For most of us, it’s not just a bunch of CDs and MP3s. It’s the soundtrack of our lives. And when you have something that important, you want to make sure that it’s around, safe and sound for a long, long time.
So let’s take a few minutes, grab that music collection of yours and back it up for safekeeping. And who knows? You might even be able to put that amazing vinyl jazz solo you love, on your smartphone!
1. Back Up Your MP3s
Do you have MP3 or other digital music files on your computer, smartphone or other devices?
On your PC or Mac, create a folder called “Backup Music (dd/mm/yy)” using today’s date.
Grab all of your devices and take a few moments to download, send or save all of your MP3s (or other digital music files) to your computer. Then put all of those MP3s into the backup folder.
Locate all of the digital music on your computer’s hard drive. Leaving the originals where they are, make copies of the music folders and place them into the backup folder.
2. Deal With CDs, Cassettes & Vinyl Albums
Gather all your CDs, Vinyl Albums and Cassettes and set them on a nearby table.
Although all of your music is important, some means more to you than others.
Separate your CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums into two piles.
Pile One: Music you love that you want to copy and preserve digitally for safekeeping.
Pile Two: Music that you:
A) Already have in MP3 format.
B) Have numerous copies of the album in other locations (double check that this is true).
C) Simply don’t care about preserving.
Go ahead and put the music in pile two back where you found it.
3. Convert Your CDs to MP3s
Convert the CDs to MP3s using Windows Media Player (for PCs) or Audacity for Mac. Just pop in the CD into your computer, open the software and follow the instructions.
Once they’re ripped, save copies of each album to the regular music folder on your computer and to your new backup folder.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download your favorite songs to your iPod or smartphone.
4. Convert Your Cassettes & Albums to MP3s
Here are a few easy ways we’ve found to convert your cassettes or albums to MP3s.
There are several vinyl album to MP3 recorders available including the Crosley Memory Master II 3-Speed Turntable with CD Player/Recorder . The nice thing about that one is that it converts cassettes and vinyl to CD or to MP3s. And if you only have cassettes to convert, there is the ION Tape Express.
Once you’ve saved copies of your cassettes and vinyl albums, save them to the regular music folder on your computer, to your new backup folder and don’t forget to put your favorites on your smartphone or MP3 player.
And while you’re at it, how about helping mom, dad, grandma or grandpa preserve their old albums while you’re at it. An MP3 player or new iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy full of their favorite songs would make a GREAT gift!
5. Backing Up Your Music For Safe Keeping
Since we’ve been talking about preserving your music, once you’ve got it all backed up, it only makes sense to keep it safe and sound.
So save a copy of your Backup Music folder onto a flash drive or a portable hard drive and place it in at least two secure, damage-proof locations, away from home for safekeeping.
Here are a few suggestions on places to put it:
In a watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.
In a safe deposit box in your own city.
In a water/fireproof safe in your own city.
In a safe deposit in a pre-determined evacuation location
In a password protected file on Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive or family web site.