Audio Encoding Project Resumes (or, a funny thing happened on the way to 300 GB)

It's been a while (almost 8 months, to be exact) since I have updated this forum on the status of my audio encoding project. I could cite the usual life delays and an unusually busy Summer as excuses, but there is more to it.

So, a funny thing happened on my way to 300 GB...

Not long after my last update, steady encoding progress brought me to about 240 GB of encoded music. As far as CDs go not much is left to encode -- perhaps 100 CDs out of the originally estimated 800 -- and I have mostly caught up in creating Ogg Vorbis reference copies. As I worked my way towards filing my 300 GB external drive, however, I began having strange pangs of trepidation centered on the thought: what happens if I lose this drive? Knowing full well that the roughly 240 GB of data represented a significant investment in time and effort, and also knowing full well the fallibility of technology and the loss risk inherent in only one copy of, well, anything, I became reluctant to continue encoding until some of these risks could be mitigated. I cannot say that this trepidation represents anything near as harrowing as what must be felt by an archivist handling rare, unique manuscripts – I have the original objects to re-encode from, and most of them are not unique – but through my meager risk I certainly feel for those who work in such risky situations.

Since halting progress, and having finished the aforementioned busy Summer, I have come into possession of a network attached storage (NAS) server, specifically, a 1 Terabyte Buffalo TeraStation. The prices have recently dropped on these units in the wake of the newer 2 TB versions and, likely, pressure from a spate of competing 1 TB boxes. For the benefit of those who didn't just click the link, the 1TB model contains four 250 GB hard drives and is capable of a variety of RAID configurations and storage capacities. I opted for the relative safety of a 750 GB RAID 5 configuration which, though not absolutely fail-safe, does protect against a single drive failure and quite effectively allays my trepidation over continuing the project.

I've since copied the entire contents of the 300 GB external drive to the TeraServer in preparation for resuming the encoding process, unencumbered by worry. More to come.