Backing up Digital Music Files

You probably already know about the following. If so, my apologies in advance. :wink:

You can mitigate the risk of losing music files for which you’ve worked so hard to rip and store. NAS manufacturers usually allow you to configure the multiple hard drives that make up your storage volume into a Redundant Array (of) Independent Disks (RAID). Depending on your level of paranoia (:yum:) you can allow for one or more disk failures without losing any files.

I have a Synology NAS with 8 X 3.6TB HDDs configured as a single 25.2TB volume using a RAID 5 level. This preserves all data in the event of a failure in any of the 8 disks. Of course, not infallible but a satisfactory level of comfort for me. :wink:

I also have a 1TB, 2-disk RAID 1 configuration on a separate system for storing original, unaltered downloads - just in case. My original CDs and SACDs are stored away in a cupboard to serve as the ultimate backup for my rips (and for ‘proof of ownership’ :yum:).

As far as a streamer/server arrangement goes, for me it would be a streamer that’s capable of accepting FLAC and (native) DSD streams over USB and ethernet connections. I write ‘native’ since the DSD over PCM (DoP) format utilised in standard USB and ethernet is limited to double-rate DSD, AFAIK. A good server for me would be able to access my NAS, transfer FLAC and (native) DSD and have negligible interference to the rendered music! :relaxed:

Edit: Oops! Mistakenly referred to my 2-disk volume as RAID 5! It’s actually RAID 1 (RAID 5 requires a minimum of three disks.) Now corrected above.

Whenever I hear that others have more backup than I do, I get really paranoid.:thinking:

I spend so very much time adding music to my collection that I too have it backed up on no less than 8 drives in two states. Many of my backups are powered down and unused until it is time to augment the data with new additions. It would take a nuclear strike that would take me out to ruin all my data at once.
Or an extremely foul mood on my part. I don’t want to see my efforts go to waste. I believe my setup is safer than relying on somebodies cloud or any variety of RAID solutions.

Hard drives and SSD drives are cheap and plentiful. I still have all the source material even if electricity becomes scarce. A peddle driven generator might be something to consider.


How are people backing up their digital music files? As a novice, I could use some guidance in selecting a dedicated LAN solution that doesn’t require participation of my computers or handheld devices. Should I be looking for a NAS, RAID storage solution, or even just a portable drive with USB connection? Is additional software needed?
My favored first step into the digital world is to rip 1000-1500 CD’s automatically into an Innuos ZENMini running Innuos 2.0. Innuos’ website leaves me uncertain whether their interface facilitates pushing the music files from its HDD to an outboard portable USB drive, NAS or RAID storage. If using a networked backup solution, does my networked computer need to be involved, running backup software to pull the files from the Innuos HDD and transfer them to the storage device? Might the AirLens, or other streamers, have utilities that facilitate the backup process?

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You definitely have to organize that for yourself, either the manual way as I do with some USB drives connected to your PC using a SW like Goodsync, or a more automated solution. Streamer or server manufacturers, if at all, usually don’t provide ore than connectivity and if they do, it won’t be as flexible as a separate solution.

Local streaming (from audio server or NAS) is nothing for non IT affine folks imo (as long as they want to be safe and don’t want to call a supporter in case of technical problems, of which several can arise).

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@jazznut @aangen @MikeK @Carousel, thanks for your input. I’m hardly a tech savant and don’t relish setting up a network that requires various finicky devices to play well with one another. Your thoughts have impelled me to come up with this solution:
Get a hardware RAID 1 portable 8TB drive like OWC 8.0TB Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID 7200RPM... at for $399, plug it into my MacBook Pro, install Goodsync, and from time to time backup the HDD on the Innuos via the network (noting that Innuos describes itself capable of being an NAS and so should be accessible to the network).
Sounds viable?

Innuos has a very simple system whereby you plug in a usb drive to the back of the machine and configure it to back up as often as you want.

The easiest thing to do is to get two cheap SATA drives, probably less than $100 each, and an enclosure. When you have ripped your CD collection, store the drive in a secure remote location, even the trunk of your car, and plug in the second drive and leave it there. If you have ripped more CDs, just swap over the drives every once in a while.

If you are as fatalistic as @aangen then burying multiple copies sealed in lead cases in the woods in various states is your only option and hope against a nuclear holocaust. Personally, if your house and car do get destroyed at the same time by a meteorite, you could always rely on Qobuz. All you will need then is a new house and a stereo system.


