While My Hard Drive Gently Weeps

Musicians and creative people: Protect Your Work!

Your hard drive is a ticking time bomb, inevitably someday your hard drive will fail.

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You have poured countless hours of your soul into gigabytes of music or art, but when was the last time you backed up your files?

If Murphy has his way, that hard drive is going to wait 30 seconds after you got off the phone selling your music to Hollywood before it chugs to a stop.

Your music is digital. If your hard drive fails, you're probably gonna be balled up on the floor stabbing yourself with in the gut with chopsticks.

The Backup Test

Some of you already backup your files. Kudos!

You’re headed down the right path, but are your backups taken offsite? Can your backup withstand: fire? theft? beer? equipment failure of any kind?

How backup used to be done

Optical Media - Maybe you’re still doing this now. Backing your files up with myriad revisions on a CD-R or DVD. What’s great about an optical disk is it’s easy. It’s tactile, you can touch it. Feel it. Scratch it!

The shelf-life of a CD/DVD depends on several key factors:

  • media quality
  • hard drive quality
  • disk controller quality
  • storage conditions (ideally 72 degrees at 50% humidity)
According to the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), the unrecorded shelf life of a CD-R/DVD-R disc is conservatively estimated to be between 5 and 10 years.

CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer. We recommend testing your media at least every two years to assure your records are still readable.
— http://www.osta.org/technology/cdqa13.htm

How backups are getting done these days

Portable hard drives are great. It’s easy to add more storage, you can fit many DVD’s worth of data and if your workstation dies, no problem, just plug it into the new one. The only real problem here is that if you want to take it offsite, you have to do it manually.

At my employer, we use two Synology NAS drives. One as the main and one as an offsite remote backup. Rsync is used to keep the offline backup in sync. Although not expensive for a small business it costs between $350-1000 for a decent setup and you have to have a secure remote location.

We now live in a time where storage is cheap and the internet is “always on”.

Enter Cloud based Storage

Cloud-based storage is relatively cheap and backed behind big companies. If you have a small but reliable budget and want to get moving fast I highly recommend Dropbox.

  • It’s easy install
  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s relatively inexpensive

It’s also available from whatever device you need to connect: Pc’s, Macs, Tablets and smartphones.

  • Automatically syncs your files to an offline backup!
  • Automatically syncs your files to an offline backup!!
  • Automatically syncs your files to an offline backup!!!

Any backup is better than no backup, but an automated off-site backup is your best fail safe for sanity. Rock on!

  • The first 2GB are free
  • Pro accounts start at 100GB at $9.99/month
Start backing up those precious files today at Dropbox.com



PS: For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox on their computer using the above link, we'll get 1 GB and you’ll get 500 MB of bonus space. :-)

  • We are an indie folk/pop duo. We are writers. We are a creative team. Our new EP is out!