Easy Ways to Backup Your Music and Media Libraries

You’ve spent time making that library part of your entertainment experience then think about what will happen if it fails or if it gets corrupted!  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to backup that library properly.

If you’re like me, you probably have an extensive audio and media library on your computer or on a server.  You’ve either spent countless hours ripping those files from CDs or you’ve purchased them online from  iTunes or HDTracks or elsewhere.  I just cleaned up 11,000 songs.

After removing the duplicates, I’m left with a total library of just under 10,000 songs, audiobooks, and voice memos.  There is considerable time and effort that has gone into compiling this library of media content and I don’t want anything to happen to it.  On the one hand, I don’t want to lose any of the digital content and on the other hand, I don’t want to have to re-digitize anything.  That means I need to be prepared with backups.

Two-fold backup strategy

If you are not currently backing up your media content, you must.  There are two primary strategies to consider.  For now, I’m leaving out the third option, which is backing up to physical media.  
The first strategy is to backup to another hard disk.  This can be in the form of a hard drive connected to your computer or as a NAS (networked attached storage) so that you can backup over your home network.  Either is fine and accomplishes the same thing.  It provides a backup at your house in case something goes wrong.  Because I’m an Apple user, I use Apple’s Time Machine, which is a built-in backup feature that will instantly backup all my computer’s content (including my music library) to another drive.  It does this automatically while I’m working and if no backup has taken place for a particular period of time, I get a warning. 
For years, I’ve used Apple’s Time Machine to backup to an external drive.   Backing up to another hard drive is something every single person should be doing without exception and I applaud Apple for doing this years ago.  Time Machine is simple, straightforward, and it just works!
The second option is online backups.  Online backups are a relatively inexpensive method that everyone must start doing at some point.  If something should happen to your home or your computer systems, you need a secure backup that is off-site.  I’ve explored and tried various solutions over the years including Elephant Drive and Carbonite.  About four months ago, I came across Backblaze and I’ve been hooked ever since.  It’s the most Time Machine-like online backup I’ve come across.

Backblaze is not only economical ($50/year and less if you sign up for multiple years) but it also has the ability to backup external drives connected to your computer!  If you’re like me, you have your media on a higher-capactiy external hard drive or multiple drives.  With Backblaze, I’m backing up any number of connected drives.  Unlike some other products I’ve looked at, you also don’t need to log in for the backup to happen.

I didn’t intend to have this post sound like a sales pitch, but I recently had to use a restore from backups and it was a life-saver.   If you care about your media library then you need to make sure you have a backup solution in place; and if you’re looking for something that is simple to setup and just works, then I highly recommend Backblaze at http://www.backblaze.com

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