I used to meticulously catalog and double back up my digital photos and scanned negative. I still keep all of the negatives in a binder, but my digital organization has fallen by the wayside. Why? Flickr has become my way of storing originals and organizing my photos. Even sets I don't want anybody to see (personal, boring, the gajillion photos people sent of my wedding), I still upload and just set to private. The original is still there if I ever want a print. I should probably do a backup with FlickrTouchr every once in a while just in case Flickr goes weird on me, but I really don't worry about losing those files.

When it comes to sound effects and ambiance, I'm in a different boat. I have not been very good about staying organized and tagging my metadata. I usually just search by file name, since that gets me close to what I want anyway. I have several terrabites allocated just to backing up my sound files. I wish there was a better way to have all of this in a cloud and grab it whenever I needed it. With the ability to use Reaper on just about any machine, I've carried mixes across computer and on vacation, but I really don't want to lug around a few hard drives with me as well.

Could Sound Cloud be a viable option of storing SFX and being able to grab them from anywhere? Google Music ~DROOL~ was just announced as well. It's in beta, but it basically allows you to upload all of your music and access it anywhere streaming. I wonder if they will also support grabbing the originals. If that's the case, I would gladly drop a few terrabites of SFX and ambiance on to Google's servers and pay the money to store it.

I love the idea of cloud computing. There are a few in-browser sound editors, but none of them work too well. Maybe in the future we can leave work, hop on a tablet at home, and continue editing from the same session.

Thoughts? Ideas? Help enable my disorganization :)


2 Answers 2


Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just buy server space and upload everything to there? Google is bound to have limits as to the amount of stuff you can upload for free, and there's no way you're going to be able to afford to do terrabytes worth of transfer through a consumer/commercial service.

Plus, I'm sure there's some fancy PHP databasing thing you could do to keep things organized. I'm willing to bet that gMusic will hold everything in one directory and go by mp3 artist/album/title metadata. It'll basically just be an online iTunes, which is ok for a few thousand files, but ten-twenty-thirty thousand files would be a nightmare.

  • @g I think google music is going to be a pay service (sort of like Carbonite). I'm find doing one transfer - I have a business connection at home and have unlimited data. If it's just a one time upload for the big one, and then small downloads for the rest, I'd think it could work. I wonder how much server space would be... Good idea.
    – VCProd
    May 17, 2011 at 20:29
  • 1
    @VCProd, These guys, inmotionhosting.com/hostingplans.html, (first hit on DuckDuckGo) are $13.95/mo for unlimited up/down AND storage.
    – g.a.harry
    May 17, 2011 at 22:36
  • @g Woo! I'll look in to that, and I'll check with my web host to see if they provide pure data space. That's not bad at all. Thank you!
    – VCProd
    May 18, 2011 at 19:38
  • If you're really lazy, I'm pretty sure you can buy the space without actually putting up a site. There should be a built in FTP interface where you can preview the files and then "save as" d/l them. Alternately you could go overkill and build an interface to do the same.
    – g.a.harry
    May 18, 2011 at 20:44
  • Hey @VCProd, have you got around to doing this yet? If so, you should do a little update, or a new post. I'd love to know how well it works; it's something I've been thinking about for ages.
    – g.a.harry
    Jun 1, 2011 at 3:19

I think it might be a nightmare to get your library up onto soundcloud. Does it have a batch uploader? It might be a good thing to start doing with all files created from here on out but getting the bulk of an existing library up in way that was searchable would be a lot more work then just carrying around a hard drive when you need it I think. The future will be headed in this direction for sure but it is still a few years away sadly. Tim Prebble did a cost breakdown of getting his SFX library up to a cloud and found it would be too expensive currently. http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/a-cloud-based-fx-library-possible

But Apple just bought 12 petabytes of storage for iTunes. I think that means over 12 million terabytes or 1.07 billion gigs. So it looks like soon everything will be able to be in a cloud somewhere, because as Apple goes the industry seems to follow.

  • Mmm. Cloud. That's a good breakdown, but I feel like there are some limitations based on where Tim is located (data transfer costs, etc). I don't mind paying for storage space, especially if there is a nice search function associated. Even if my data is online, if it isn't easily searchable or previewable, it might as well be on hard drives sitting at home. My web hosting is unlimited.. maybe I can sneak a few terrabytes on to the web server a little bit a time...
    – VCProd
    May 17, 2011 at 20:37

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