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Tag: cloud

Cloud services

It seems to me that I’m endlessly looking for the best cloud service available. So many things to consider. Price, amount of storage capacity for the price, speed of up- and downloads, sharing and collaboration features and utility apps for different platforms. I need them daily to collaborate, backup, send and receive files.

Google drive

Big promises, varying experiences. The Google ecosystem is very appealing to anyone because of collaboration options, price and availability, miscellaneous things like Google docs and mail, all in one nice package.

However, there are downsides of this. Google drive is still missing many options and reading their forums it seems that the company don’t really care about user requests.

I experienced very varying upload and download speeds, and to my surprise, many failed uploads. I tested this from multiple locations and the experience was the same. Even with amazingly fast connections. It’s cheap and very promising, but the lack of features, the instability of speed just makes me want to search for other services.

Box

First, I didn’t like the pricing of this service and to be honest, I still find it a bit expensive. Once you pay for their service, the feature list is quite impressive. I still use it with some clients and it seems that Box has a serious reputation no matter if you are located in Europe or in the USA or in Asia or really anywhere.

Where it falls short for me is the up- and download speed. It’s nowhere near as fast as the competitors. Again, I tested this from multiple locations with pretty fast connections.

I think Box has one of the best feature list, but for the price it should be faster.

Copy

Maybe relatively new, but it seems they take cloud storage seriously. Their apps are very good, however, you can’t upload files larger than 1Gb through a browser and I had some connection issues with it. I really like their service, but it seems that it’s not nearly as ubiquitous as most other services. I don’t know if they really want to care about smaller businesses, but in my opinion, they’d need some more options with their packages.

Dropbox

It is on the more expensive side, but for the price, you get a lot of things. Lot’s of storage space, good apps, nice collaboration options and frankly, quite amazing up- and download speeds. Also tested from multiple locations, Dropbox always had excellent speed. I only experienced one serious slow down, which later proved to be a connection issue on my side.

For now, it still seems that Dropbox might be the most reliable cloud service, but I continue to search for the very best.

If you have any idea, experience, please share your knowledge with me through the comments or email, twitter, etc. Thanks.

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Mix tips #4

This is rather a safety, practical tip, which can save your mix sometimes. I’ve been using this backup method for a while, and to be honest it proved to be extremely useful in many situations.

Cloud backup the session file

Audio and video files are huge, even a smaller session can be many gigabytes which makes them harder to backup. Let’s say (hopefully) everyone has a working backup routine for those big files, but what about one of the most important file in a mix, the session file?

These are the files that contain all the data about our work. This little file is the only reference for Pro Tools to know what it needs to do, what tracks we are using in the session, what plugins we inserted where, automation data, edits, etc. So it can really be a lifesaver to have a additional backup of our .ptf or .ptx files.

I chose cloud backup as the optimal place for my sessions. Why? Many reasons for this. It’s very easy to backup as these session files are just a few megabytes, so anyone can easily backup these even into a free account on a trustworthy cloud service. If you happen to loose a backup, or the file gets corrupted, or you just accidentally forget to use the save as command before you make huge changes, you’ll have a last backup up in the cloud that can save you and your work.

The other huge benefit is collaboration. Almost all cloud service offers you the possibility to track changes. Let’s assume you and your editor/mixer have all the files, the only thing you need to exchange daily is the .ptx file. Through the cloud, it is amazingly ease to update the different changes daily, while you can keep a log about the changes you or your mate did, probably even with adding notes to files in the cloud.
With this, you not only have a complete archived session backup system, but you have a very easy going collaboration platform.

The only thing you and your co-workers have to agree upon is a good naming scheme. I use a very simple one, which seems to work perfectly. I contains all the necessary information when I have to search through the archives.


SHORT DATE NAME
so in practice:
141209 My Feature Film Edit


So as you probably easily deciphered, it’s yymmdd format. This way it’s absolutely fine if I only remember the project date, I will find it, and if I only know the name of the project, I’ll find that easily too.

These days you can find many really good cloud services, most of them even offer ample free storage for hundreds if not thousands of session files. I personally use Google drive, because for me the price/performance ratio is the best with them. Choose one you like and backup your little session files so you won’t loose anything. At the end of the day it only takes a few seconds to upload the files, and you’ll have another backup of your valuable assets.

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