The current library is the product of decades of collection and over 10 years of thousands of hours of editing, first up for Sooloos and now for Roon. Over 15,000 (registered by Roon) Classical albums have been downloaded in all different states of presentation with very few OK without much editing. The 4000 odd Non classical fare has required little other than the addition of personal tags,
So how to protect this invaluable library from disaster?
There are two aspects of this -
The actual flac and wav files on two HDDS (one 8tb, the other 6 tb)
2, The Roon backup with all the embedded editing of texts, covers and additional pdf files etc.
Until recently I was content to have backups of the music files on duplicate internal HDDs. This worked fine when once before a disaster occurred and the music files had to be replaced. But, getting paranoid, what if there was a fire in the PC or some other catastrophe occurred so everything in the PC was wiped out?
There are two ways out of that. One is to use an external cloud service, the second is to have two more backup HDDs and that is the path I’ve chosen.
Applying the same logic I have two internal PC Roon backups (on different drives to the music files) and two external ones on chips and stored with those external HDDs.
Not much point in all this if there was a house fire so those external HDDs & chips are stored in an outside shed.
The likelihood of a house fire (the house is only 33 years old) or a PC breakdown (PC only 2 years old) is not high BUT … . So I figure better to be paranoid and be sure all likely disasters are covered, than to have a disaster where all the work on the music collection goes up in smoke.
Yes on external HDDs. I use docks to connect to the PC.
The Sooloos system used a RAID structure but my experience was not encouraging when one 2TB enterprise HDD failed and its mate did not take over. Fortunately I had another external backup which saved the day. So, from that experience I have not been a fan of the RAID technology but admit it is a bias and works well for others. And I’m similarly prejudiced (with no negative experiences to justify it) against cloud backups and prefer to have them physically in house.
You should do that with your Roon database backups as well and keep as many as you can hold on the backup media, in order to restore when your current database suddenly becomes corrupt.
Fortunately Roon now seems to verify backup integrity so you should be able to sleep safe.
Have you taken these kind of safety measures with all your documents and other important media?
Actually, I keep 3 backups of my database: 1 on my Core machine (sonicTransporter-AP), 1 on a dedicated USB drive attached to the Core, and 1 on Dropbox. Each has a slightly different schedule, varying between every day to once a week. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any corruption issues so far, and I’m relieved that Roon now checks db integrity on the fly.
I only have around 1,300 local albums, so a single, dockable HDD holds my music files backup, and it’s kept off-site. I suppose I could also use a second HDD and hold it in a different location, but I can’t be that bothered. I don’t use RAID in any of my systems. Personally, I’m not a fan of RAID, and it’s not a backup technology.
All good advice above and I do similar with music files and the digital photo archive (goes back to 1985, all negatives scanned in). My digital photo archive is actually far more valuable as it is irreplaceable, but music can usually be repurchased easily or rented from Tidal/Qobuz.
On thing that no one has mentioned re backups; they are no good unless you regularly test that you can actually read them and extract the files. It is worth therefore doing a quick sanity check read of any removeable media on another computer just to check everything is present and correct (not just listed files in a directory).
I did once purchase a brand new USB drive for backup (a whopping 1TB at the time) which made all the right noises when writing to it (with files listed in Explorer) but when you tried to read files back made an awful clunking broken disc noise and eventually produced an error message. If I hadn’t checked the first time I used it I would never have known…
A good practice is also check individual files (flac, mp3…) both of the library in use and of the backup copies for audio errors and corrupted files.
I know that Roon, using the filter, shows you the corrupted files, even if I don’t know exactly what and how it analyses them, but personally I use a very simple and well-made freeware software
and periodically I use it to analyse all the audio files in my library and backups.
I run my ripped music on a SSD volume on my Synology RX1217 and the database on another SSD volume on the RX1217. Both backup to the main HDD array on the Synology RS3617xs. Music also backs up to Backblaze B2 bucket and the database also backs up to Dropbox.