In August, Forever launched added video storage to their photo preservation site. I saw the email but put off transferring videos to my site until now. First, I would like to congratulate Forever in meeting the timeline they announced in 2017 for allowing video storage. Second, I would like to say that the service is incredibly useful, in spite of the flaws that I will enumerate below. Until now, I have relied on YouTube to preserve my videos. I like YouTube but I have never been comfortable with relying on Google (the owner of YouTube) to preserve anything. Google’s business model is based on advertising not preservation. I have no confidence in them to preserve my files.
Using CDs and DVDs to preserve videos is also problematic since these materials have a limited lifetime, generally 10-20 years. Stable discs are available, but these discs require specialized writers, and if the disc is lost or damaged, the video is lost as well.
Here are my comments after adding my videos to my Forever account:
- Unless you pay extra money (see below), Forever does not convert your videos to the best format (H.264 mp4 1080p 30fps). Their selected file format is good, but saying they will convert your videos to this format in 10-20 years unless you pay extra just doesn’t make sense. I want to know that my videos are preserved in the best format now, not in 10-20 years. To work around this feature, you will need to convert your videos prior to uploading them. It’s doable but beyond the scope of this article.
- The cost for viewing the videos directly on Forever exceeds what I am willing to pay, and it’s not based on how many videos you upload. If you’re standing, please sit down now. The premium video plan is $1999, and no I didn’t leave out a decimal point! A monthly plan is $11.99/month and a yearly plan is $119/year, but these defeat the reason I originally bought my Forever account, which was to make a single payment and have no future charges FOREVER.
- The organizational tools are inadequate for video. When I look at the videos in an album I created, and conveniently named Video, I cannot easily tell what is what. When your mouse is held over a video, you see about the first 15 characters of the file name. There is no easy way to see all the file names, and if the first 15 characters are not adequate to identify the video, you are out of luck. You can click on the video to get more information, but that process is tedious at best. There is no way to define a specific image to represent the video. My advice is to think very carefully about the first 15 character of the file name.
- Forever doesn’t automatically transfer videos that are on other internet sites such as YouTube. See More About Video Preservation if you need to transfer videos to Forever.
Even with its limitations, Forever’s video storage is highly recommended. At this point there is simply no other good way to preserve videos.