Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

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sabreja
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Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by sabreja » Thu May 16, 2019 7:17 pm

I usually work from home on my iMac desktop computer and save all my work in the computer / documents.
When traveling, I work on my MacBook Pro laptop and send the worked-on Finale file to myself via email.
Once I am back home, I will download that Finale file to my desktop and again, save to documents.
There have been times when it is difficult to distinguish between an older and newer Finale file.
I am looking for ideas on how to consistently save Finale files so that they can be identified readily
and without mistakes. Should I save all my files to a cloud server and work from those all the time?
What if the cloud fails? Last question: What is the best way to keep security copies of completed sections or works?
I periodically send email attachments to myself and keep them on the email server but not sure that is the most efficient way.
Thank you.

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Michel R E
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by Michel R E » Thu May 16, 2019 8:20 pm

when I am working on a piece - and I don't even travel - I always number the files and identify them in detail.
so for example, working on a movement of a symphony, I might call the file:

symphony_6_2nd_mvt_MAY_16th_2019.musx

I've just taken to identifying my files in detail.
once I'm finished with a movement, all the older files go into a subdirectory called "old_symphony_06_files"
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
GPO, Garritan Solo Stradivari violin, Gofriller Solo Cello.
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N Grossingink
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by N Grossingink » Thu May 16, 2019 9:49 pm

If you're away from home and want to email a backup to yourself, first make a ZIP archive of the file and email that. That way, when you get home and retrieve and open the ZIP, the file's original save date and time will be kept. Sending a file bare changes the date and time to when you download it from your email. To ZIP a file, right click on the file icon and choose "Compress".

You can, of course, set Finale to make backups. I always send them to a drive off the machine. You can pick up 2 thumb drives (main and a spare) for about $15 each–money well spent. Keep your entire Finale archive on both. A 16GB drive might be enough to archive your entire document folder if you don't do a lot of pictures or movies.

N.
N. Grossingink
Department of Public Works Music Engraving Inspector - Milwaukee, WI


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motet
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by motet » Thu May 16, 2019 10:52 pm

The cloud is unlikely to fail. The people who provide cloud service, that's their reason for being, and they go to great lengths to make sure the data is safe and backed up. That said, I have two external hard drives. One of them is at home and one is in a safe deposit box. I back up regularly to the one at home, and periodically swap it with the one in the safe deposit box. This is more like a secondary backup, though, in case I accidentally delete something. The current Finale files I'm working on I copy to Dropbox ("cloud") very frequently.

I also take regular snapshots in case I do something wrong in Finale and don't realize it right away. If I have a directory /Symphony9/Finale for my 9th symphony, I have a subdirectory /Symphony9/Finale/Snapshot which has files with names like 1905161546.musx, which shows the date and time the snapshot was made. If you're comfortable using the Bash shell on the Mac (don't try this if not), you can do something like

cp --preserve Symphony9.musx Snapshot/$(date -r Symphony9.musx +"%y%m%d%H%M").musx

which will automatically take the snapshot and get the date/time snapshot file name from the modification time of your Finale file.

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BuonTempi
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by BuonTempi » Fri May 17, 2019 6:33 am

Sending emails is not very efficient -- email servers have small size limits compared to cloud servers, and mail clients aren't really good at file organization. Any manual management is not an efficient use of your time when there are loads of purpose-built, automatic ways to manage versions and sync between two computers.

If you use something like Dropbox, then you will have your a copy of your files on your laptop and on the Cloud server, and changes will automatically be synced to your desktop iMac. If the Cloud goes down, you still have your up-to-date files on at least one computer. Dropbox does versioning automatically, too.

You may want to consider using syncing software that mirrors the files on your laptop and desktop. I use Resilio Sync to sync my entire Documents folder, so that any changes made 'on the road' automatically get copied to my desktop Mac. It does this whenever both are connected to the internet, anywhere. So, kind of like the cloud, but without a cloud! :lol:

If you want to maintain a number of versions of your documents, then ForeverSave2 is an app on the Mac App Store which can manage this. You configure settings for each application that you want to control, and it will not only do autosaves, but keep separate time-stamped versions, which you can browse and restore. I've found it indispensable when Finale's "disappearing lyrics" bug bites, and I can recover the lyrics from a previous version without losing the other changes I've made since then.

