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Best Windows audio file backup/sync solution in 2012 ?
Jan S.
post May 24 2012, 10:08
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I would like to reiterate the warnings about rsync on windows. At least when I tried I had trouble with long paths and filenames with special characters. That is true for many of the other backup software I tried too.
In the end I landed on goodsync. As far as I know that also only copies changed parts of the files.
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Ouroboros
post May 24 2012, 12:15
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QUOTE (wcs13 @ May 24 2012, 03:42) *
- What is this command supposed to do exactly?
rsync -avh /Localdirectory/ wcs13@NAS::NAS/Remotedirectory

It creates / updates an archive copy of /Localdirectory onto /Remotedirectory on the machine named NAS, on which there is an rsync account in your name. I'm fairly certain that if you want to do it the other way round (make changes on the NAS then sync them back to the local machine) then you simply reverse the directories, but you should do some reading and experimenting on a smaller subdirectory e.g.

rsync -avh wcs13@NAS::NAS/Remotedirectory/ /Localdirectory

Note that you only need the trailing slash on the source directory

QUOTE (wcs13 @ May 24 2012, 03:42) *
- How could I possibly type this command without installint some rsync clone first ?
Isn't that what LicielRsync is? I've not used it, but I assume that's what it does. It may give you a GUI to hide the detail, in which case you need to read the manual / notes for LicielRsync

QUOTE (wcs13 @ May 24 2012, 03:42) *
If this command creates a "link" between the two intended folders, how can I make that link "permanent" ?
On a linux system you add a cron entry to run the program once a day.

QUOTE (wcs13 @ May 24 2012, 03:42) *
- If this link is created, can I use LicielRsync to backup the folders efficiently, or must I use something else ?
As I said, I've never used it, but that's certainly the impression you get from reading the link.

You should also look at Syncrify, which seems to provide an alternative while still retaining the use of the rsync algorithm and basic architecture.

I would also suggest that you pay attention to the warnings you have been given about disk usage. While rsync (and similar) reduce the amount of traffic transferred very efficiently, I'd be really surprised if they don't rewrite the entire file. I can't imagine that it is feasible to write a program to understand the disk block/cluster structure of every possible file system, then work out which disk block/cluster relates to the changed rsync file block, and only rewrite those changed blocks/clusters. It's more likely that it reads the local file into memory, applies the rsync changes, then writes the entire file back to the disk. In other words, if you change the tags on all of your files, while you may only transfer the 1% changes you still rewrite all of the files.

This post has been edited by Ouroboros: May 24 2012, 12:17
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washu
post May 24 2012, 15:09
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Another potential issue to watch out for is that rsync when used on Windows does not create file timestamps accurately. This is because Windows actually has far more accurate file timestamps than generic UNIX. In many cases this is not an issue, but it can screw up other sync/backup tools that were designed to work with Windows natively.

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washu
post May 24 2012, 15:23
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Ouroboros:

Getting way off topic here, but rsync does only write changed data to the disk if it can. It just says "write data X at position Y" and lets the file system sort that out into blocks. That's why I mentioned the issue of fragmentation, the file system may not put the changes into a contiguous block. Where as writing out the whole file as a normal sync program does has a much higher chance of getting it into one piece on disk. Using rsync for wcs13 task will very likely make fewer writes in terms of bytes (but not in number), it will make the disk work much harder by increasing the number of head seeks greatly.


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drumliner
post May 25 2012, 12:39
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i'm also interested in audio file backup solutions and the informative discussion here made me wonder if there isn't a way that would be more specifically tailored towards audio files. after all virtually everything discussed here would work exactly the same with any kind of files and the methods described don't care that the files are audio. the way i see it audio files have 3 distinct "parts" to them: the filename, the metadata (tags) and the actual audio data. generally audio data is static and doesn't change, while metadata and filenames can change, be it because of typo corrections, additions or naming/tagging scheme changes. this makes the usual changes not only very small relative to file size, but also limited to a very distinct, well defined and easily identified portion of the file, which makes a lot of difference compared to a change that could happen anywhere, which is the case rsync type apps have to work off.

so is it not possible to have a backup solution that cleverly ignores the vast majority of data since it's static and only works on the changing parts? you can obviously read & write just the tags (the tagging apps do it) and do a simple rename without re-reading/writing the whole file, but are there any low level file system/hdd inner workings or other factors that would make such a backup scheme not worth the apparent substantial gains? i realize you'd probably need a monitoring part at least for the filename changes, but i'd be more than happy to fire up the monitoring app, do my renaming on the source and have it applied to the backup destination instead of watching gigs of data crawl over usb/network because of a silly typo correction.
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Raptus
post May 25 2012, 18:57
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I used to sync my music collection (and other data) to an external backup drive using SyncToy in echo mode.
Later I moved to the cygwin port of rsync.

But then I finally got to building my ZFS NAS, using inexpensive and low power hardware running OpenIndiana (FreeBSD would have been an option too). It's feature set makes ZFS the ideal technology for the task IMHO. Best-in-class data integrity features and instant snapshots that can be streamed incrementally over any SSH connection to mention just a few things. I'm very happy with the solution and would recommend it to anyone that is at least a bit of a geek.
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