Feb. 24th, 2017

paraka: A baby wearing headphones and holding a mic (Default)
[personal profile] paraka
Hey all,

This is an unofficial update on the state of the Audiofic Archive.

As some of you may know, back in December I started organizing a crowd sourcing of the missing back catalogue of the archive. We recovered almost 14,000 the approximately 20,000 files missing, leaving just over 6,000 to go.

However on February 3 while trying to upload podfics, I got an error saying that the server was out of space. I hoped that would be a temporary error, but thus far it has not been resolved. I've contacted the head of the Archive asking for help as they are the only ones able to contact the webhosting the company to get this straightened out but have not heard back (I'm sure many of you have been reading between the lines but the archivists have been working on their own to restore the archive without any guidance from the archive owner. We haven't had any news since the public update July 5th). This means we're unable to add any files to the Archive, whether they're new podfics or from the backlog of missing ones.

Thank you to everyone who helped get those 14K files back up, I'll follow up if anything changes in the future.
[personal profile] kitsuneheart
 Kind of piggy-backing on Paraka, here, but this has been a subject on my mind, recently.

I'm just going to start by saying this: Back up your shit. Back it up. Do it, NOW. Do it to the cloud, and then buy an external drive and back up to that, as well. Store the external drive somewhere outside your house (a friend's house, your car, whatever). Heck, if your personal file collection is small enough, you can probably keep it all on a keychain flash drive. If you're a packrat, like me, your hard drive will still be no bigger than a book. Go do it. Now.

There's plenty of free options for smaller file collections. I personally recommend Google Drive (15GB) or DropBox (2GB, but there's guides online on how to get more space, so it's pretty easy to get over 10GB without paying), because they do the backups automatically. This is the BARE MINIMUM you should be doing, people. Never freak out because your computer died in the middle of writing or drawing or recording. Fix it or replace it, and download your cloud backup. If you've got a lot of stuff, then go find a service which will let you store more.

Two years ago, I bit the bullet and bought a DropBox Pro account. I am so glad I did, because, a few months later, my laptop crashed. Rather than freaking out and trying to recover old files, I just got my new laptop, installed DropBox, and let it download my backups. Within two days, I was back to normal. All my music, photos, my writing, my podfic. Safe. If I'd already had that external hard drive backup I recommend, I'd have been fixed up even faster. There are lots of services you can consider, but if you can find yourself with the cash to spare, investing in an automatic cloud backup service like DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. is a great investment for any creator.

I don't fully understand what happened with Jinjurly's site, but it  looks like there were not enough backups. One got corrupted in the website transfer, and another...I dunno. We were told back in July that the main backup was in hand and the archive would be back to normal over the weekend, but that never happened. Did Jinjurly lie about that backup's existence? Was it also bad? Did it get lost? Did she (and I am being serious here) die on us? I've been keeping a backup of all the current Jinjurly files on my laptop and that external drive, just in case this were all to happen again, but, at this point...I don't think that another corrupt file system is what's going to kill the archive.

There's been no communication with archive higher-ups since July. And, when I said I was being serious about Jinjurly maybe passing, I was being 100% serious. For all intents and purposes, she's...gone. No longer with us. I hope that she's just moved on in her interests, is too busy with life, but we just don't know.

The Jinurly.com domain expires in September. If nothing has changed by mid-August, I'll bring this up with other main archive people (Paraka most definitely) on how to proceed. I think someone in the podfic community needs to buy it up, but what to do with it, how to proceed...I dunno. A redirect? A clone of the original site? A whole new home for podficcers? I just don't know. And I'm not even sure if it's necessary, anymore.

A few weeks ago, I decided to finally check the podfic tag on AO3, and I found that only 1/3rd, possibly less, of podfics are being posted here to Amplificathon. It's not a hub, anymore. Oh, I'm looking forward to the annual Amplificathon challenge posts, but Dreamwidth? Jinjurly? They're not the place to go, anymore. You can get some exposure, sure, but that's about it.

At the same time, don't put all your faith in the AO3. I love it dearly. I support it extensively. I'm one of those people with two coffee cups and other goodies, and my husband's employer matches what I contribute (lol, Google helps host your fanfic). The OTW is the beneficiary on my Amazon Smile setup. I know not everyone can give to the OTW as freely, but I DO encourage all of you that use Amazon to set up that Smile account to help the OTW, and to also install whatever extension for your browser that automatically redirects you to smile.amazon when you're shopping (SmileAlways for Chrome, Smile Redirect for Firefox). It costs you nothing, and if enough people do it, it will really help the OTW out.

But I do not think the Archive of Our Own will last forever. I live walking distance to the Yahoo campus, and in the time I've been here, it's gone from packed parking lots to a skeleton crew, with even grimmer news circling around the investors. Websites, even for-profit sites, just...fail. It happens all the time.

So, when I love a fanfic, I go back to the top of the page and download it as an epub. I keep it, just like I've always kept all the podfic I listen to. A significant number of files recovered to the archive in Paraka's efforts are from my own computer, used as a last resort after original links failed and readers either didn't respond or said they hadn't kept their old work. I keep these things because I know, someday, they will be gone, and I will want them. To listen to or read again, or to give to a friend who will love them as much as I did.

I adore Paraka so much for what she has done in hosting podfics. She has accomplished far, FAR more than I did on the archive recovery, and she's still trying. But, if you are a creator or a lover of a work, keep your own backups. Don't upload to Paraka and then delete from your own computer. Keep your creations close. Hope that you never had to use those backups again, but be prepared to, if the time comes.

Go back up your stuff. Back up the stuff you love. You'll thank me, someday.

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