year it accumulate. not to mention if for some reason you scratch it. or getting the reflector burned by air (decaying). well, decaying only happen on pretty cheap and bad DVD.

    right now I have 4 (640GB,1.5TB,2TB,2TB) are attached on my PC.
    even with that much of space I still sometimes need to rearrange or delete something.
    well, my monthly bandwidth using is around 100GB so its only natural.

    investing on $100-$150 once every 10 Month for 2TB HDD is more cheaper and easier than for 250-400 piece of DVD that can only hold 1.2-2TB not to mention the forever it needs to burn all those data.

    the drawback for HDD is when it breaks. I have experience with partition lost (500GB) and bad sector on my 2TB HDD.
    good thing is I still able to recover its content. but the terror of losing that much data is no easy matter.

    I myself would like to invest on NAS. I would build it myself btw, and make some RAID on it – so the terror of losing data would greatly reduced.
    lastly good thing for me is I prefer investing on my PC that I can actually use than on figure that can only sit around the corner collecting dust (no flame, just figure of speech ^^ ).

    • I agree, I think dvds could break even faster. I’ve actually never heard of NAS before and have just looked it up! Does NAS allow you to access storef files from multiple computers? Because that’s what I find quite difficult, storing files on different hardrives and there are multiple computers in the house, especially for someone building a site and saving files, it’s hard to copy across each time.

      I agree that $100-150 is cheaper than so many DVDS. That’s a good point, because I keep forgetting that prices for these things keep going down. I still remember days when 128mb usb costed $70. Maybe a good idea is to have two HDD for the same files, as I think there’s a lot less chance for both to break at the same time, esp if one is just put away and stored.

      • NAS as its name implies Network-attached storage. its just like another PC that its purpose is just to store data.
        you can access it’s file as long as its connected to the same network. in more advanced setting you can make it online and access the file from wherever you want as long as its connected to internet. some NAS even has web-based GUI so you can access (manage, download, upload) it with browser.

        The more good thing about NAS is – it’s mostly has RAID build in. its a system to save file to multiple HDD and read from multiple HDD. so if something like one of the HDD is crashing. the probability of data lost is greatly reduced. its costly though. you need at least 2 HDD of the same size. some even need 3 or 4.

        hahaha… I still remember the day when 32Mb usb is a luxury (someone who goes around bringing a pack of floppy disk).

        • That sounds amazing! I think I will be checking it out and get it sometime, sounds like the ultimate plan for storage. Sometimes when I hear about the new speed internet is getting and how all files are going HD, I think GB stuff needs to die out and let the TB come in! I really like that NAS lets you access files stored on the same network. So you just buy the NAS or do you need to get a bunch of stuff and put it together? I did look around and seems like a lot of them cost around $70-300, not sure if I’m looking at the right ones..

          SO TRUE!! LOL I remember those days with the floppy disks too haha, they were 1.5mb each I think! It was also when downloading a 3mb file took 20 minutes. Maybe in the future, we’ll be laughing about how small 1TB is.

        • Its hard to miss a NAS so I guess you look at the right one.
          there is a lot of type and price.
          from the diskless one (HDD are not included), to the build-in UPS like one.
          from the only one HDD to multiple bay.
          I suggest you read the specification and the feature carefully before buying one.

          I hardly find any difficulty on installing NAS. It’s just buy the system and attach it to your network.
          The rest is read and follow the manual included by the product, like setting in its IP and the likes.

    • Really? I know NAS exists but how it works is beyond me. I never even saw (or even heard of) NAS here so if I need to get one, I might need to order online from someplace else.

      That is true, though so far I never had a problem with breaking a DVD but I experienced problem with scratching, I put my DVDs in a disc bag most of the time to avoid spoiling, and only take them out when I want to play them. Not sure if that’s going to work on the long run.

      Damn. I don’t even think 2TB hard disk is available here yet.

      Well as said, technological prices is high here. A 1TB hard disks sell for around $200-$300 depending on certain circumstances. I found one on sell for $198 on a promotion one time ago, but missed the chance to buy it. That’s true if I need to transfer an entire anime collection, currently, for all the new anime, instead of putting them into hard disk, I immediately burn them one by one as soon as I finished watching them, so that the amount of data I need to burn doesn’t accumulate too much.

      Hmm, not sure if SSD would solve those issues

      I see, I’m still thinking about this option for now.
      And to each his own D:

      • Just buy the build-up NAS if you have little or no knowledge on PC building.
        you only need the knowledge to build a networked PC. here is some nice review about NAS and its capability. it can serve as basic understanding between the different type and looks.

        SSD is far more PRICIER than HDD and I am not joking it is REALLY FAR MORE PRICIER…
        well, SSD is a kind of big usb flash disk. it solve the issue of moving parts but it introduce the issue of Flash wear out – or some says SSD endurance. well, you can google the detail if interested.

        btw, did you mean external HDD or internal one with that price?
        If its external then yes its that expensive ($150-200). internal is more cheaper thought.
        if you unable to mount an internal one you can always buy a docking for that.

