How to prevent file degradation?

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raydjames

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Dec 28, 2010
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So I am the proud owner of a large music collection (approx. 15k tunes) and I recently came across an issue.

I was fiddling with the tags of my songs with Tagscanner and copying them over to my external to back them up. I've done this before, probably three times, as I'm one of those people that needs things organized and the right letters capitalized and all that stuff.

Well, this time, I corrupted some of the files that I've had for a long time. They will stop playing about halfway through and iTunes just goes to hell when that happens. I assume this is because I've copied the files so many times that they just got wore out.

I've ripped the songs back off my iPod and I'm going to organize them all again, so recovering them is not an issue.

What I'm really asking is what precautions can I take to reduce file degradation? Are there programs out there that "polish" files? The built in Windows File Checker thing just patches up broken songs by making it skip and sometimes doesn't even work. Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
May 22, 2005
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7,091
Different programs use different methods to tag Mp3 files and conflicts can cause them to become unreadable to some media players.

Get MP3 Diags and scan your files for errors. The program can also repair most errors.

Go here and click on Windows 32bit installer.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
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Fragmentation is likely.
Defrag. Not the junk that comes with Windows, but something like PerfectDisk.

That's all it might be.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
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51,988
Files don't "wear out" or change in any way whatsoever with time or use. They are digital and are exactly the same throughout their lifetimes so long as they are not corrupted in some way.

If you copy a file to a hard drive, every byte is verified and you can be sure that the copy is genuine. But saving to optical media is a bit different. There are safeguards against bad copies, but the data is not as safe as on a hard drive because the surface can be damaged. Small changes are not noticeable for most media, though they could destroy the functionality of a program. To be sure you have good copies, it is better to save them on an external drive than on optical media.

Of course, it is a good idea to be sure that the file system on the drive is intact by running chkdsk before you make copies at all.
 
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