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Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

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Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Postby 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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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Postby 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:


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"
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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

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

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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Postby 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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Re: Methodology for saving and identifying Finale files

Postby 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!
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