        • Thanks, I’ll check out the link soon.

          I’ll look it up soon but I don’t plan to use SSD anyway, at least for now, I don’t see the need to. Again, I might had to order online if I really need it, which is a bit too chaotic.

          External and indeed internal’s are more cheaper. Yea, I could certainly use a mount too, just had to see if there’s any on sale here in my local computer stores. Anyway thanks for all the suggestions!

  5. IF you build a NAS.. for about $850 shipped you can get a intel atom based system with 6 sata ports on a mini itx mb, 4x2tb low rpm eco hd’s, 2gb ram, small case, and 2 sata pullout drive bays. It gives you 5.5TB in a raid-5 configuration with 2 open bays running FreeNAS. Even on a gig lan you wont be able to saturate the drives from any single client. It runs extremely low power, no need for a fan on the cpu, keeps noise down, and you have some measure of protection from drive failure. Look for the SuperMicro pedestel mount cases. SuperMicro also makes decent intel atom mb’s with dual gig intel based nics, 6xsata ports, and a usb socket (not header) on the mb itself so you can run freenas off a 4gb usb key instead of your hd’s.

  6. Hehe what a coincidence, I only have 72GB left on my external 1TB HDD, as I bought it 2 years ago I thought it would be enough for some time, but it was a naive expectation, now it’s nearly full.

    Yet this problem doesn’t bother me too much since I have a little army of harddrives, internal and external.

    When shoveling the animes from last season onto it I delete a few old shows where I think that I won’t rewatch them ever again.

    internal HDD’s (2,5′ and 3,5′) have really fair prices here, so it’s rather a question of space than the price.

    A NAS sounds pretty cool, but a bit over the top as well ^^

    • I have no bigger then 80GB left on my 640GB HDD too, kinda tough conserving space D:

      If that’s true, then I’m going to amass a huge army of DVDs!

      I tend to do that last time, but now I try to avoid that. I want to “treasure” my download more due to.. the recent file host issues. It’s getting incredibly difficult to find old anime and even though downloading new anime in the new season is easy, after a year or so, it’s going to fall into “extinction” real quick.

      Good for you then D:

      It’s nice if I want to store endless amount of data :D

  7. Burning anime on DVDs is something I do not want to consider, because if I do that I’ll need a large folder to store my anime! Looking for a series will be troublesome, and I’d still have to change discs if I want to see another series. And what happens if I want to compare two shows simultaneously? Furthermore, DVDs are expensive in large numbers and it takes time to burn anime onto it too. Hence, considering all the disadvantages of DVDs I’d rather just invest in an external HDD and transfer all of my anime inside.

    That being said, I don’t see why you’d need so much space to store all your anime. In my case I’d rather just delete off the more mediocre shows. They can always be found online if you ever want to watch them again.

    • I already mentally prepared myself for the huge amount of “physical” spaces required to put my disc bags full of anime DVDs, lol. Well, it’s just take-a-disc-out-and-put-another-disc-into-the-disc-tray which takes less then 30 secs. For watching two shows simultaneously, just drag them into the desktop first, and after you’re done, delete them :D But, this I agree, especially if I’m doing it in large-scale.

      Well as said, I want to “treasure” my download more D: And the ones found online are always in pretty low resolution, not good if I’m watching them on my 24″ LED monitor (actually at some cases, it kinda hurt my eyes with such incredible jagginess and blurriness)

  8. I don’t have this problem anymore, but I used to, before I got my new Hard Drives for my PC (now it’s a total of about 1.5TB), my 640GB HDD and NAS I use sometimes when I don’t want to overload my computer. Aside from my precious games I keep my anime anywhere, but I got a lot of space to spend so it’s fine for now. HDD’s don’t cost too much now, I asked my father for one he was in Taiwan and got an high quality Toshiba HDD and not so pricey at it.

    • Nice that you has a NAS. Though I’m not sure if even 1.5TB is enough for me. I think the things Taiwan sell are usually in a much more lesser price but efficient quality.

  9. I used to burn anime into DVDs because like yours, my country’s External HDDs (assuming you’re talking about external HDDs) are pricey. But the thing with DVDs is that there’s no guarantee you can rip it out to store to HDDs in the future. This problem happened when I was trying to rip all my One Piece episodes (400++ of them!) to store them digitally. Some old episodes couldn’t be ripped. Oh, the pain!

    With optical storage technology slowly dying, I strictly stick to digital storage these days, which in my case External HDDs. I’m a bit of a paranoid considering I’ve lost a huge chunk of anime before on a HD many years ago, so I have backups. But only the series I truly like so that doesn’t take up too much space so I have a smaller size for that.

    • I burn them as data and I can still drag them out into my desktop :D

      I never lost anything from a HDD so far but well, I wonder how long my luck will last, lol. I might need some “cleaning” for my hard disk too actually now that when I think about it.

  10. Pingback: 12 Days of Christmas: Hacking Through the Dimension – Day IV « deluscar

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