Location Scout Online File Storage Resources
The jury is (and may always be) out on the best solutions for digital file archiving and backup. What follows are some thoughts about same and some solutions I have been exposed to:
arrived in my inbox and I started feeling like I should, probably sooner rather than later, think more about backing up my ever-growing archive of location photos and other data I use as part of my livelihood. David Pogue NYT Feed
got me doing something about it in an online way.
by Sean P. Aune
From sending one document to backing up an entire business, data storage is the key to everything nowadays. Due to popular demand, we’ve put together a list of more than 80 of the leading file hosting services, many of which are completely free.
Here’s the scenario
as a location scout, I deal with A LOT of photos- individually they are not unusually large files, but between scouting jobs and photos that people send me of their property, I look at and have to deal with organizing a heapo’ pictures on just about a daily basis! Not only that, in the location scouting biz, information is money so there have to be ways to access this visual information quickly(as well as the contact info and notes about each- but more on that later…).
The first place any photos go when I aquire them is a remote 160 GB Firewire (or IEEE 1394) hard drive pretty much dedicated to archiving location photos, shortly after which, especially if the photos were made for an in-progress location scouting job, they get uploaded to my Locamundo account for immediate use in an online location album and archived for permanent reference.
Call me paranoid 😉 but what if:
- my hard drive crashes?
- Locamundo crashes? (the photos get compressed on Locamundo too; I have prefer to have “original photos”). Also I could lose my internet connection temporarily (its happened more than once and could occur on the Locamundo end or my ISP’s end (network problems, severe weather/ power outage) in any case, it’s annoying and does nothing to help me help my client solve their problems, which we are more often than not trying to do on a tight deadline.
I have many of my files backed up locally on yet another local hard drive partition, but all these files on the same machine take up a lot of hard drive space. The cost is not such a problem in and of itself, hard drives get cheaper every day; however, all these files lying around in partitions on the same local hard drive(s) do nothing to help speed along more mundane tasks such as searching for files, whether they be related to location scouting scouting or not and really increase the time it takes for my anti-virus program to do its daily scan of my system. I defragment my hard drives regularly to help keep them speedy and healthy and lots of files make that go much slower as well.
Purchasing additional removable drives might be the way to go.
In “the real world”, the fact is, once my files are uploaded and keyworded on Locamundo, I may not ever need to touch them again, or if I do it is likely to be a long time before I do, but the fact remains that I cant just delete them.
Enter online storage solutions.
Right now I am trying out MediaMax Streamload. Streamload is the name of a Windows program ditributed by MediaMax which runs locally(on my computer) as a service and provides a secure network link to my private file storage account on MediaMax’s server. At this writing, MediaMax provides a free 25GB account, upgradable to provide more storage space. Then next upgrade level is 100GB for $4.95 per month, which is very affordable and which I might move up to as soon as I figure out why Streamload is hanging when I try to access the local folders where my files are located. I like the online solutions, they do backups on their end as well.
But…like I said, I gotta lotta files, it could be a matter of organizing them differently so the Streamload application doesnt cease to respond. Compared to local drives, an internet connection, from dialup all the way up to heavy-duty broadband connections are pretty lightweight. You can cram just so much info in a data pipe at time. It’s always something…
Update: After opening a free Media Max account and downloading and running the Streamload Beta, when I used it to find my files to upload, the program hung and had to be forced closed. Kinda defeated the purpose of using proprietary software whose stated purpose was to facilitate uploading large numbers of files simply and quickly. When I needed to do a restart my entire system hung. I rebooted to safe mode and to try and uninstall Streamload that way but its uninstaller would not work in safe mode. I had noticed that Streamload was running as a Windows Service so I disabled it there, rebooted normally and uninstalled Streamload. Summarily, it didnt seem to play well with my system, your mileage may vary.
Hmm, maybe there are some Bittorrent solutions out there? In addition to bittorrents typically taking a LONG time (this is my experience- again, your mileage may vary), they rely on a pool of people sharing a file to pass the pieces to each other and the Bittorrent app takes up recources while it is working- I dont wanna share my files with others and sometime I have to have a lot of programs open on my computer that I need to be running full steam- I sure dont need bog-downs and crashes trying to make a deadline! Still, gotta look into that a little more
CD’s/DVD’s you say? Been there, done that. Takes forever, ties up computer resources and the media (the cd’s/ dvd’s) data deteriorates over time. I have two crates of cd’s that I have used to back up files over the years and everytime I put one in the cd drive, if it is more than a year or two old, there is a good chance it is unreadable- corrupted. I have cd’s going on ten years old, I probably have a lot of files I may never again have access to. File recovery is VERY time consuming or VERY expensive. Remember Zip Disks and floppies? What a laugh!
IDE, Firewire and USB Hard drives have become very affordable so, as I mentioned above, this is a road I have followed as recently as the past year or so. Traditional IDE hard drives of very good quality can be bought very cheaply and the prices seem to continue to drop. Cases and USB/Firewire interfaces make these drives removable and portable. These drives are fast. May be time to buy some new hardware.
I welcome feedback about all this so, for now, I am going to leave comments open for this post, something I rarely do, as I just dont have time (you see me trying to buy just a little time doing backups here don’cha?) to put into housecleaning blog spam. Akismet, do your thing! We’ll see how it goes…
Location Scout Nightmare: Amazon S3 Crash
– Early this morning when Jungle Disk started throwing errors, I knew something wasn’t right, it wasnt till around 10:30 things were back to normal.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
The 21st century location scout (me) relies heavily on digital and online resources for creating, organizing, presenting, backing up and archiving.
I use Jungle Disk as an interface to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage System). Amazon S3 is amazingly affordable and scalable.
Well, today S3 crashed for a couple of hours. The uncertainty not knowing immediately what was going on was not fun, but I use it for location scout backups so it was not a mission critical event for me. Many high tech businesses rely on the S3 service on the fly, so the outage *was* an unacceptable situation for them.
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an online storage web service offered by Amazon Web Services. Amazon S3 provides storage through web services interfaces (REST, SOAP, and BitTorrent). Amazon launched S3, its first publicly-available web service, in the United States in March 2006 and in Europe in November 2007.