One of the advantages of storing a digital music library on a PC hard drive is
that you can back-up your entire music collection and restore it should
something happen to your originals. A music collection of 5,000 songs recorded
in WMA or MP3 formats can consume more than 25GB of hard drive space, which is
a significant amount of data. To play it safe, you should back up this data to
other media just in case your music hard drive fails. After you've backed up
the library, you can rely on incremental back ups for new music that has been
added to the library since the initial full backup.
Backing up this data can be accomplished in a number of ways:
* Tape Drive Backups:
Tape backup provides an inexpensive and convenient way to back up large
amounts of data. A major advantage of tape is that you can store it in a
fireproof box or off site. A disadvantage is that it is slower to back up
and restore than, say, backing up to another hard drive.
* Adding a second hard drive to one of your PCs:
Large-capacity hard drives have become cost-effective enough to use as
a backup for a music library. Connecting a second large capacity drive
to your music library PC lets you copy the library from the primary drive
to the backup drive using Windows Explorer.
When connecting the second drive, it's best to use the secondary IDE bus
that is not connected to the primary drive, since data transfer rates on
drives connected to separate IDE cables are faster than drives connected
to the same IDE cable. Although using a second drive is fast and
convenient, the drawback is that it cannot be stored off site and it too
can crash?although in most cases it is unlikely that both drives will
* Adding a removable hard drive bay:
Placing the second drive in a removable drive bay lets you safely store
the drive either off site or in a fireproof box, affording much of the
same benefits of a tape backup with the speed of a hard drive.
* Backing up your music files to Recordable Compact Discs (CD-R):
AudioSurgeon & AudioStation can burn data CDs from your music library.
These data CDs not only provide backup for the library, but can also be
used to play your music library on CD players compatible with MP3 and
WMA file formats.
Although slower than other methods, this serves the purpose of backup,
off site storage, and a source of music while travelling. With a typical
640MB CD, backing up 25GB of files takes about 40 CDs.