Stereotypes never felt right on you and they still don’t. So it’s no surprise that a report found that "internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the mobile internet." People who engage in social networking are also 75 percent more likely to buy music online than their "general user" counterparts (which probably explains what’s eating up your computer memory).
It’s hard to bypass the ease of online music shopping. If you remember (and loved) mail-order music clubs, searching for albums at Rick’s Records or the thrill of waiting in line for a newly released title, then the immediate nature of today’s digital download is nirvana. However, don’t forget the human labor aspect of transferring your life’s soundtrack. After all, you had a complete collection way before MP3s came along.
Perhaps you still spend hours loading countless CDs on to your computer, or you’ve invested in products that convert your albums to digital files. If you take the time and care to transfer your analog collection to a digital one (in addition to the new tunes you’ve downloaded), why not back everything up?
If you don’t know how to backup music files on a regular basis, you’re not a maverick (sorry if that comes as a surprise). Although 90 percent of internet users would be "greatly inconvenienced" if they lost beloved computer files, only 6 percent do anything about it. Your computer is not invincible. Whether you lose data from hardware failure, human error or software corruption (the top three risk factors), the day will come when you have a hankering for bootleg Led Zeppelin and it’s up in smoke, never to be retrieved again.
Daily backup is what we’re talking about. Each decade of your life has a musical imprint that makes up the "original iTunes." Here are some ways to safeguard the songs that evoke an era in an instant.
Beep beep beep: Back it up!
There’s more than one way to backup music files. Here are some popular options:
1. External hard drives: This portable storage device gives you the freedom to back up more than one computer. It’s user-friendly and you can get 1 Terabyte (about 250,000 or more songs) for way less than you paid for your 8-track collection. However, external hard drives, like the hard drive on your computer, can crash; you may also lose the device as it’s quite sleek and inconspicuous these days.
2. CDs/DVDs: This is another convenient and popular backup option for digital files. If you have time to burn – literally – you can burn your entire collection to discs and keep them in a safe place. The challenge with this method is that they can get scratched easily, and it’s kind of like taking a step back, frankly. A major advantage to owning digital files is that they create less disorder, backing them up on CDs defeats this move toward a clutter-free existence.
3. USB device: Although these little babies have smaller storage capacity than external hard drives, they’re still a decent solution for backing up media files. If your collection is modest, 2GB should be just fine. However, don’t lose track of where you put the device itself. Common problems with this option are software corruption, driver issues, limited capacity and perhaps your dog snapping it in two with his teeth.
4. The Cloud: Using online remote backup is the best and most progressive way to protect your music library. It’s an "anywhere," tether-free system that does most of the work for you. You can get the storage capacity to fit your needs and there are many other benefits with this option:
- It automatically backs up your files for you.
- You can access the files from any computer.
- It enables you to send file-sharing links (instead of hefty e-mail attachments).
- It frees up memory on your hard drive for other files.
- Your music library’s capacity potential increases exponentially.
About 10GB should work well for the average collection. Look for the following specs in an online storage service:
- Multiple layers of security
- High-level encryption
- Automatic integration with antivirus software
- Archiving capabilities
- Blocks viruses, Trojans, spyware, rootkits and other threats
- Prevents malicious programs from changing your security settings
- Includes firewall and network connection monitor
Digital living is a dream. It can also be a nightmare if all your memories and precious lyrics dissolve in an instant. Fortunately, online storage backup solutions are straightforward and seamless. You can literally back up years of music montages in a few minutes by pointing and clicking. Protect the songs that have kept you sane all these years and keep building your lyrical legacy.