Cloud storage for music - and other stuff

Been thinking about cloud storage… have over 2 tb of music and then 0.75tb of photos…any thoughts?

The last time I checked, the pricing for AWS (Amazon) S3 and Google Cloud Storage was similar (although I find AWS’s pricing more opaque).

If you’re trying to keep costs down, pay attention to the bucket’s storage class and location settings. For Google Cloud Storage, the coldline storage class seems to be a good choice for personal streaming (AWS has something similar but I forget their name for it). If you won’t be modifying or reading data frequently, the archive storage class is much cheaper. It’s also cheaper to use a single-region location instead of dual-region or multi-region.

Be careful during the initial setup, because it’s often impossible to change things like location without copying all the data to a new bucket, which can be expensive. Cloud providers love to have expensive default settings.

I think that 2.75 TB is $11 USD/month with GCS coldline and $3.30 USD/month with GCS archive in the less-expensive locations (us-central1, us-east1, europe-north1, europe-west1, etc.).

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My suggestion: ponder a little how long you want this data to persist. If it is months or years, go ahead with some cloud service.

But if you want it to be available for decades, or 100 years, then think about two things. First is corporate longevity. For all the cloud services you are considering, how many were on offer decades ago? How many of the underlying companies even existed decades ago? And if the service or the company did not exist decades ago, how likely is it that they will still exist decades from now? Second, data formats and curation. How many of the formats (.WAV, .FLAC, .mp3) in which you store your data were in use and supported by software? How likely is it that they will still be supported decades from now?

My own answers are that I can’t count on any cloud provider to still be in business decades from now, and some of my formats today might still be usable in a small number of decades, but perhaps not in a century.

A response to provider transience is to have multiple copies of your data in diverse locations. A response to format transience is to spend time and effort curating your data: adding readme files explaining the contents, saving MusicBrainz metadata along with the music data, etc. This will cost you more money and effort that simply choosing the single lowest-cost cloud provider and yeeting your data up there. Future you might thank you for it.


Some good points.

It’s generally considered good practice to archive in 3 different locations / media. A cloud vendor should be considered only one of the three, even if it has multiple regions etc. There have been very few ‘100 year’ companies… I already have the music on hard drives and on SSD.

As for formats, I’m archiving the .wav files and the flac versions - with all the MB data annotated in them. I am comfortable that there will be ways to convert wav and flac files to some new format forever. (Don’t bother telling me it’s redundant to store the wav files).

The reason for my question was to find out if there any cloud services beyond the obvious top tier amazon/google/msoft that people are using and can recommend. The data is really archive once and probably seldom changes - unless there is a significant change to the meta data.



The server should be located in Europe or the USA. :wink:

No offence.


There can be no earthquakes, volcanoes or floods.

That rules out iceland, italy, germany and the uk then. I think I’ll just leave the boxes of cds at @IvanDobsky ’s house. I’m sure he has room :rofl:

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Volcanoes are free geothermal energy. And UK earthquakes ain’t too bad.

Living up a hill means less chance of flood. Reasonable rates can be negotiated.
Depends on the quality of your musical tastes.

Cloud music playback available - but need to request CD in advance so it can be put on the HiFi next to the telephone :loud_sound: :phone: :loud_sound:


@IvanDobsky - good man. :wink:

There is some Pink Floyd but I believe you already have it :thinking:

Yeah, do have the odd track or two of Pink Floyd. You may have noticed a theme I guess. :rofl:

Within this “cloud access to music” thread - to stay closer to on topic.

My music is available on “cloud” access.

Ripped from CD by EAC, tagged by Picard, on a home file server (soon to swap from Win7 box to Unraid), indexed via KODI, secure accessed via OpenVPN into the house.

So yes, I can be on a hill and use my old 4G phone to playback from. If I upped my data quota I’d have fully operational cloud sitting on all Open Source tools. Or at least when I kill off that old Win7 box later in the year.

My “cloud backup” is currently dropping off a spare USB external drive at a friends house. Every few weeks I’ll swap it out to an updated one. Longer term idea is pencilled in to stash a spare NAS running Unraid at that mate’s house and backup to it overnight.

The main rule I follow is multiple copies of important stuff, stored on different media, in different locations. If I want to do a large multi-terabyte transfer then I’d drive to it to carry that out in a more local way.


Or maybe write a program that creates your own Spotify playlist based on MP3 files from your disk.

I don’t use any such service. But if I were to consider it, Backblaze would be on my list of candidates.

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I have backed up my rare music (= potentially no copies exist online) to good old Google Drive, mainly my own rips of local stuff I have since passed back to charity shops.

But since spending time on MusicBrainz my thinking has shifted massively regarding the rest of my digital collection. I’m not too worried about losing those files anymore. The music files are easily replaceable, and the metadata - not easily replaceable! - lives on in MB.

There would still be time involved with re-tagging new downloads of course. If only every digital vendor and website included MBID’s with files…

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If only! and if only record companies tagged their music properly… a MB sales opportunity? - an ‘MB tagged’ mark of quality

Thanks for the overview. I am thinking of a low end raspberry pi based nas with SSDs… low power consumption and I have very few clients in the house in use simultaneously so performance is not a concern…

as for your offsite ‘cloud’ - have you thought about a vpn to your friend’s house and something like rsync ?

I have too many drives in my backup box for a PI. The inhouse backup was not mentioned above, but run an old HP ProLiant N40L NAS box with Unraid OS. I like Unraid as I can use different sized disks in it. The only thing that box does is inhouse backup using Urbackup.

Am experimenting with a PI via DietPI now for the main KODI machine. Also have PIs running Pi Hole, the VPN and Home Assistant. (again not mentioned above as a bit OT)

That is basically the plan. My main backup is through Urbackup at home. I backup my home server. And wow did that save my arse last year. Nothing more terrifying that turning to your music server and finding a 6TB disk not responding! ALL my music :scream:

Bought new disk, set urbackup to recover… a day later everything was back. My inhouse backup box is old and slow, but much quicker than cloud recovery.

My likely plan is buying\building a new home backup NAS and moving that older one to my mates house. Then it can backup his stuff and mine via VPN at the same time.

One of the keys to well tagged music files is you are mobile and can move around a lot. You are not locked to one option. Keep options open. I access my music with multiple KODI machines, Winamp and a phone. Technology is always evolving, so I want to make sure my system can evolve with it. I also am stubbornly independent and don’t like lock-ins to cloud services.

I mess around with platforms like Unraid and DietPI as they let me try apps out quicker. If I wanted to knock up a quick OwnCloud server on a PI with a USB drive it is therefore pretty simple to pull off without needing to get too geeky. Though I prefer to VPN into a location instead of leave access to something cloudy through the firewall.