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How did you organize your archive?

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How did you organize your archive?

How do you store files? What hardware do you use? What software do you use?

How do you catalog the files in your archive? What software do you use?

I want my archive to be reliable. I want to find files in archive quickly. I want to use automated archiving and cataloging tools, schedule. I want to make few copies of archive automatically. I want to store copies of archive in different locations. I run Windows 10 Home 64-bit.

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I have a very basic system I have used for probably 15 years. I organize cakewalk just like I organize my word documents and my photos.

I use folders and sub folders that are clearly marked as to what they contain and in most cases these are dated. 

Example"Phone Photos 2010" "     " CWP Originals 2010"   " Backing tracks MP3 2017" 

I have always had  DATA drives on my computer where my storage goes. I do not store anything on C drive. 

In the case of my DAW computer it has a data drive just for recording. 

I have always had external storage drives where I back up the data drive too. It's a simple as that.  I say DRIVES because I have 4. 

Back up is a simple  copy ( drag and drop) from the working folder to the storage drive. 

The flaw in my system is that I need to do this on a regular basis as it is not automatic.  I've never had an issue as I keep my hard drives clean and buy new ones regularly so I have never had a hard drive fail. I have hard drives from 2004 still kicking about. Yes I can mount them to an old external IDE drive enclosure. 

So archiving is not a big deal you just need to take the time to transfer your project folders to an external drive. Because I have always used "per project folders" I have never lost any part of any project. I organize the projects into main folders " CWP Originals, CWP Backing Tracks, CWP-Client Name etc" 

For Backing tracks because they are 100% midi I was working using One Drive to save my CWP files too. There's no audio so they take up very little space. One drive has a local folder in my E drive and then I can open these on my office computer no problem That way any editing I do is always up to date and there's always at least 3 copies of that file. Computer 1, the cloud and computer 2. 

 

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i do file organizing by : artist, project, and songs (or other material like podcasts, videos, etc). note: video content is kept in a separate folder - only audio is stored on the project disk. and since i don't do a lot of video post-production lately, it's not a big deal.

once a project or song is "finished" (are they every really?) i bounce everything to clips, try to clean up unused wav files, versioned project files, picure cache, separations, etc, so it's as neat as possible. then it's ready to archive.

i keep active projects on the project disk, and when archiving i remove the active project or song folder and the final backup on the archive disk and like @John Vere, i periodically disconnect the disk and start a new one when it's full or every 2 years or so to avoid possible disk failures.

from the project folder, i use FreeSync to copy new/updates (project file, audio, midi, mastered wav and mp3, etc - i exclude the Melodyne transfers, separations, and CwB picture cache, and other temp folders) to the OneDrive folder, and also copy at the same time to the archive disk, so it's backed up to OneDrive (1TB is about $7/month). non-project/instrument content files (DimPro wav etc) are backed up to Google Drive (changes here occur very slowly). this way the archive and OneDrive get copies of the active projects, and the Drive gets updated content. the reason for the sync is to avoid access conflicts with the OneDrive and Google services which will try to backup your files even as you use them... (not a good feature)...

as a note, i do something similar for the VST and related program folders so i don't worry i'm missing any of those. this runs about once per month or after significant changes like version upgrades etc.

Edited by Glenn Stanton
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OneDrive (1TB is about $7/month) 

I've considered paying  for extra storage as I have a lot of stuff spread over my 4 free clouds. be nice to have it in one place instead. 

I have used dropbox for a long time and all my busness documents, income tax records etc are stored there. 

One Drive is mostly just music stuff and pictures.

Google drive I just started using and is random. 

Icloud is just my phone stuff ( I hate this one as it needs updating every 2 days and then your os updates and every device need a log in complete with 2 step verification . 

One drive has been the easiest to deal with and works great even on my stupid iPhone. ( you can tell I'm not huge on Apple systems) 

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i have a personal O365 subscription which comes with the 1TB... even with a bunch of old projects etc i still have plenty of room... the key is to make sure you clean up the project before it's archived so you're not wasting space or increasing the file count without actually needing to. file count is important since it does impact the performance of the disk access and of course not all apps can handle large file counts in a folder properly...

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My projects are never busy. I tend to delete tracks I don't like. I'm not one to record 30 guitar tracks and edit. I try to play them correctly and only keep that track. At the most I might end up with 4 guitar parts. Then a lot of my stuff is mostly midi . 

