Using Dropbox for Multiple Backups and Versions

Using Dropbox for Multiple Project Backups and Versions

April 24, 2014

How to use Dropbox for multiple backups of your DaVinci Resolve projects.

Going beyond file sharing

I’ve been using Dropbox for several years and it has become an indispensable resource. It allows me to share files between multiple computers—with very little effort on my part. It just works in the background.

A few years ago I upgraded my Dropbox account to include their ‘PackRat’ option… which keeps a backup of files each time they are saved or deleted… with a Restore function.

At the start of 2014, as I was migrating between Mac OS 10.8.5 and 10.9, I started saving my DaVinci Resolve disk databases on Dropbox. It allowed me to open Resolve projects in their most current state, no matter which Mac partition I was booted into. It was during this process that I discovered a nifty by-product of using Dropbox… Versions.

Automatic Versioning

If you dig through a Resolve disk database, you’ll quickly realize its mostly a plethora of .xml files arranged in a specific folder hierarchy. Every time you save a file, Dropbox creates a backup of that file, allowing you to restore that version from its web-based interface.

Restoring Resolve—Via DropBox

In this Insight I’ll show you how this all works. I do caution: This is a bit of an unproven workflow. Dropbox has been known to be incompatible with some types of project files. Over the last few months DaVinci Resolve disk databases seem to work just fine on Dropbox… for me. And in an email exchange with Blackmagic, they didn’t raise any red flags over this workflow.

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Viewing 6 reply threads

    • Christophe Delaunay

      Pat, I’m using Dropbox for my accounting application for a long time now, hence it allows me to share my datas over multiple computers. I’m using a free DB account, and I have never heard of ‘PackRat’ option before. But I can say for sure that the versioning is working the same as you described on my account (see picture attached).

      I’ll try later with a Resolve project, but I’m pretty sure it will work. So I wanted to tell other members they can try this sharing technique even if they’ve got, like me, a free account. 😉

    • Patrick Inhofer

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      It’s nice knowing that with the RatPack option, I can roll back in time 30 or 40 saves should something catastrophic happen.

      After months of using DropBox as the location for my Disk Databases, I have no hesitation recommending it.

    • Christophe Delaunay

      No doubt the RatPack is bringing more to the table. But viewing the insight, one could think versioning only works that way, that was the point. I’ll give a try to put a database on my DB, and probably upgrade like you did if I’m pleased.

    • Patrick Inhofer

      Ah. Good point.

    • Patrick Inhofer

      Christophe – here is DropBox’s explanation of the Packrat option: “By default, Dropbox saves a history of all deleted and earlier versions of files for 30 days for all Dropbox accounts. If you purchase the Packrat add-on for your account, Dropbox will save your files for as long as you have the feature, so you won’t have to worry about losing a deleted folder or file.”

      What you’re buying is the ability to hold on to those older versions for the life of a file.

    • Christophe Delaunay

      Thanks to make that clear Patrick. To sum it up on this insight, we can hence say that :
      – every DB account can use the trick you’re showing in the video ;
      – limitation about going back in time on a file is 30 days for free accounts, which can be enough for some purposes (like moving as you did to NAB a few days) ;
      – PackRat option will guaranty a lifetime backup of the project as soon as it is created on the DB.

    • Jason Bowdach

      as of november 1, 2014 , Unless you have the business Pro acct, Packrat only keeps backups for a year now. FYI for those JUSt signing up for this, but those “grandfathered” are still good for life.

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