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Skellum
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Backin' Up

Been lurking for awhile here and now I have a question? What and ow do you back up your music......just buy a big external drive and hope for the best, ,,tape....optical media? I'll post more about my interesting journey into computer audio later, but i've already begun to celebrate the 4th and my typing is bound to...suffer.

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

For my music server I simply attach an external USB drive and backup all the music on it. The server has only a single drive and there is no provision for a second one.

If I had a computer based music server, I would be in a second drive of good quality and would copy everything over on to this second drive. Of course, an external drive would work well also - but a bit more money.

struts
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Re: Backin' Up

Skellum,

It's a great question and there isn't one easy answer because when you begin to think about it there are just so many things that could go wrong. Folks who think about backing up their data (and right there we're already down to a very small minority) generally only consider the case of a drive failure wiping out all or part of their library. This may well be the single problem that many are most likely to encounter however consider also the risk of:

  • A virus wiping out files on all drives attached to your PC
  • A burglar stealing your PC and your RAID 5 disc array
  • God forbid a fire in your home destroying everything (it happens. See EddieBojo's thread up in the General Rants and Raves section)

What you have here is the classic trade-off between protection and cost/convenience.

In general I would say that

  1. A strategy that relies on duplicating data on a drive or array of drives which are online and connected to the same host is not robust. The list of threats to which such a strategy is vulnerable is as long as your arm.
  2. A strategy that relies on storing all data in the same geographic location is vulnerable to a number of very real threats that you may want to consider guarding against.

For really critical data (bookmarks, contacts, critical documents etc.) I would recommend one of the online services such as iDrive or aDrive all of which offer a small amount of storage space for free. However this can be expensive for a large media library which can easily comprise hundreds of Gigabytes or even Terabytes of data (especially when you start getting into hi rez downloads - whoah!). Optical disc is not an option here because of the quantity of data involved so this is where a purpose-built tape-based systems come into their own.

However, my 'cost-effective' recommendation is to back up to an external drive (or drives) which are then taken off-line and stored in a remote location. For something like a media library where the rate of change is not particularly high you probably only need to do this every month or two - you decide how much ripping you might want to have to redo in the case of a disaster.

For me it is not so much the ripping as the editing of the tags and the cover art that takes the time. Even with my fairly modest library of 500-or-so albums this still represents several man-days of tedious effort which I would not like to have to repeat.

Good luck!

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

I'm clearly not paranoid enough!

Good thinking, Struts.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Thanks guys! The question was raised by a neighbor last night during the annual neighborhood pre 4th gathering. Since I am the "stereo/music nut" hereabouts, I usually provide the tunes. I get it about the tags and other ephermia, a royal pita! Which is what I am more concerned about, playlists, etc. Ever used the I-Tunes b/u function?

Right now I'm just a shade over 500 gigs of music, both high bitrate mp3 and apple lossless. The anatomy of the system is as follows
Dell XPS w/a terrabyte of storage, a 750 gig WD outboard drive feeding a Linksys Music Bridge (ugh!) going to a Audio Alchemy DAC, then to a ps audio 4.6 preamp (Cullen moded) to a ps audio c-100 trio amp out to Boston Acoustics VM-60 Lynnfields and a velodyne sub. a modest setup, but oh the convenience in having everything organized and at my fingertips. Hope to get rid of the linksys piece this weekend and give the apple airport a try. Again thnks for the input

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

Perhaps modest by some standards, but an extremely nice setup. Rick Cullen knows his mods, too.

ChiDave1
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Re: Backin' Up

Struts hit all of the points on risks. I'd just add that my external drive is my music source at work. A pretty big bonus for anyone who can get away with that. Otherwise, maybe get the external and leave it in a container your basement.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Not to stray to far off topic, thanks for the words Elk....I believe I've seen you post over at the PS forum. I really like the little Trio, I replaced a 2c+ with it which I bought new over 20 years ago....I sent it back to Paul and he added it to the "museum". And thanks to Struts for the advice! Back in awhile, smokin' ribs for the lake tomorrow, my gas loan for the boat was approved!

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

oops I meant an A 100 trio....I wanted a c-100 but I got a deal on the a-100.....duh!

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

Very kind of you to send the "old" equipment in for the museum.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Yeah Elk, I'm wierd that way.....esp here in Alabama, trying to sell high end here usually means a lift kit for somebody's pick-up. So I sent the stuff back from whence it came..Anyway I got another back up question. This weekend I got another external drive for back up, whilst testing I wanted to see how long it took to copy the library from one drive to another, and then back again, well gee...a surprise, all the stuff I had ripped to 1141 wav lost the ID3 info, the mp3 and lossless stuff was fine,,,but man what a pain ( I'm reripping the collection to wav) So...advice and guidance on how to prevent this in the future, and perhaps some insight on how to restore the lost info..other than brute force (typing) Hope Ya'll had a great 4th......uh oh.....bbq grease on the keyboards....

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

You lost the lost the ID3 info when backing up and restoring the files?

