CDs? People with a room full of 8 tracks or cassettes would like to have a word.
HDDs? Those fail all the time, plus any sort of natural disaster could wipe out your collection.
Online backup? This seems like the only real option, but for me the risk/reward just doesn't fit.
At least for now, the record companies and the service providers are both incentivized to have as much of their catalogs as possible on streaming services. Until that changes, streaming works for many.
-My desktop at home
-My server in the basement
-My work laptop's external hard drive
-An external hard drive in a fireproof lockbox (server backup)
-An external hard drive on a shelf at work (server backup)
-An external hard drive in my parent's house 150 miles away (server backup)
Try prying my files from my cold dead hands.
There is a solution for the rest: let me mix songs from Spotify, my own library, and any other services I pay for in a single playlist.
I can access this from every device in my house, and from outside my network.
I can put anything I want onto my phone, USB stick or iPod and play in most any modern car.
Luckily it's on a backed up RAID6 array, in private server, streamable whenever I want.
I mirror all my purchases onto equipment I own, and so I guess I get the benefits of both.
What risk? You can privately store your music anywhere, it's completely legal to do so.
Preferably not hosted in the US, for privacy/bandwidth reasons.
For now, I've decided on pCloud, in addition to an on-site copy on my NAS and a copy on a portable drive that I store at work and update semi-regularly. A couple of rsync scripts take care of everything.
I know it's a cloud storage service and not a an actual proper backup service, but they offer 15 days of rewind as standard, and you can get a full year of rewind as an add-on, which I am considering. That should hopefully protect me from accidental deletes, and give me enough time to restore if my house burns down.
The thing that has really sold me on pCloud is that their Linux client is absolutely amazing. Compared to the barely functional Dropbox client and the non-existent Google Drive client[¤], it is an absolute joy to use. At the moment it's an Ubuntu-only AppImage, but they're working on an improved Electron version.
One additional nice thing is that pCloud is a Swiss company, so their privacy laws (and the GDPR) apply. They do host their servers in the US, so you're not completely free from theoretical NSA/PRISM snooping, but in my case I'm primarily storing my music library. They can go ahead and snoop through the tags of 300+GB of music for The Anarchist's Cookbook or whatever.
[¤]InSync is pretty nice, and I did buy a license for it a while ago, but it's still not as good as pCloud's client.
- stored on the desktop for fast and performant access
- synced to an NAS daily for central access around the house/network
- uploaded offsite to cloud storage daily as backup