Collecting music has really changed in the past few years. Long gone are many formats of collecting music, only a few purists still really have a substantial collection of vinyl these days and although the format has seen a resurgence, it is still not the primary way most people buy their music. CD’s are still around but they are nowhere near as popular as they were ten years ago. CD’s are bulky and not as durable as they once seemed. I’ve personally managed to scratch, break and even warp a few of them. The only thing that is truly indestructible is the security sticker that you have to remove to get them out of the case.
How Music Is Sold
Today’s music collectors and enthusiasts are mostly collecting digitally. MP3’s, WMA’s, WAV’s, FLACs and SHN’s are common file formats for collecting music, with MP3s being the most popular. The rise of the iPod MP3 player helped lead the way in making digital music the preferred way to listen to music. The popularity of computers and the internet gave digital music files an easy way to be distributed. Early on, programs like Napster were an underground and illegal way to trade music, but today reputable sites like iTunes are the way most of us buy our music. The music is reasonably priced, but not free. If you are a music lover and have spent a lot of time and money building your digital collection of music you should also spend some time finding a way to secure that valuable collection of music.
Backups Are Important
Music files are sometimes protected. This keeps them from being copied and passed around, or even resold. If you have music files that are encrypted this way, you must keep your original files safe and secure, because you can’t make a playable copy. However many services like iTunes will let you download them again, in the event that you lose them. Also, you can authorize them to play on a set number of devices. If you have music files which can be backed up, you should back them up and store them securely.
There is more than one data backup solution when it comes to storing your files. You can burn them to CD’s or DVD’s and store them away, but remember, discs are not as durable as they are advertised to be. You can buy an external hard drive and copy your music files over to it, which is in actuality neither safe nor secure, drives fail regularly and someone could easily just walk off with your collection. Or you can store them online in the cloud. By far, the cloud is the most secure method of storage. Your cloud storage provider will have backups of your stored data, should anything happen. With any other method, you are ultimately responsible for safely storing your collection. Should anything happen such as theft or a fire, flood or other disaster your collection could be lost, especially if your backups are stored in the same place as your originals.
Having an online storage solution eliminates this risk. However, even if you keep your files online many experts think it is important to have a physical backup, just in case.