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Best Way to Back up Music Library
01-06-2015, 20:41 (This post was last modified: 01-06-2015 21:27 by gnomus.)
Post: #1
Best Way to Back up Music Library
As per the question above. What is the best method of copying a large (1.3TB) music library to a new NAS?

At the moment, I use Teracopy (the non-"Pro" - ie free - version) to transfer new CD rips to my NAS and back-up hard disks. I have purchased a new NAS and have tried using Teracopy to back up the entire library to the new machine. I have run into some difficulties. For example, I have just had a problem where Teracopy seemed to "hang" for a minute or so. It got going again but, after it finished the copying of a large folder, I got a message telling me that one of the files could not be copied, and was skipped (The message is: "The specified network name is no longer available").

I checked what the state of play was on the new NAS. In fact, the suspect file did exist on the new NAS, but it had a file size of 0 Kb. I am now concerned that there may be a number of such files dotted throughout the folders that I have copied to the new NAS. Is there a way of determining if the files that have been copied to the new NAS are identical to those coming from the parent disk?

Is there a better way of copying my library to the new NAS?

Thanks in anticipation.
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02-06-2015, 07:08
Post: #2
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
(01-06-2015 20:41)gnomus Wrote:  As per the question above. What is the best method of copying a large (1.3TB) music library to a new NAS?

At the moment, I use Teracopy (the non-"Pro" - ie free - version) to transfer new CD rips to my NAS and back-up hard disks. I have purchased a new NAS and have tried using Teracopy to back up the entire library to the new machine. I have run into some difficulties. For example, I have just had a problem where Teracopy seemed to "hang" for a minute or so. It got going again but, after it finished the copying of a large folder, I got a message telling me that one of the files could not be copied, and was skipped (The message is: "The specified network name is no longer available").

I checked what the state of play was on the new NAS. In fact, the suspect file did exist on the new NAS, but it had a file size of 0 Kb. I am now concerned that there may be a number of such files dotted throughout the folders that I have copied to the new NAS. Is there a way of determining if the files that have been copied to the new NAS are identical to those coming from the parent disk?

Is there a better way of copying my library to the new NAS?

Thanks in anticipation.

FWIW, I use GoodSync (both PC and Mac versions) to sync copies of my libraries to different places.

Also, for your primary music storage, use an intelligent array that supports background scrubbing to avoid silent corruption of data (i.e. "bit-rot"). I personally use a Drobo, but there are others.

Just my $0.02...
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02-06-2015, 23:55
Post: #3
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
If you use Windows, and all your music folders are accessible to a Windows installation, it is worth trying the free Microsoft SyncToy utility. This is task based; having set up a task (which is a very straightforward process), you can use it repeatedly to keep your library and the backup synchronised. The utility uses the Microsoft Sync Framework rather than standard copying routines, and is fast and reliable when dealing with large data volumes. There are three synchronisation protocols (or 'Actions') to choose from. Error and problem recording is good, and Synctoy can be used with the Task Scheduler.

I first discovered SyncToy about 7 years ago, and have used it frequently ever since. For a home user, it can usefully replace a dedicated backup program, and remove any concerns that a compressed or incremental backup might not be correctly restored. Obviously, the backup takes more disk space if it is not compressed, but the cost of storage is less of an issue than it was even a few years ago.

One way of making sure that your music is backed up is to use both copies for different aspects of the workflow. I have the master copy of my music library on my main PC; this is where I download or rip all my music and do all metadata editing and library organisation. I have an instance of MinimServer installed on the PC, but only run it to check the library after any changes and identify any errors which need to be fixed before the changes go live.

When a batch of changes is complete, I use the 'Echo' action of Synctoy to ensure that the master library on the PC is exactly mirrored in the slave or production copy on the NAS. MinimServer is always running on the NAS, and it is from there that I actually play my music. I also echo the master library to an external drive that is used only for backup.

Using the echo action leaves the original copy on the PC completely unchanged, so if the synchronisation process fails for any reason, problem files can simply be deleted from the slave copy, and the SyncToy task re-run. This approach is safer and easier to manage, in my view, than any form of two way synchronisation, though you can do this with SyncToy as well.

David
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03-06-2015, 06:52
Post: #4
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
Thank you both for your replies. I will look into the SyncToy utility. I may have further questions!
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03-06-2015, 11:36
Post: #5
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
David

Thanks again for your recommendation. It looks like this will be helpful. Before running the program, however, I wanted to check one or two things.

I have set up one "Echo" process. My 'master' library is on my Diskstation and I intend to back up to the new Synology 215J that I got the other day.

