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Old 03-10-2002, 08:51 AM
Jim Borchardt Jim Borchardt is offline
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Default advice on CD and backup programs

I thought I could get by with the NT backup program installed on Windows, but it's apparent I need to buy a more suited tape backup software for my slowly growing business. I have a Scorpion 4 mm data DAT tape drive installed in my tower, and am looking for a program that works well with Pro Tools sessions. Any advice? Also, what's the best program for compiling your clients sesions into a CD? (Something along the lines of MasterList) I've used MasterList when I worked on a Mac, but I don't think it's PC compatible, and I've heard there's better programs out there now. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:18 PM
steve at Your Heaven steve at Your Heaven is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

As far as I know, the gold standard of backup programs for some time has been "BackUp Exec" by Veritas. I think it works with any tape drive, but call them (or any vendor you use) to make sure it works with yours.

I got tired of dealing with tapes and backup type files altoghether, so I am using Maxtor external firewire drives (80 gig for less than $300, I think they sell internal 80 gig for less than $200). Way faster, you just use Windows copy command, you can read a file at any time without 'restoring' it first, etc.
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Old 03-11-2002, 09:07 AM
beggehorn beggehorn is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

Mezzo Technologies
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Old 03-12-2002, 03:48 AM
Jim Borchardt Jim Borchardt is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

Beggehorn, I used Mezzo when I worked at a Mac based studio and liked it alot, but I don't think it's Windows compatable. Are you using it on your PC?
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Old 03-12-2002, 03:54 AM
Jim Borchardt Jim Borchardt is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

Steve, thanks for the advice. The Maxtor firewire sounds like a good option, but I'm skeptical of having 80 gig of clients sessions on one drive. That means I might have 10 or 20 different projects on one drive, and if it becomes corrupt, I lose them all. Tape backup does seem outdated, but still the most bulletproof. Am I looking at this right?
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Old 03-12-2002, 04:05 AM
Jim Borchardt Jim Borchardt is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

Also, does anybody have advice on the best CD compilation program for NT? MasterList CD was great for the Mac, but not an option for my Windows setup. I have a good external burner, but I need a program that will arrange my PT sessions into a complete file with time spacing and level matching (etc..) between songs. Thanks again for any help.
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Old 03-12-2002, 04:36 PM
beggehorn beggehorn is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

I could of swore I saw that it was available for windows, I remember being bummed that it didn't support cdr's as a backup medium. Oh well. At any rate, I have been using Retrospect Express fromDantz
Not as slick as Mezzo but well worth the $50. I use cdr's to back up sessions and have not yet had any problems.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:52 AM
steve at Your Heaven steve at Your Heaven is offline
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Default Re: advice on CD and backup programs

REPLY: Steve, thanks for the advice. The Maxtor firewire sounds like a good option, but I'm skeptical of having 80 gig of clients sessions on one drive. That means I might have 10 or 20 different projects on one drive, and if it becomes corrupt, I lose them all. Tape backup does seem outdated, but still the most bulletproof. Am I looking at this right?

RESPONSE: I have thought about this, but not done any real research. The most important question is which medium holds up best. For long term storage (when a project is done, ready for permanent archiving) I use CD/R, assuming it is somewhat bulletproof (water, heat, cold, moisture, shock, etc.) - my guess is that it is a better bet than oxide on tape, and much less finicky. Short term, I doubt that either tape or a hard drive is likely to fail (assuming the hard drive is offline storage, not used or turned on all day, etc.). To play it safe, you could retire the drive after 5 years (use it for other purposes, like permanent storage, or just an extra system drive, etc.). I am guessing that a drive used this way (turned on once or twice a day to do backups) will see the same amount of use in 5 years as a typical system drive gets in less than a week, and the MTBF rate for a drive used like that is astronomical. I have not researched to find if the MTBF rate is much different for occasional, vs. typical, use, but a simple-read hard drive failure like this is something that I have never seen. Companies probably publish specs for this on the tech part of their websites - if you look and find anything, let me know, I'm curious. Also, this drive will do nothing but see data file transfers (no program files, nothing running off it..), and only be attached (they are pretty good at hot-p&p) while doing these transfers, so the types of things that cause corruption (a drive being accessed for many purposes at once, or during a system crash, or being attacked by a virus) are hugely reduced, because it does not partake of those activites.

A separate issue is having many clients on one storage medium. You can't give it to the customer to take home between sessions, for instance. I am not running a commercial studio, so I don't have some of these issues. If I was worried, I'd keep two identical copies of the backup drives, one at the studio, one elsewhere (at home, etc.). At the price of these compared to a decent tape drive, and considering the difference in convenience (much faster backup, no special programs, all files individually accessible directly from the OS, and much faster restore in case you actually need it during a session), I'd have to know why a tape system is better, but to play it safe, I would ask the tape-system companies salespeople to try to convince me, and see if they have any SUPPORTED info that pokes holes in my argument.
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