Backup of media files from internal storage

I know it is not in Roon teams primary interest to get involved in file management solutions.
However, we really need an option to backup internal storage to a locally attached USB backup disk or a network share or similar.
It’s really clumsy having the drive attached to the ROCK, performing backup of the Database, and then connecting the drive to a suitable computer on the same network, mapping rock\storage\internal and then doing your drag and drop/robocopy/rsync-magic. (I realize i can leave it attached to the ROCK, but that is a waste of time due to the “via” host computer scenario)


If there’s going to be a solution for this, I think we might see it solely for the Nucleus first. I suspect that there are too many moving parts for Roon Labs to devote resources to providing a general purpose solution. The end-game might well involve use of cloud-based storage and a fully mobile Roon experience - but that’s probably a long way off.

That said, I feel your pain. Like @AndersVinberg, I believe in simplification, and currently there’s just too much computing in the digital audio world for the average music-lover.

ROCK exports connected removable storage as a file share, correct? If so, why not just use a backup utility that can back up from network shares? It could even be something as simple as robocopy (Windows)/rsync (Mac and Linux).

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Wise words Geoff!

I was primarily interested in a solution for ROCK/Nucleus based servers. Most other scenarios quickly grows wild and hard to handle. On my primary machine, the QNAP NAS, its not much of an issue even if i have to perform the backups outside of the Rooniverse. And i suppose those that deal with Roon Servers/Core on Windows/Linux and Mac computers also have their ways of solving this without too much hassle.
I am currently helping a friend entering the world of Roon and he chose a Nucleus+ with internal storage for simplification reasons. During our conversationg this sprung up and i hadnt thought about how to solve this in a simple manner…

Because it is highly inefficient. It requires pulling the files off the ROCK share, and then again pushing them to the same share but a different folder (representing the attached drive)

I struggle a little to understand the issue therefore I try to break it down in a few steps I thought one should take:

  • It’s the internal storage of a ROCK/Nucleus (R/N). It had to be empty at the beginning.
  • The media files came from “somewhere” = got copied to the R/N. I now think it says “You can copy music to this drive…” here for a reason. :sunglasses:
  • At this point there are two places where the media files can be found: on the R/N and on the original source.
  • The original source therefore could already be seen as the initial backup. At least it’s a duplicate of what’s now also on the ROCK.

Have I missed something so far?

  • For files which may come to the party later on it would probably be the best way to do this just as before: copy (not move) the files to R/N. Backup the original source to further locations as you see fit.
    To get files onto to the R/N you have to mount its network share anyway so no additional hassle comes with it.

But as I said maybe I just don’t understand the problem. :thinking:

That’s not true. There is too much computing in computer audio. The digital audio does not necessarily have to be computer based.

Anyway, one should see the digital audio files just as regular computer stored files for which the general backup rules apply. It’s generally not a good idea to base your back-up strategy on the application dedicated to a particular file type. Imagine how difficult will be to manage everything if you’ll use ROON to backup the music files, Photo Shop to backup the photos, Word to back-up the documents, Outlook to back-up the emails and so on.

More to the point, the drive attached to the ROCK machine should not be your primary storage drive. You should have al your media (assuming that you also have movies and/or photos and/or whatever) in one place (that should be the main data/backup).

From that place (can be a dedicated storage computer or NAS or whatever) you can then mirror the music to the ROCK internal or attached storage (means that whatever you modify on the main storage will go automatically to the ROCK storage, but if you accidentally delete something on the ROCK you’ll not lose anything, hence the backup). You can also mirror other media files (photos, music) to whatever other media servers/players/solutions you may have. Also (very important) you should backup the main storage to a secondary backup (incremental or differential), so if you make mistakes on the main backup you’ll not lose the data (available in full on the secondary backup). And that’s just one way to do it. There are many others.

There are a lot of software solutions that automate the whole process, I use SynkBackPro for example.

And you are talking like a computer person… And I’m not putting you down - I spent almost my entire career in IT, but just stop and listen to yourself. This stuff is easy for us, but it’s not obvious or easy to most people…

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I agree with you, but what I was trying to say is that I see the things as two separated things: digital audio can be one thing: discs, streaming or radio through dedicated gear (which in most of the cases is just a computer with a more user friendly approach) and so on. Digital audio using the computer can be another thing: having a media server to play your media files for just one example. But I still believe that there is a choice and if you want to go digital without computer you can.

