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Topic: Database in Dropbox?
Hi!

I have a maybe weird but somehow 'genius' question...
Maybe this was asked before here.
I was wondering what would happen if I would share my whole drive (containing my music and of course its associated database as well) about dropbox (or similar providers).
I'm asking this question because I'm thinking about working with two different Laptops which both have only two USB-Ports each and no one left for an external drive...
(I'm also not a huge fan of external storage while djing.)

So there would be big SSDs build into both computers and the exchange between them would happen via dropbox... (This also is a nice way for backups)
The SSDs would be partitioned to have one system-drive with the VDJ-installaion and one drive exclusively synced with dropbox.
I can imagine that I can't run both computers at the same time because they would mess up each others database, but that's not even the case.
I just don't want to work with external drives, but have the ability to switch computers.
I mostly know how VDJ works with its database and that the informations of every song gets saved on the drive the song is saved on.
And since I can do switches with external drives, I was wondering if this is also possible with dropbox in general.

I know that there have to be 'clear' switches made...
Meaning not to switch until the dropbox of the computer I worked on isn't synced, and stuff like that...
Has anybody any experiences with such a system?
And what do developers say?
Is that realizable as a main way of working?
Is there any possible failure I should be aware of?

And an also very important question:
What would happen with the database on the main-drives of the different computers?
Are there any cross references in the databases of different drives?
Because if I take a look at my databases it seems kinda like that.

Thanks for the suggestions in advance!

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 1:28 am
the file paths would probably need to be exactly the same on both machines

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 1:48 am
wickedmix wrote :
the file paths would probably need to be exactly the same on both machines


I tried switching between windows and mac with an external drive and that problem didn't accrued.
So I think this could be fine...
Is there any 'definitive statement' that can be made regarding this behaviour?
Maybe VDJ kinda 'ignores' the name of the drives if it recognizes databases on external drives?

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 2:42 am
AdionPRO InfinityCTOMember since 2006
Vdj indeed ignores the drive name or letter so that would not be a problem.
As long as you only use one at a time it should indeed work like that.

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 5:32 am
PhilWPRO InfinityMember since 2011
I also suggest that you make absolutely sure that Dropbox has finished syncing before disconnecting the laptop from the Internet or you will have database corruption. You probably know this already but others reading the thread may not.

I don’t like external drives either - I use FreeFileSync to synchronize two laptops over my home network. And once in a while I will use an external to backup my media.

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 4:33 pm
Adion wrote :
Vdj indeed ignores the drive name or letter so that would not be a problem.
As long as you only use one at a time it should indeed work like that.


Ok great!!!
The idea is to create ONE solution for a lot of challenges:
- Backup for the whole collection.
- The possibility to change the hardware relatively fast if something goes wrong.
- Switching systems for development-reasons (skin and controller).
- And be able to sort tracks comfortably from desktop-computers but use them in the field on a laptop.

This behavior of the whole database-thing makes it possible, and paired with online storage the backups and the syncing isn't a big problem anymore...
Thanks for that!

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 8:32 pm
PhilW wrote :
I also suggest that you make absolutely sure that Dropbox has finished syncing before disconnecting the laptop from the Internet or you will have database corruption. You probably know this already but others reading the thread may not.

I don’t like external drives either - I use FreeFileSync to synchronize two laptops over my home network. And once in a while I will use an external to backup my media.


Yes i know that, and I already see it coming that it could happen to me in a thoughtless moment, but this seems ok if there is a cloud based backup on the otherside.
The corruptions wouldn't be that big, and if I really make this mistake, then I also have to correct the entries in the database. ^^


But this FreeFileSync idea sounds also great... I'll take a look at it, maybe I could use this for various other things.
Thank you very much!

Posted Sun 11 Aug 19 @ 8:38 pm
If your going to have the computers in the same place, at least say when you get home, then you have better options then dropbox. For example, as mentioned, sync with FreeFileSync etc. I am assume you want to do this for backup machine mostly? If they need to be in different locations and you use DropBox, then it seems you would have to leave each one on all the time so that it would be synced when you go to use it. Mostly sync should not talk long but it all depends on what changes are made... initially may take the most time.. Just playing them can cause a small update for each file depending on options chosen.. Problems with syncing can happen and then you are back to some side by side syncing using something other than DropBox which should be less error prone anyway.

If everything goes well with DropBox (error prone?), you have the advantage of having an offsite backup, but that can be done any number of ways.

Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 12:17 am
Thank you for your tips, it seems I have to look for an other solutions anyway, because:

VDJ saves the database-folder in the root-directory.
Dropbox on the other side doesn't offer the possibility to choose the whole drive (beginning from the root) as "synced folder"...
It at least needs a Dropbox-folder inside the root to work.

