Cloud storage for audio

A bit of a technical question.
Audio files tend to get big and keeping them requires a lot of HDD space.
Ideally i’d be happy to be able to review my recordings from anywhere (it would be easier if i had a laptop, but i don’t :slight_smile:).
Any advice about organising cloud storage for audio is welcome.

If you’re comfortable around the command line, I like rsync and Backblaze B2. It is very cheap, something like $5 USD per terabyte of storage per month, but be aware that downloading the data costs money, around $.01 USD per gigabyte. I use it as a long term backup, hoping that I will never have to download it all at once.

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I’d say backup is not the main priority.
The ability to review work anywhere is :slight_smile:

I use Box Drive. Free accounts get 50GB (of which I’m using about 17GB; I’ve been lazy about deleting older stuff off of it that doesn’t need to remain). Mostly I use it to sync a folder between home and work so I can listen to my works in progress and have some kind of offsite backup. File version history isn’t always reliable, since it’s more of a safeguard against a hard drive dying than a version control system.

Meant to edit my comment, not delete it…

Check out Splice for a specifically DAW / music related project collab and cloud upload tool.

Does it allow for wav files listening in the browser?

I use SoundCloud Pro for this exact reason. It’s unlimited uploads. Can listen anywhere and share or not. I’ve got about 1500 tracks up there.

Does it allow bulk upload without tags and stuff? Just files to sort them later

It gives you a 5 minute “preview” for whatever reason.

I just run the background client on my home and work machines, and it keeps local copies in sync on both of them. Then I listen with Winamp or MediaMonkey, edit in Sound Forge etc.

I think if you choose to upload as a playlist you only have to fill in the meta data for the playlist itself not the individual tracks. I like that I can upload directly to Soundcloud from both Ableton (OS X) and Audio Share (iOS).

You don’t actually need to fill any metadata. Soundcloud is happy to take the files as they are, on the playlist page it will prompt you to accept some pre-made tags it comes up with (I don’t know how, probably based on your previous tags) but you can ignore that too. I just uploaded my album test mixes as private playlist today and didn’t fill anything. I don’t know if that’s the case for uploading from DAW, I use browser.

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You should be able to set this up with Dropbox using selective sync, which lets you specify whether a folder should be mirrored on certain devices. So for a laptop with a small SSD, you can turn off sync for your audio folder and then upload / access the files in your browser (Dropbox will play audio files, though I’m not sure which formats, exactly - certainly WAV works). If you have another device that has more free space, turn on sync there to have a local copy.

You can also do this with Google Drive, though I’m not sure what their in-browser playback support is like.

My main concern would be relying on a cloud-only copy of a file, but if you don’t already have a backup system in place, your single copy is probably better off on a Dropbox server than on a single consumer hard drive…

They’ve recently made this even better with “Smart Sync”. Now, the files visibly show up in your tree (i.e. Finder or Windows Explorer), but aren’t downloaded until you need them. After they added this, I went ahead and put all of my various sample libraries up on Dropbox.

On new Dropbox installations, you can activate Smart Sync as the default behavior for that computer. Files saved to your Dropbox folder are uploaded to the cloud, but that computer won’t auto-download anything from the cloud unless a folder is explicitly set as local sync. It’s a much better system for laptops with small local storage.

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Yeah, full marks for Dropbox from me.

I have the $99 / year “deluxe” account, which more than paid for itself considering the amount of collaborative work projects I’ve done using Dropbox. The ease of moving between multiple machines and the completely transparent usage makes it worthwhile for me.

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Onedrive also does this, and at least on Windows after the last update it says it can do some kind of auto-cleaning on locally stored files. With audio I use Onedrive to transfer full quality waw-stems, and also for samples. Quite handy. I used to use Dropbox but got free terabyte of Onedrive through my school and liked it (at the time) somewhat better than Dropbox, so I switched to paid account after graduating.

It’s hard to top dropbox for the feature set and space it offers. Especially now that it has the smart sync options as @trickyflemming mentioned. I use it for all personal and work files. It’s excellent for collaboration since you can easily share existing or create new shared folders with just about anyone because it has a good free tier offering.

However there are a few caveats. Firstly, never use it for tracking lots (multiple thousands+) of small files that change often. If your dropbox reaches 500k files, it will becomes very slow. Its indexing performance, in my experience, has been incredibly slow and resource demanding (despite SSD on a MacbookPro). This isn’t an issue 95% of the time because it usually only has to upload/index a handful of files at a time, but that 5% can be frustrating if you’re in the middle of something.

Secondly, some people have expressed privacy and security concerns due to Condoleeza Rice being on the board of directors as a result of her role in started the Iraq war and authorization of warrantless wiretaps. The campaign (2014) to oust her failed and there hasn’t been much talk since. Unfortunately for me, due to work, I don’t have much choice in the matter and I suspect that is commonplace. To be fair, I’ve not heard any reports of wrongdoing so far.

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Dropbox is a great product, but IMO, it’s not so great for managing an audio file library. Before I opted to put everything on Soundcloud Pro, I used Dropbox for a few years and found it very frustrating for categorizing and listening to material. I tried a few Dropbox audio file management plugins, but none of them worked very well either. I do use it for projects with other people and it works great for that.

Yes, certainly don’t make the mistake of starting what you assume will be a small node.js project in a Dropbox-linked directory, because once npm gets to work, you’ll know it.

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A update, i’m currently testing Mega.nz.
It has 50GB for free and is capable of playing wav from browser(i had problems in google drive with it)

haha too true. I learned this the hard way after trying to use dropbox to back up a bunch of node based projects.