Brilliantly simple! :slightly_smiling_face:
I’ll just keep one of the backups in my bunker. :wink:

Well for a backup it would be more important that it’s disconnected from network and power supply except for the backup process than that it’s RAID. USB drives would be sufficient.


If you go the route of using a pure streamer with a NAS drive, and you don’t have ethernet cabling in your house, note that QNAP make dead quiet fanless SSD units so you can stick it in your audio space without having to worry about it making noise.

Having done that, in the same way as with Innuos, you can attach a usb drive and tell the QNAP to do periodic backups. Again, run two SATA drives and keep them in separate locations.

The QNAP operating system (QTS) is pretty intuitive, it doesn’t take long to get familiar with it. Bear in mind it is enterprise software, so if you are just using it as an audio server you are using about 1% of its capability.


@stevensegal is the USB port of the Innuos powered so that I can just plug in an unpowered portable backup drive? That sounds as simple as it gets.

Bear in mind QNAP (and similar) servers are designed for global accessibility. So you set them up with an address, for example for QNAP it would be:
User: Paul
Password: greatestaudiodesignerofalltime

and you can listen to Paul’s music library whilst lying on the beach in Tahiti.

You don’t have to implement this, you can simply set it up as a drive accessible only on your network and you access it simply by typing in the IP address.

There are audio dealers who sell these servers and can advise on set up.

If your digital music storage is connected to the Internet you simply have to consider the possibility of a Ransomware event. Ransomware is a situation where all of your files are encrypted and useless unless you pay the demanded ransom for the decryption key. Oh this won’t happen to me said many Hospital and Fortrune 500 companies with majorly talented computer professionals. Ooops. Sadly it is becoming more common every day. What this means to you is you are most likely going to end up very sad if all your music files live on an internet connected device. If you allow this to be your situation good luck with that.

External hard drives are so very inexpensive. 12TB drives for under $300. So build your raid, go for performance. But get one or two or three external hard drives that you keep powered off, perhaps not even connected until it is time to update your backups with new files you have added. And if possible, keep at least one somewhere other than your home.

Call it a sneaker net if you wish. You have to walk over to wherever you store you backup drives. Plug it into power, connect it to your network, back up your files, shutdown and disconnect the drive and put it away somewhere safe. If you leave your backup drive powered up and connected to a machine that is connected to the Internet you are not getting my point at all.

You can keep your server, NAS, Raid, Streamer, and similar device powered up and connected to whatever network. But your backup drives need to be powered down and or disconnected to your machines until and only while you are backing up. At the very minimum this is one external hard drive in the sub $300 price range. I have quite a few of these, more than six, less than 10, and I rotate using them.

This of course does not apply to Steven.


I’ve not used the Zen Mini. It has 4 usb 3.0 sockets and I assume they support the normal back up. Even the Zen Mini is usb 2.0 and supports native DSD.

the Zen and Zenith have a dedicated usb backup socket.
Screenshot 2022-01-10 at 12.25.46

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My primary NAS drive is limited to UK internet access only.
My secondary NAS drive is limited to my home network.

I have Bitdefender (network version) installed, which protects all my devices, including mobiles, laptops and anything connected to my network. My desktop and laptop also run nightly full scans.

The NAS drives have QuFirewall running.

I also run Sophos Security on my Mac machines.

I avoid Windows machines.

What have a I missed?

Where to begin…

  1. Very obvious social clues.

You guys are as hilarious as you are brilliantly helpful, BTW.

I do feel that I have hijacked this thread which (I had to scroll to the top to remember) is about the AirLens, not all about me.

But to assuage my guilt, I’ll remind myself that I jumped in to investigate how the AirLens could be incorporated into a de novo digital platform, and how that project could bridge the gap before the AirLens and Octave Server are marketed.

I feel better now.

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A little too cryptic for me.

The best security is on my secondary NAS drive. Most of the time it is powered off.

My primary reason for using QNAP is for TimeMachine backups of my apple computers. You are correct, ransomware is increasingly prevalent. I keep a separate disconnected usb TimeMachine backup and a spare Mac mini just in case.

QNAP has had two-level authentication for a while, so single users should be able to keep their data safe.

No worries, I’m sure we’ve all been through the storage paranoia phase.

Two copies, separate locations, one secure location, disconnected from the internet.

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I find the Bitdefender system to be excellent. It eats Trojans for breakfast. It popped up when I bought a Netgear Mesh system, I read some reviews and subscribed. I still have a Netgear modem, but scrapped the Netgear Mesh - it was useless - and Netgear have the worst customer service of any company on the planet. On @vkennedy61 's recommendation I went for a Ubiquiti wired access point system, which is superb.