Cloud File Exchange | Share and Share Alike

May 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Mike Levine

PROFESSIONAL OPTIONS FOR CLOUD-BASED STORAGE AND FILE EXCHANGE

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Gobbler goes through your hard drive, looking for music files. You can then choose which ones to back up from the list.

Gobbler goes through your hard drive, looking for music files. You can then choose which ones to back up from the list.

GOBBLE GOBBLE
Recent startup Gobbler (Mac only, but Windows support is coming) is the only one of the cloud-based file sites designed specifically for use in music-production projects. It works somewhat differently from either the file-delivery or hosting/sharing sites, but allows you to back up and share your projects. It’s still in beta but is fully functional. Gobbler is free until the beta period ends, which company CEO Chris Kantrowitz says should be in August 2011, at which point it will start with its lowest tier at $8.95/month. Until then, you get 50 GB of free storage.

Gobbler runs through a free software application that you download. It scans your drives looking for music projects created in most major DAWs (MOTU Digital Performer isn’t currently supported, but Kantrowitz says it should be by May), and once it finishes, lets you designate which ones to back up to the cloud. Gobbler uses a lossless FLAC compression on the audio that compresses locally on your computer as it uploads to Gobbler’s servers. It decompresses automatically, again on your computer, when you download the file. The reason the local compression/decompression is a big deal is that the smaller file size lets Gobber transfer more quickly when uploading and downloading. It also allows for reduced file sizes (up 60-percent smaller, according to Kantrowitz) on Gobbler’s server, thus allowing you to fit more in your allotted file space. Gobbler lets you share files or folders, and it will only let the designated recipient download the file. The recipient has to sign up for Gobbler (no payment is required) to retrieve what you send. If this person chooses not to download the Gobbler software, he/she will still be able to retrieve files through a Web browser, but transfer will be slower.

Gobbler also lets you go back to previously saved versions of your file in case you want to revert. In addition, it has a feature called deduplication, which means that if you upload multiple versions of a file, it’s smart enough to only upload the files that have changed since your original upload, which potentially can save a great deal of space and transfer time.

DOWNLOAD
There is undoubtedly a lot of hype about “the cloud,” and marketers love to talk as if it’s some magic puff of vapor that floats above the Earth rather than what it really is: servers on the Internet. That being said, sharing and storing your files remotely has never been easier, cheaper or more convenient. With all the options available online and perhaps a touch of old-fashioned FTP or DigiDelivery (or Aspera’s replacement for it), you should be able to put together a file-sharing solution that’s customized for your studio’s particular needs.


Mike Levine is a New York–based music journalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist, and is the former editor of EM.






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