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MusicMaster Blog

Emergency Preparedness posted on August 1st, 2011

By Marianne Burkett

Severe weather effects most regions in the country and most countries in the world from time to time.  Lightning, flooding, torrential rains, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes or ice storms!  There’s also just regular power outages, rolling brownouts, hard-drive meltdowns, untimely network disconnections etc.  Are you prepared to “cut and run” with your stations database, your dongle and a copy of the MusicMaster software application safely tucked away in the event of an emergency?  Do you have a backup copy of your database?

A Short, Mostly True Story:

The rain was relentless and the rivers were spilling over their banks.  Homes were being engulfed in water all through the city.  The radio station, seemingly impervious to other bad weather situations in the past, was locked up for the weekend. The staff headed home to save their properties and help those in trouble.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  The river crested on Sunday and completely flooded the radio station.  Every desk, every computer, every laptop, the studios – EVERYTHING destroyed in the blink of an eye.

On Monday I received a call from the Program Director.  He explained what had happened.  I asked the simple question: Do you have a backup with you?  He did not have a backup, it was at the station.   He did however have an old laptop at his home, with an old backup stored on it.  It was a very old backup… five years old!  I explained what type of things would need to be done in MusicMaster, including Library Synchronization and rebuilding Categories, Clocks and Coding and… I worked with him on the project.  The Program Director also re-named old export files to recent dates, so something was on the air until his work was completed on the database.  The station was re-built and life is back to normal in the River City.

I certainly don’t mean to alarm you, but I would suggest doing a “Standard” backup to your hard drive, or server on a daily basis, in addition to performing a “Custom” flash drive backup on a daily basis.  Along with backing up the database – save a copy of the MusicMaster software application on a flash drive.  This way, in the event of an emergency, you can run the software and restore your backup onto your home computer or laptop and still generate logs.

Performing backups:

Tools/Backup/Perform a Standard Backup.  The backup file will be created and be stored to whatever location your MusicMaster icon is pointed to.  To find that, right click on your MusicMaster icon, go to Properties and look at the path.  In the example below you’ll see my icon is pointed to N:\MMdata

Performing a Custom Backup

It’s as simple as performing a Standard Backup!  You’ll need to create the backup profile before you can perform the Custom Backup.  First, you’ll need to find out what letter your flash drive is.  Plug in your flash drive, go to “My Computer” or “Computer” and take a look at what drive letter is assigned to the flash drive.  In the example below, my flash drive letter happens to be “E”.  Then, go to Tools/Backup “Create.”

Under Additional Files, consider adding in any files you need for reconciliation or traffic processes (the .DEF files).  These will then be included in your backup for safekeeping.

Click OK and you’ll be all set to perform a Custom Backup every single day.

You can create multiple Custom backup profiles as well.

Another safety net is to email yourself a backup on a daily basis.   Cyber-space is a wonderful thing.

I’ve also discovered the joys of using a free service called Dropbox, to store my backup in “the cloud” (more information in this post).

You may think I’m a bit paranoid in doing all these backups every single day I do work in MusicMaster.  So what?  I’d rather be a bit paranoid and careful, than lose even one day of work to some kind of natural or unnatural disaster.

Another thing of not is that you can access all versions of the MusicMaster software application from our support center.

Of course, if you have any questions at all – feel free to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.  We are always here to help.