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The feeling of losing a podcast episode, a recording with a guest, or a file you absolutely needed is horrifying. Whether it’s corruption, a lost hard drive, or a stolen laptop, there are a few easy steps to take to safeguard your podcast recordings.

Backing up your podcast – The 3-2-1 Strategy

The 3-2-1 strategy is perhaps the most common, and easiest way to protect your data. Essentially, the 3-2-1 strategy means having three copies of your files, two of which are on different local devices or mediums, and the other copy is somewhere offsite such as the cloud.

In a very simple setup, this could look like:

  • 1 copy on your laptop
  • 1 copy on an external hard drive
  • 1 copy uploaded to Google Drive

By having these copies in different locations, it doesn’t matter if you damage your laptop, or lose your hard drive, or accidentally delete it off Google Drive, because you have identical copies that exist elsewhere. Whilst no perfect backup system exists, the 3-2-1 approach is the easiest place to start and is recommended by governments, universities and data organisations.

Using the 3-2-1 strategy mentioned above, the entire back up process for a podcast should look like the follow:

  1. Once you have finished recording and have your captured audio or video files, transfer them directly from the SD card or original location to a hard drive, to Google Drive and to your laptop, each time taking the original file. Taking the original file is super important in case one of the files becomes corrupt during a transfer and you duplicate it across your other two copies.
  2. Now that you have a copy on your computer, on a hard drive, and on Google Drive, you can start editing your podcast or making the necessary changes using the most appropriate copy, most of the time, this will be the copy on the local device.
  3. Once changes have been made, copy the project file and any other files created to Google Drive and the external hard drive so that all 3 copies are identical.
  4. Once your podcast episode is ready to be published, upload your final version and check that all 3 mediums – your laptop, a hard drive and Google Drive – have the final version of the necessary files.

Although this system isn’t perfect, it’s a big step in the right direction for preventing data and time loss. Having done a podcast episode every day for over 800 episodes, having this system in place has meant we have had peace of mind when it comes to managing files on the go when we’re doing outside broadcasts or being able to handover projects.

We follow this approach for all of our podcast episodes at The Daily Talk Show by using a QNAP NAS as our main medium for storage, before taking a back up at the end of the day onto a portable hard drive that is taken off site. In addition, we have copies of our project files and podcast recordings on Google Drive.

If you’re looking for other steps on how to safeguard your podcast, a similar approach can be taken with the way you record your podcast. Making sure you have redundancies throughout the entire process of recording and distributing your podcast is crucial for peace of mind and security.

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