I just did a quick check in my "originals" folder and most project folders are showing 400-800MB. 

When I transfer to the external drive and I want to clean stuff up I use the "save as " option which supposedly gets rid of unused takes. 

 

Edited by John Vere
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a cable that you directly connects the SSD drive to a USB port. i use Samsung 850 SSD. very reliable and fast. using a HD 2.5 - Western Digital (WD). and i use the same cable as the SSD since it's enough power for the 2.5" HD. i have powered USB/FW drives from 30 years which are mothballed at this point...

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I have all types

3 x  1 and 2 TB 7200 2.5 enclosures.  These don't require power.  2 of them are for my studio. 

1 x old IDE enclosure never used anymore. But I have at least 10 old drives that would need it. 

2 x 3.5 sata enclosures These require a power supply so I don't use them much. Mostly very old movies and pictures. 

Then I have this  adaptor that I can plug any 2.5 or 3.5 sata drive into of which I have a bunch. This is handy as you can pull the old hard drive from a laptop ,  rebuild with a new SSD and then transfer everything back.

I never erase these old drives , just archive them. Drives are cheap. 

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12 hours ago, Konskoo said:

Do you use HDD Docking Station?

I have several HDD docking stations that I use.  Has worked for me.  Also got a couple of USB passport HDD that I use.

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@Glenn Stanton, @John Vere, @abacab, @InstrEd

Glenn, John, abacab, InstrEd, thank you. I took into attention.

Glenn, John, abacab, InstrEd, why 3.5" HDDs are still used today? 2.5" HDDs don't need power supply. Why 2.5 "HDDs didn't supplant 3.5" HDDs? Maybe 3.5" HDDs have any advantages, despite the need for a power supply?

When HDD with archive not in External Hard Drive Enclosure or HDD Docking Station how do you store HDD? Do you use hard protection case? ABS plastic? Do you use protection pack, protection bag? Antistatic?

Edited by Konskoo

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10 hours ago, Konskoo said:

Glenn, John, abacab, InstrEd, why 3.5" HDDs are still used today? 2.5" HDDs don't need power supply. Why 2.5 "HDDs didn't supplant 3.5" HDDs? Maybe 3.5" HDDs have any advantages, despite the need for a power supply?

3.5" HDDs were traditionally used in desktops and servers, and 2.5" HDDs were for laptops.

The 3.5" HDDs are available in higher RPM (faster data access by the read/write heads), such as 7200 and 10,000 RPM.

2.5" HDDs are typically slower, for example many are 5400 RPM, although 7200 RPM laptop HDDs are available.

The SSD is supplanting HDDs and is preferred for internal use. SSD drives became popular in the 2.5" form factor which can be a direct swap in a laptop, or used in a desktop with an adapter bracket.  They use the same SATA interface as HDDs. M.2 SSD drives are available for motherboards with slots supporting them.

Using SSD for external backup/archive is not cost effective when a slow mechanical drive can get the job done, and is potentially more stable than SSD (which can die suddenly).

Edited by abacab
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for a while the HD were much less expensive than SSD, and for archiving, a cost effective option, i've noticed in the past 2 years though they're rapidly going up in price - presuming that SSD manufacturing is taking over the market and so less HD are being produced... definitely use multiple disks and clouds if you can to keep archives- as @abacab mentions, an SSD can drop dead and recovery is much harder than an HD with only a head positioning issue...

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12 minutes ago, Glenn Stanton said:

 an SSD can drop dead and recovery is much harder than an HD with only a head positioning issue...

A HDD typically starts dying slowly. If you pay attention to your S.M.A.R.T. stats you can probably see a warning for that event, and backup your data, which you should be doing anyway.

I'm not sure that you can recover an SSD, except from a backup image.

Regarding SSD dropping dead, I had a friend that went out of town and left his computer on. When he returned he was looking at a blank screen on his monitor that said no boot device available. We did some basic troubleshooting over the phone, swapped SATA ports, cables, etc., but no dice. He brought the SSD over to my place and I tried hooking it up to my system. Dead as a brick.

So it was a new SSD drive and fresh Windows install for him (he didn't have an image backup).

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Ya, I don't have any SSD externals as said no point. I just use $100 portable drives and then keep all my old drives in a shoe box. Nothing fancy. I'm not that worried about my data. There are so many places our family pictures are stored now. 

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