March 2016

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Hey there! Molly again, with a bit of advice for all you digital music fans:

Back it up!

Those digital crates, when you add them all up, cost you money. You paid hard-earned money for them. Mixes and edits cost you time and hard work. That kick-butt playlist that it took you hours to create for your gig next week was mega time consuming. So again: time + money + hard work + creativity + hard drive failure=one sad panda of a DJ. Don’t be a sad panda.

All of us have had a device fail on us at some point—whether it be a phone (oh, man, there go all my contacts!), an SD card in a camera (noooo don’t say you need to format card on the LAST day of my vacation you stupid camera) or a computer (blue screen of death, doh!) or maybe something else decided to act like it doesn’t know you anymore. I know you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about (and if you don’t you’re just lying to yourself). Especially if you have an extensive or expensive collection, or if it is your livelihood, you really need to do what smart companies have been doing forever and back it all up somewhere safe.I don’t care if you put it in the cloud, on a billion flash drives, a server, a detachable hard drive, or on another computer. Whatever you’re comfortable with, but for the love of cake (and I love cake), back it up. Preferably have two types of backup, because if you have, say, a backup on a portable hard drive and your house is broken into and they take both the computer with all your files and the hard drive, guess what? You’re still out of luck. I wish that was just a ridiculous hypothetical but it actually happened to a friend of mine. So. Yeah. I regularly backup my complete library to the cloud. I have upgraded laptops since I started, and it was great to be able to just log into my account from the new device and TADA, everything was ready and waiting for me. Whoohoo. Plus, it is somewhere different than my computer and I have access to it anywhere.

I also tend to put my favorite and most popular stuff on a flash drive that I keep on my keychain. First of all, I like having my music with me. I’m just weird like that. Second, I’m always paranoid that I’ll have equipment failure and no internet access to get my stuff out of the cloud. But also, I have found that when you’re at a party or gathering and people find out you’re a DJ, they tend to want you to perform. Maybe I don’t mind feeling like a circus monkey but you give me an audience and a way to play my tunes, I am ready to go. I’ve also known other DJs who do this, and a couple have been able to pull last minute gigs when somebody had either equipment failure or canceled for whatever reason at the last minute. So it’s good for business.

Some people who are savvier than I use programs to make bootable drives of their stuff, so any computer with the same operating system becomes their computer when they attach the bootable drive. I think this would come in handy if you had a huge library that didn’t fit on a USB keychain drive. I’ve also heard of a much more low-tech version: just downloading everything to an mp3 player and carrying that around for worst-case scenarios.

No matter what you decide, make sure this is a routine part of your business practices. Have a plan and protect your investment!