So I can't choose "Z:\" alone as my Dropbox-folder.
The path has to be "Z:\Dropbox\". And only the files inside the folder get synced.
Which means that the database that gets created from VDJ is always outside the folder, and therefore it does not get synced.
I contacted the support and they confirmed exactly this problem.
(They opened a ticket with the dev-team to implement that eventually)

There could be some ways to get this working:
1. Is there a way to tell VDJ that the database of drive "Z:\" is somewhere else? (Haven't searched yet)
2. There are apps that make it possible to sync folders outside the dropbox-folder (Dropbox-Support advises against it)
And this one is really weird:
3. Maybe I could choose the "outside-folder" in FreeFileSync, and let it sync locally with the "inside-folder", and then sync it with dropbox, and do the same thing in reverse on the other end. (Jeeeeeeesus) xD

So, dropbox would be my favorite, but as far as I calculate it this is a little toooooo tricky - at least with dropbox - unless there is no easy solution for the database-problem or dropbox doesn't implement that.

Any ideas to the mentioned possibilities? :D

Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 1:47 am

Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 6:12 am
kradcliffe wrote :
You can change the VDJ home folder locationin the registry with a simple script.

I use SSD drives and have it set to D:\\VirtualDJ but you can set the home folder to anything you want including a Dropbox location.

See attached and modify it to suit.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zrcphm1tum5j0jb/VDJ%20Home%20D.reg?dl=0


Thanks you!
I will download it later... at work now.

Can I also change the directory of the database on an external drive?
Or better said: the directory of the database on another partition?
(The drive letter always stays the same, and the drive doesn't get removed since it is a partition of the main drive.)

Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 6:20 am
PachNPRO InfinityMember since 2009
You can't change the location of the database.
You have to set your home folder to somthing like this:

D:\Dropbox\VirtualDJ

Then it'll get synced as far as I understood.
If you also got a folder D:\Dropbox\Music, all should be good.
Just make sure the other laptop's got the same configuration.

Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 8:01 am
I use Dropbox to sync my database over several computers.
Since you can't set Dropbox to sync the root of a drive you can make a junction on the root of the drive to move the database folder inside the Dropbox folder.
The only limitation is that this method works only on Windows and NTFS formatted drives.

Typical usage example:
1. Rename VirtualDJ folder from D drive to VirtualDJ2
2. Run a command prompt with administrator privileges
3. cd d:
4. mklink /j VirtualDJ "c:\users\username\documents\dropbox\database drive d"
5. copy contents of d:\VirtualDJ2 folder to d:\VirtualDJ


Posted Mon 12 Aug 19 @ 6:19 pm
PachN wrote :
You can't change the location of the database.
You have to set your home folder to somthing like this:

D:\Dropbox\VirtualDJ

Then it'll get synced as far as I understood.
If you also got a folder D:\Dropbox\Music, all should be good.
Just make sure the other laptop's got the same configuration.


Oh ok... this makes sense indeed...
I have got a folder named Z:\Dropbox\Music in fact.
Currently its uploading the files.

I haven't done anything with the database yet.
But the more I think about it I kinda get familiar with the idea that the database doesn't sync automatically.
It's like having a 'master copy' of the database, and if I want to change computers once in a while I can copy the few MBs manually into the dropbox folder.
The advantage is that this saves the database from uncontrolled overwritings, at least for the first few weeks till I get more into this whole method.

Maybe I try some tweaks first (with scripts or additional software) to automatically copy the database into the folder, but not back again to protect the original from getting overwritten.
Then I'd always have an up-to-date backup, but also the unretouched original. Should there be a switch between computers I only have to replace the older database on the next computer I want to work with...

I think this sounds really healthy.

Posted 7 days ago @ 12:57 am
PhantomDeejay wrote :
I use Dropbox to sync my database over several computers.
Since you can't set Dropbox to sync the root of a drive you can make a junction on the root of the drive to move the database folder inside the Dropbox folder.
The only limitation is that this method works only on Windows and NTFS formatted drives.

Typical usage example:
1. Rename VirtualDJ folder from D drive to VirtualDJ2
2. Run a command prompt with administrator privileges
3. cd d:
4. mklink /j VirtualDJ "c:\users\username\documents\dropbox\database drive d"
5. copy contents of d:\VirtualDJ2 folder to d:\VirtualDJ



This is a kind of the scripts that I meant in my last comment.
Thank you in first place for this tip!
Does this also copy in one direction only?

I saw a way to do it on mac too, as I googled software for this kinda stuff...
So thank you! I'll try it!

Posted 7 days ago @ 1:01 am