iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

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iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by james090 »

I have several drives that I back up to, on my Macbook Pro M1

I'm now looking at upgrading either my Google Drive or iCloud + but which is better for storage, samples etc and Music in general?

iCloud obviously shows as a drive in the sidebar in Mac, (does G-Drive do this?)

What i need to know as I don't use either yet, for audio, is can you use the 'cloud' drives as physical drives for pulling in and streaming samples without downloading them first? which would mean it takes up room on your internal physical drive?

Is there a preference for musicians?

I should point out I did try Dropbox, but didn't like it so im not looking at that really, just between the two big ones, iCloud+ and G-Drive as I already use these a little at the moment with basic storage, but am thinking I could use these as a replacement for physical USB drives or external drives if they work this way?

Thanks for any help
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by MarkOne »

I’m pretty sure Google drive can show up in finder as a drive, but there was some messing to make it happen ( sorry, haven’t used it since I got the M1 mbp)

iCloud is, as you’d expect, seamless, for me the biggest win is how easily it allows me to get to stuff on my macs, iPad, and iPhone.

And using the windows iCloud app makes it pretty simple to move stuff between windows land and Mac land.

But of course it is 79p a month for 50GB. So there’s that. You might miss out on 1/4 of a costas latte, each month!
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by resistorman »

What do you mean by streaming without downloading, IE a whole project's worth or just listening to a single stream?
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by james090 »

resistorman wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:05 pm What do you mean by streaming without downloading, IE a whole project's worth or just listening to a single stream?

I mean like using it as a physical drive with samples being streamed in a DAW, but it being in the cloud

Is this possible and fast enough yet to do this? Or do you still need to download from
The cloud to use any samples or play audio?
And therefore using up your physical drive(s) space with whatever you need to use?
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by MarkOne »

resistorman wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:05 pm What do you mean by streaming without downloading, IE a whole project's worth or just listening to a single stream?

Ah, I missed that bit.

I don’t think you can rely on any cloud based storage to replace a physical drive when it comes to, for instance, offloading your Kontakt libraries. You have to look at cloud storage as where you keep stuff, you get out to use… like the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet, or maybe even the loft or shed. Not on the desk ready to use in real time.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by RichardT »

I agree - retrieving data from the cloud is limited by your internet speed, which is vastly less than anything you'll get on a modern drive.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by james090 »

So we’re only talking cloud storage for backing up and archiving stuff only.

Do you have to download it to play to your physical drive or are there ways that it can behave like a physical drive with things in the cloud?
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by MrKahuna »

With iCloud, if you’re trying to preview a sample I think you can do that in a browser, assuming it’s a normal audio file. If you try to do it from Finder it will get downloaded to your drive.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by resistorman »

In my experience, all the cloud services I've used will download the file except for a (usually sluggish) preview in your browser. I'm afraid it's local drives yet for time sensitive data, and will be far into the future. My home network isn't even fast enough to satisfactorily use a networked drive on a project.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by merlyn »

Back in the day the cloud was called 'server side'. At some point 'server side' got re-branded. But it's the same thing: there is a server (a remote internet machine) and a client (your local machine).

Storing files on a server has been possible since the beginning of networking using e.g. FTP. Dropbox, iCloud et al have made this user friendly with a nice GUI, and integration into the OS/file manager.

What you may have heard about, and you're wondering how this applies to music, is 'cloud computing' as sold by Amazon Web Services and Azure. Yes, you can have unlimited storage on a drive in the cloud, but you would run the whole machine in the cloud. Cloud computing is running a virtual machine on a server provided by AWS or Azure.

Audio is quite a light load for a modern computer, but requires performance that's as near to real time as possible.

So there have been huge advances in cloud computing, but at the moment these are not relevant to a machine set up for audio production.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by ken long »

If you are synching with Drive, then you have the master folder on your Mac so yes, you can stream samples from there just like any other local folder. If you are trying to stream from the actual Google servers then no.

I use Drive. $1.99 pcm for 100GB ain't bad. You also get 15GB free with every free Gmail account you open up. I tend to open an account for specific projects if they become too large for my personal storage.
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Re: iCloud or Google Drive for Music?

Post by James Perrett »

I'm not sure whether it is the same on Macs but Google recently changed their system for PCs so that Google Drive files are no longer stored locally as well as on their servers. While they appear to be stored locally, it is actually just a virtual drive and the files themselves are on their server (unless they are in the process of being uploaded).

However, it appears that you can change the settings for individual files and folders for Offline Access (on Windows this appears when you right click on a file or folder). Presumably when Offline Access is enabled, the file is stored on your local disk as well as on Google's servers.

I like Google because, unlike Dropbox, they offer options for users who don't want Terabytes of space. As Ken says, the 100GB tier is cheap and they also do a 200GB tier for £25 per year.
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