Backing Up My Music

After finishing my CD ripping project, one of the first things I considered was, "How should I back this stuff up?" The last thing I want to have happen is for my hard drive to fail, necessitating a repeat of this epic project.

My brother had suggested just using another hard drive or some sort of NAS, but that solution can still suffer from hardware failure (depending on how much money you spend, and I am not looking to spend a lot). I wanted some redundancy, and the ability to have an off-site backup. However, the thought of having to push 45 GB of data upstream to the Internet is unappealing — that, plus the fact that storage service sites would cost about $60/year minimum, made me look elsewhere. This is music I’m interested in backing up — not anything mission critical, and not necessarily something I need remote access to, but at the same time something that I do want to be backed up.

Eventually I decided on simply burning DVD sets, and sending one set to my brother to act as my off-site backup. I looked around a little bit for any sort of application that could help in this regard — however, searching for "DVD backup" on Google just returns a ton of results of products for "backing up your video DVD collection." Sourceforge‘s backup section is a somewhat barren wasteland with no clear indication of tried-and-true solutions that would do exactly what I wanted. The backup utility included in XP doesn’t really deal with the type of backup I wanted (splitting files across removable non-tape media), and I don’t have a tape drive to use with it either. I eventually just rolled up my sleeves and split the collection manually, burning DVDs with the copy of Nero that I got with my DVD drive.

Unfortunately, while Nero claims that it clears the archive bit from files written to a CD, this doesn’t appear to be the case. This will make future "incremental" updates more difficult for me to manage — I’ll have to figure out some kind of strategy for dealing with this. (This may result in me writing some custom software to handle exactly what I want…yeesh!)

This backup strategy will be augmented with file synching to another computer we have, probably using the Sync PowerToy. I haven’t set this up yet, but it looks like it should be fairly straightforward.

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