There was a time when protecting your music collection meant safeguarding your home against a robbery or avoiding the occasional scratched CD, tangled cassette tape, or warped record. Nowadays, most people store their music in the form of digital files that are kept on computers, tablets, smartphones, media players and other devices. Of course, the fact that the songs are being held in an intangible form doesn’t make it any easier to lose some or all of your precious music collection, which has probably taken you many hours of downloading and an untold number of online purchases to amass. With that said, here are several steps you can take to keep your digital music collection safe:
1. Use Data Recovery Services to Recover Lost Media Files
If you’ve already experienced some form of data loss due to hardware failure or damage to your operating system caused by malware, you should contact a data recovery firm like Secure Data Recovery Services before you chalk it up as a permanent loss. In many cases, they’ll be able to help you recover seemingly lost music files with remarkably high efficiency. Plus, many of these services will only charge you if they’re able to recover your data, so it’s a relatively risk-free way to try and recover lost music files before you discard an old computer or hard drive.
2. Backup Your Collection in the Cloud
If you haven’t yet suffered the loss of any music files, you can keep yourself from having to deal with such hassle in the future by backing up all of your files in the cloud. Any of the most popular cloud-based file storage services should work fine and most of them have integrated apps that you can use to sync files between your devices and your cloud storage account. Considering the peace of mind that you’ll have by knowing that your music is always backed up; it’s definitely worthwhile to pay a nominal fee for a comprehensive cloud storage plan.
3. Backup to a Physical Hard Drive
In addition to backing up your files to the cloud, you may want run scheduled backups to a physical hard drive as well. If you don’t already have an external hard drive, you can usually find one that will give you plenty of space to back up a typical music collection for about $20-$100. You could also use a hard drive enclosure to connect internal hard drives to your PC via USB, which would allow for faster file transfer speeds.
4. Use Antivirus Software to Protect Against Malware
If your computer is infected by certain forms of malware such as ransomware, you could experience widespread data loss or file concealment within your operating system. To minimize the chances of malware affecting your music collection, be sure to install and utilize a reputable antivirus software suite with real-time scanning capabilities.
True Redundancy is Worth the Time and Effort
If you combine all of the preventative measures mentioned above, you’re looking at a low one-time cost for an external hard drive, a nominal ongoing expense for cloud storage, and the time that it takes to install a free antivirus software. When you compare these efforts to the sadness and anger of losing your music files, it becomes obvious that every serious music collector should take such simple and affordable steps to protect their digital music collection.