If so, this makes no sense to me at all. A copy of the file should be the same as the original and have all the same data.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Yup, It was there on the main drive. I moved it to the b/u, then back....and presto no ID3 info....only on the 1411 wav files...the file names remained the same. I thought it odd as well, and now I'm going "hmmmmmm?"

RGibran
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Re: Backin' Up

WAV files do not support tags. Filenames only.

RG

CharlyD
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Re: Backin' Up

As I'm sure you're aware, Skellum, there are a variety of tools that allow insertion of tags into .WAV files. Unfortunately, there is no standard for that process. I would guess that your backup software is not simply copying the files but reconstructing them. The backup software does not recognize the tags and tosses them. You could try wrapping your files in another container (e.g. zip) prior to backup. I'd be very interested to hear whatever solution you find to this.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Sorry guess i should have been a bit more specific. ITunes is what the files were ripped with, which then added the info via CDDB, the file info remained correct while the files were on the main drive, it was during moving, (just good old drag and drop) when things went away. While I know enough about this to be a threat to myself, I assume the issue must lie somewhere in the way ITunes and Gracenote manage the stucture. Opinions?

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

I know little of iTunes, but I suspect that the physical files are the same before and after copying, but that iTunes doesn't not recognize the file the same way after the backup file is restored to the iTunes folder.

At least some players use pointers to keep track of track info, etc. The track info is stored separately from the music files themselves. If the player does not recognize the file, it does not know what info goes with it and it looks like the track info has disappeared.

CharlyD
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Re: Backin' Up

What tool are you using to tag your wav files with CDDB data? It might be that this tool stores these associations separately and does not modify the wav files.

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up


Quote:
What tool are you using to tag your wav files with CDDB data? It might be that this tool stores these associations separately and does not modify the wav files.


Your description is much more clear than mine.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Both questions and explanations are clear. ITunes is the tool...and yes this leads to countless chuckles. And I agree that the tagging and pointing are probably kept in a seperate database. I see a Gracenote directory, so, I'm guessing this needs to be copied to the same destination as the files, but....does the directory structure need to be the same. I.E. same placement off the root directory on both drives, regardless of the of the drive volume name. Or is there a better tool out there?

CharlyD
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Re: Backin' Up

Here's the pertinent note from Apple.

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

Nice job!

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Thanks guy's for the advice, I think I got a handle on it now. Looks like brute force is the solution.

CharlyD
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Re: Backin' Up

It's not my impression that you'll have to re-enter all the data. I would guess that including the "CD Info.cidb" file in your backup and restoring it from whence it came should restore all the tags that were automatically collected from CDDB as well as those you manually entered.

mrlowry
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Re: Backin' Up

AIFF files have all of the data as part of the file name, unlike WAV. However they are an exact copy of the Audio data like a WAV. I ran into this problem too.

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up

AIF files store the metadata within the file itself, just like MP3s.

WAV files are the sound only and have no provision for metadata (BWF - broadcast wave files - are wav files with a provision for metadata).

FLAC files also store the metadata as part of the file. This is another reason to use FLAC if you can.

Does Apple lossless store metadata in the file itself? This may be a good option for iTunes users.

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Ok, EAC and FLAC, no real experience with those, So when I re rip everything, (next time I have oh..say 4 or 5 days to devote to it) Mebbe I'll do it. I'm gonna search the forum and see if there has been a thread started for neophytes like me that gives a good overview of the various codecs. The biggest pain of having a music server is getting the stuff on it! Right now with about 95% of my collection including vinyl done in Lossless I'll probably sit pat, crack open a cold one and listen, which is the deal for me anyway, all the rest is just a means to an end. Thanks for the info on backing up. OH! btw, off topic, but I just made a subtle but nice addition to the system, a PS Audio juice bar and a Noise Harvester....I now have a blinky blue light to watch!

I guess lossless saves the data in the file, I can move it from device to device and other drives and it all stays intact

Elk
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Re: Backin' Up


Quote:
Ok, EAC and FLAC,


A perfect combo! EAC gets along with FLAC very well.


Quote:
The biggest pain of having a music server is getting the stuff on it!


No kidding. I hate tagging.


Quote:
I just made a subtle but nice addition to the system, a PS Audio juice bar and a Noise Harvester.


Those silly little Harvesters actually work. It's kind of annoying.


Quote:
I guess lossless saves the data in the file, I can move it from device to device and other drives and it all stays intact


Some lossless do, some don't. You just need a file format that stores the metadata as part of the file.

There has got to be a nice chart somewhere on the Internet detailing which formats do and which do not.

bobb
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Re: Backin' Up


Quote:
... I'm gonna search the forum and see if there has been a thread started for neophytes like me that gives a good overview of the various codecs. ...

This may help you:
http://www.nch.com.au/acm/formats.html

Regards,
Bob

Skellum
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Re: Backin' Up

Cool
Thanks all (again). Ain't this fun? I really like what digitalis has brought to audio. I remember being like Stephen and all the vinyl heads, listening to the Rosewood hitting the surface, and the anticipation of the music, but I gotta say, digital is pretty (purdy, as we say here in the South) nifty. Gotta say, as far as hobbies go, lotta bang for the buck all way 'round. I'll be back....gotta go torment the neighbors with tunes.

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