Unfortunately if you chose the computer audio path they yes, thing are getting complicated, even ugly sometimes! :slight_smile:


Inefficient in what sense? What resource is being wasted?
Doesn’t matter to me if the thing is doing some network traffic while I’m asleep.

Yes, if you plug the backup drive into the PC instead of the Nucleus, you get one less network trip. But the daily incremental backups are not a heavy load.

Indeed, I use robocopy on a PC to copy the Nucleus drive to an internal drive on the PC, to a usb drive, to a NAS, and then it gets sent to the cloud. I like the thought that my gadgets are busy scurrying about on my behalf while I’m otherwise occupied. Today’s version of the staff at Downton Abbey.

Absolutely right.

Back to the topic, i believe that it is important to emphasize (especially for the beginners) that the computer back-up is not a simple question and that you need to know what you are doing, otherwise the disaster is just a click away. It’s one thing to get bad sound because you didn’t figure out that your switch brings electrical noise to the DAC and another thing to lose all your data because you confused the source with the destination.

That Backup solution to me would look like the Backup solution for Netgear NAS’, plug in an external USB drive and press the Backup Button on the front of the case. Done.


Yes, this scenario involves a two home setup where the main files are being copied to the internal storage of a Nucleus+. This Nucleus then gets moved to it’s new residence where it will be the music server of choice.
Lets call this location Remote, and the first location Home. Owner wants to have a similar experience and library on both sites, where Home most likely will get a Roon Server on a MacBook Pro, pulling media from tha same drive used to backup the Nucleus on the Remote location.

Obviously this scenario can change with the introduction of Roon On The Road mobility solution, but for now we need to make this simple and effective for non IT pro’s.

Nucleus and Rock does not support library sync today but might be a future possibility.

I agree that a daily backup routine would not be too demanding, unless there was a bigger change in the library. However, i’m not the one to endorse wasted CPU or network cycles,
And it’s far from a nice and clean solution. You, of all people, must see that? :slight_smile:
It would mean that the owner would have a computer running separately for backup tasks.

I see. We aren’t talking “backup” but “synchronisation”.

Wouldn’t one additional external disk which travels between home and remote solve the bigger part of the problem? At home, it may be even possible to setup some AutoSync-thing when connected to the MacBook Pro.

Absolutely, that has been suggested. What i still think could improve situations like these is an option on the ROCK OS webpage, “Backup Internal storage…”
That would mean the user did NOT have to use a computer to pull the files over the network and could still backup the database at the same time. No need to have a computer running with scripts and batches for backing up etc.

I mean, were looking for a dead simple solution for the same clients that buy the Nucleus, a great product in its own but mostly for a different clientel than most of us forumists?
I am fully aware this is not a big issue for me or you, but it’s a limiting factor for a lot of potential customers.

You keep using that word, but what you really need (as far as I understand) is synchronization not backup (they are different things) hence the confusion (at least for me). To the matter at hand, ROOK is a linux variation (if I’m not wrong), so maybe you can find (and install and set and forget) a program out there that can synchronize an external drive based on triggers (when inserted for example) with the internal storage. Just a thought.

The only other simple thing I can think of right now would have been to use one external hdd from the start - instead of internal storage. While the Nucleus supports an internal disk for media storage most of the KB articles sound like this is not (yet) the best way.

Something like

  • switch off home core
  • unplug audio hdd & take it with you
  • plug it into remote core
  • enjoy (*)
  • when going back home switch off …

(*) But that might only work without trouble if both Cores treat the external disk the same way - ideally two Nuclei or Rockies would be my guess. MacBook home and Nucleus remote is probably not ideal. I don’t know …

Yes, I am assuming a computer that runs backups. Who doesn’t have that these days?
I’m just being relaxed about network round trips.
If you think of the network as a neighborhood with no distance metric over it, that makes life simpler. Everything is there. A reasonable assumption short of terabytes.

The initial backup, just like the initial copy of a terabyte music library, takes time. I thought of ways to optimize, and then I had a beer and sat back.