This is in response to BenR's post at http://www.cuddletech.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=1016 which I can't seem to get past his comment-spam filter.
As a fellow father and sys/storage admin, I have similar questions. Have you made the jump to video already? A MiniDV tape at LP (90 mins) quality -- a little less than DVD quality but with worse compression, eats up 15GB of disk space when I dump the AVI stream. Not to mention the gigabytes of SD and CF cards from the camera.
I'm confident in my 3-tier archiving scheme: An active in-the-house full-quality copy on simple disk, a "thumbnail" (screen-resolution or compressed video) version on S3, and two copies of the original format on DVD - one onsite and one offsite.
I expect to have to move from DVD media periodically, but I can put that off until the higher-capacity disk wars play out. Every file on the DVDs are md5sum'd, and i know I can use ddrescue to pull data blocks off either wafer, if S3 and my home drive die, assuming the scratch doesn't hit both disks in the same place. It'd be nice to have an automatic system to track which file is on what DVD, but I haven't implemented such an HSM yet.
I'm enough of a pack rat to keep a DVD drive and probably a computer that can read it essentially forever, and if not, there's always eBay.
The biggest problem I face is not deleting all of the content from a card (or tape) before popping it back into the camera and adding more. So when I copy a media into the "system" I might have other duplicate copies of the pictures. I'd love to be able to deduplicate those and store only one copy (and links to it). And even better would be a content-aware dedup that could tell that x.jpg is the same picture as Y.raw... (and that song_64kvbr.mp3 can be derived from song.flac)
But I haven't put that together yet, either.