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Backup your music! Here are your easiest and cheapest choices

Written by: Christiaan Maks @ 1/19/2020

If you've ever lost all your music then you're probably making backups already. If you haven't, it's only a matter of time and everything could be gone. Hard drives crash, laptop's get stolen, external drives get dropped, USB sticks mysteriously vanish...

Making backups hasn't always been easy or cheap, especially for DJ's with tons of music. So you can be forgiven for not being excited to finally start the long overdue task of making those backups. Here's my recommendations, there's an easy option and a cheap option.

Quick unrelated side note: if your library is a mess, or you want to automatically generate cue points or use any of the rekordcloud tools made for DJ's by DJ's, take a look around and try the demo.

#1 Easiest option

If you don't want any hassle and just be done with it as fast as possible, the easiest option would be using Backblaze Personal Backup. You'll get unlimited space so you never need to worry about spending more as your library grows. At $60 a year, it's not free but it backs up your entire computer and you don't need to configure anything, this really could not be easier.

Upsides

  • Unlimited space
  • No need to configure anything
  • Also backs up all your documents and entire computer

Downsides

  • Not free

#2 Cheapest option

Let's start with this: there is no free online cloud storage that has unlimited or extremely large storage. There are loads of online storage providers like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and many more. But they all have a maximum free storage of 5 to 10GB.

The cheapest option is to do it yourself and buy an external USB hard drive. A 4TB drive (that's roughly 400.000 MP3's) will cost you about $100. Under normal circumstances it should last many years and compared to a monthly plan, you'll earn it back in a year or 2.

Remember: a good backup is stored away from your computer. If something catastrophic happens, you don't want your backup in the same place as your computer. That's one of the big advantages of storing it online.

Upsides

  • Cheapest

Downsides

  • Some setup required
  • External hard drives can crash
  • The backup is usually still near your computer

Read on below which backup method is most suitable for you.

For macOS users

If you use macOS then iCloud is an obvious option. However, iCloud is not specifically for backups but for syncing instead. You could create backups by copying your files into iCloud manually but that's time consuming and you might forget.

With 5GB of free space you'll most likely need to purchase a larger plan for all your music which is $120 a year for a comfortable 2TB of space (or $36 for 200GB), depending on where you live.

iCloud is also not well supported in most DJ software. Playing your files directly from iCloud can lead to data corruption and other sync problems.

So even if you already use iCloud, I'd still recommend option #1.

If you'd like to manage backups yourself with an external hard drive, by far the easiest option is Time Machine. I'll let Apple explain it in their Time Machine backup article

For Windows users

Windows 10 now has a really easy backup feature. All you have to do is connect your external hard drive and enable it. Read this backup article by Microsoft for more.

For advanced users

If you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and you want more control over your backups, I can highly recommend using FreeFileSync. Takes a bit to configure and it's not as easy and user friendly as something like Time Machine, but it can do almost anything backup related you want.

If you go this route, make sure you backup your program data folders:

If you use Rekordbox, you can find the program data folder here:

Windows: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Pioneer\rekordbox

macOS: ~/Library/Pioneer/Rekordbox

If you use Traktor, you can find the program data folder here:

Windows: C:\Users\username\Documents\Native Instruments\Traktor

macOS: ~/Documents/Native Instruments/Traktor

If you use Serato, you can find a folder called _Serato_ in your Music folder and on every drive that Serato has music on. These folders contain your crates and more.

If you use VirtualDJ, you can find a folder called VirtualDJ in your Documents and on every drive that VirtualDJ has music on. These folders contain your database files, playlists and more.

Rekordcloud

Are you managing a library that's getting messy? Or maybe you want to generate cue points automatically? Rekordcloud can do really cool things!

Check out the instant rekordcloud demo. No signup required!

More cool stuff is coming. Follow rekordcloud on Facebook to stay up to date.

Questions

Feel free to ask questions! You can reach me on Facebook or through the chat button in the corner.

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