As said, to ensure that you still have copies in the event of fire, theft, flood, Act of God, etc -- then an off-site backup is essential. This can either be in a cloud server, or held at some other location. Even at home in a fire-proof safe!

bzelitch
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by bzelitch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:04 am

I'm a full-time choral composer and lyricist. But my day job for 22 years was managing version control for software engineers. Wearing my software hat, I started a blog series on one way to version your music documents.
Last edited by bzelitch on Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bernie Zelitch

Hector Pascal
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by Hector Pascal » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:02 am

Greetings, fellow Geeks ( No offence intended...!)

Necessity being the mother of invention, I've recently started naming files something like:

Catalogue Number-Title-ISMN-EditionDate-FinVersion-FileDescriptor(Score or part etc).musx
Catalogue Number-Title-ISMN-EditionDate-FinVersion-FileDescriptor(Score or part etc)-bookletImpositionInfo-CreepSetting.pdf

When everything is consistent, you can easily spot errors in the file lists. I plan to read Bernie's blog - interesting stuff!

Once, I saw something online about a well-known (European?) publisher and their use of ISMN as the unique identifier used throughout their whole computerised process of publishing music. I wish I could find it online again, it was fascinating. I am pretty certain it was a video but it might have been an article. I think it was German.

I also use FileMaker to help keep my catalogue organised. It keeps track of my ISMN allocations, stock numbers, bar codes, editing status, etc, for all my pieces. I found it a bit complex to build, but it is pleasurable to use (especially if one is a bit of a geek).

Hector Pascal.

bzelitch
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by bzelitch » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:15 pm

Hector is right that a discussion of version control is geek-y. But somebody has to do it!

One takeaway from your post, Hector, is that you like to organize with great detail. For instance, you like catalogue number and ISMN number in the file structure. In contrast, my post of the other day proposed few details: <file date>-<file title>-<optional "purpose" like "sent to engraver">.musx.

I just updated my first article on "Sotto Voce" version control to accommodate your need for more detail. I'd be curious as to what you think. The secret to all of this is using a folder structure and folder naming convention that scales to any composer's need.

To explain, the Finale *musx and *pdf files under a folder can remain simply-named even as the folder name is complex. Indeed, the folder name will surely evolve as the work changes from work in progress to working review drafts to published. During this evolution, there is no need to change the names of all of the underlying versions. Just the folder names. So I added this picture to the article:
Image

Bernie
Bernie Zelitch

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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by Hector Pascal » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:25 am

Thankyou, Bernie, for your post and message. Your blog information is very helpful and I'm encouraged that I'm heading in a similar direction to you with my filing hygiene, etc. I will take note of the efficiencies in your system. If I ever find that German publisher video about their use of ISMN and their filing structure /processes, I'll get back to you with it.

Yes, I confess I have rather long names for every folder and every subfolder and file.

My Folder structure is something like
Title > Title plus instrumentation or arrangement > Catalogue Number-AbbreviatedTitle-ISMN-EditionDate > Catalogue Number-AbbreviatedTitle-ISMN-EditionDate-FinVersion-FileDescriptor(Score or part etc).musx .... Also at this bottom level I have a folder like Catalogue Number-AbbreviatedTitle-ISMN-EditionDate-Cover (for graphics files etc). For each new edition, I have a new folder at the third level.

No doubt I should simplify this, as per your streamlined system. To help me pay attention to the EditionDate, I give the latest the colour file labels that are available to me on mac OS.

Yes, Filemaker is great, I think, if one has time to implement it. I do not store my actual Finale files in it. When I built my app in Filemaker, I researched ONIX code categories and saw which ones were relevant to my music publishing. To get an idea of the ONIX code lists, see
https://www.editeur.org/files/ONIX%20fo ... ue_47.html

Hope I haven't gone off-topic too much!
Cheers for now.
Hector.

ebiggs1
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Post by ebiggs1 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm

I simply add a number to the end of my Finale named file. Concertband_1.musx, Concertband_2, _3, _4, etc.
I currently use five, 1 and 2 TB, external HD's where everything is backed up.

(In another life I was a photographer and have many 1000's of photos stored, too)
Finale 2014.5 - Finale 26
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