I selected the Diskstation as the "Left Folder" and the 215J as the "Right Folder". I left all of the options as default, except for adding a tick in the "Check File Contents" box. (I figured I needed to do this to ensure that any changes to metadata that I made to existing files on the master library were written to the back up library - am I correct in this assumption?). Now all I need to do is run the utility - is that correct?

I have attached a screengrab of my settings:

   

Do they look correct? I assume that (if all is well) I can just set up similar actions for all of my back-up directories.

Excuse both my ignorance and paranoia about these matters.
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03-06-2015, 13:19
Post: #6
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
@gnomus

The definition of your left hand (source) folder surprised me. Is there no 'music' folder on the 213J? If there isn't (and you have music folders and only music folders in the root of the 213J), you have defined the source correctly. If there is a specific music folder, it should be the source.

You may have a situation where music folders are mixed up with other data. In that case the best thing would be to create a specific music folder, move all the music folders/files (and only them) into it, set it as the MinimServer contentDir and specify it as the left hand folder for the SyncToy task.

Your other settings are, with one exception, the same as I use, and I think that they should work well for you.

The exception is that I don't tick the 'check file contents' setting. Effectively, this replaces matching via file names and time stamps with comparisons of hashes generated from the file contents. Not only will this slow things up considerably, it could under certain circumstances result in a lot more copying than you intend. You can certainly untick this option for the first run of the copying task.

Subject to those recommendations, I see no reason why you can't have a go with the task as defined. It will be interesting to know how quickly the NAS to NAS copying task goes (the initial full run is at least a one off); I only have the one NAS, and so this is something I have not tried.

David
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03-06-2015, 13:46
Post: #7
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
Thanks again for your time. I understand your confusion about the left hand folder. I can explain .... The 213J was the first NAS that I bought, and it was to be used solely for music. In fact all of the music folders are contained within the 'Synology' folder and there are no other files or folders under 'Synology'.

I started with one 'music' folder, within the Synology folder. I then realised that it would be beneficial to have a 'Classical Music' folder, then a '24 Bit' folder, and so on (all under the same 'Synology' folder).

Can I just double check - assume that I have a piece of music (a symphony say) that I find a metadata error on. This file exists on both the master NAS and the back-up NAS. If I correct the tagging error on the master NAS, and then run the SyncToy process, will the metadata on the back-up NAS be corrected if I untick the box you suggest?

Ta
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03-06-2015, 14:12
Post: #8
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
(03-06-2015 13:46)gnomus Wrote:  Thanks again for your time.

I'm happy to help.

(03-06-2015 13:46)gnomus Wrote:  I understand your confusion about the left hand folder. I can explain .... The 213J was the first NAS that I bought, and it was to be used solely for music. In fact all of the music folders are contained within the 'Synology' folder and there are no other files or folders under 'Synology'.

I started with one 'music' folder, within the Synology folder. I then realised that it would be beneficial to have a 'Classical Music' folder, then a '24 Bit' folder, and so on (all under the same 'Synology' folder).

I understand. In these circumstances, you have defined the left hand folder correctly. Which is good, as that is one setting in SyncToy you really don't want to get wrong ...

(03-06-2015 13:46)gnomus Wrote:  Can I just double check - assume that I have a piece of music (a symphony say) that I find a metadata error on. This file exists on both the master NAS and the back-up NAS. If I correct the tagging error on the master NAS, and then run the SyncToy process, will the metadata on the back-up NAS be corrected if I untick the box you suggest?

Yes, if your tagging program changes the 'file modified' timestamp on the source file when it saves the change. MP3Tag, which I use, does this, and then the modified files are copied over.

Incidentally, there is nothing to stop you running MinimServer on the 215J as well as or instead of the 213J. If you do this, you would need to rescan the 215J library every time you update from the 213J.

David
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03-06-2015, 14:36
Post: #9
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
Thanks again David. I'm plucking up the courage to press the run button ....

In fact I have 3 NASs. I started with a Sonos/Synology system. After I got my Akurate, (and after much wailing, and gnashing of teeth with bl***y homeplugs), I bought a fanless QNAP that could sit in the same room as the Linn. The 215J was bought this week when it looked like the 213 had packed in altogether, taking all my data with it. Thankfully, I was able to get the 213 working again (with data apparently intact), so now I have 3!
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03-06-2015, 16:09
Post: #10
RE: Best Way to Back up Music Library
(03-06-2015 14:36)gnomus Wrote:  I'm plucking up the courage to press the run button ....

Good luck. As you are starting from scratch, in the worst case you can always delete and start again. Don't hesitate to ask about any issues that arise.

David
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