Thread November 8, 2014 editorial: comments
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Your Data at Risk?
Although I didn’t lose any data when it happened, my laptop coffee-spill incident described in last week’s editorial (The $600 Cup of Coffee) got me thinking once again about the issue of backup. On the immediate level, we all have to deal with figuring out systems for backing up our data. If you’ve ever lost music you were working on due to a computer crash or hard drive failure, you know how miserable the feeling is. Not only did you lose the fruits of your musical labor, but you wasted a bunch of time, too! If you were working on a project for a client, you probably blew your deadline and possibly lost out on future work with that person or entity. Overall, losing data sucks, and we back up to protect against it.
So should one go beyond just backing up an on-site drive (or drives)? Probably so. Although a catastrophic disaster like a fire or flood in your studio isn’t a likely occurrence, it can happen. And with the increase in extreme weather events due to climate change, one can’t be too careful. What’s more, having more than one backup is definitely a more secure strategy.
It’s now very inexpensive to arrange for cloud-based backup. In addition to sites like Dropbox, dedicated cloud music storage sites like Gobbler and Splice, provide music-specific backup capabilities, as well as sharing features. If you’re doing projects for clients, you should consider offsite backup to be a part of the cost of doing business.
Then there’s the more vexing question of long-term archiving of your projects. How long will data on a hard drive last? It’s hard to say, but if you put a drive away and store it, are you sure it will work when you turn it on again five years later? I certainly wouldn’t depend on it. That’s another reason to store on the cloud. Of course, there’s no guarantee your cloud-based storage company will be around in 10 years, so that’s not foolproof either. There’s also no guarantee that your DAW projects will still be compatible with your DAW down the road. For that reason, before archiving a project, it’s a good idea to make individual bounces of all track files, starting from bar 1 and beat 1. That way, you could resurrect your session in a different version of your DAW, or a different DAW if need be.
What steps have you taken to protect your data. Any thoughts on long-term archiving? Let’s discuss.
Have a great week.
U.S. Editor, Audiofanzine
If you can afford off-site backup, I would recommend that. Shop around and don't forget the local businesses, they could be cheaper.
The second best is to use couple of disks in ESATA/USB dock and store them elsewhere.
For most ordinary people, drops or theft are the greatest risks, included when data is crypted and a ransom demanded. That's why you wan't to have a backup that is disconnected and kept elsewhere when not in use.
Common inexpensive SSD disks are still prone to fail more than ordinary disks (when stationary).
not all laptops created equal. Although it won't help the Apple users, there are laptops out there that are designed to survive (and really do) a cup of coffee and similar hazards. Such as Lenovo Thinkpad series and some other brands.
I hadn't heard that the Lenovo was so durable. That's a very desirable attribute for a laptop, since they're carried around so much.
Also, thanks for your helpful backup tips.
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