WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DROPBOX...
We live, work, and breath in a globalised music industry which is service-based.
The work we do—whether it’s mastering, mixing, vocal work, or anything similar—is almost always delivered to the client digitally. Everyone knows that mailing around USB's or hard drives isn't feasible, especially when file sharing on the internet is so easily accessible.
So why do we use Dropbox?
Why not Google Drive or Box? Skydrive? One of the hundred cheaper options?
The last couple of weeks has highlighted that my choice to use Dropbox as the primary file-sharing mechanism at the studio is one of the best decisions I've made. I've had files sent to me from an array of services which clients use: WeTransfer, SendSpace, HighTail, ZippyShare, GoogleDrive, etc.
Often, when I’ve used these services I run into slower download times, syncing reliability and management issues. I'm not writing this article to discredit alternatives, but rather to share how Dropbox enhances my workflow and can help yours.
Right off the bat, without comparing all the bells and whistles that file sharing services offer, we need to recognize their core function: Sharing data.
This process may be familiar for many of you when it comes to sharing any work in progress: Bounce mix -> Open web-browser -> Upload to file sharing site -> Upload complete -> Share link.
The following is what my process looks like when it comes to sharing a mix with my clients: Bounce Mix -> Share Link
STEP 1: Export mix into dropbox folder.
STEP 2: Instantly share this to an email. The upload will sync/ finish in the background and send it when it's ready. No need to enter any web-browsers, 3rd party apps or email clients.
All the steps inbetween are facilitated by automated syncing through the Dropbox applet.
As for the bells and whistles, here is all that matters.
Reliability: Dropbox has been consistently reliable in sending, storing, managing and accessing my files.
Integration: Dropbox integrates into my workflow seamlessly, not only when I bounce files into the dropbox folder, but between my devices, I have the Dropbox applet on my laptop, iMac, studio computer and iPhone. All of which share and sync my files in the background.
Collaboration: I can create share folders that clients can interact with, drop reference material, alternate stems, mixes and notes into that will automatically sync for the projects we're working on.
The digital age is an age we should be embracing to aid our creativity, efficiency and role within the music industry. Something as small as an automated Dropbox sync folder can have such an impact on your workflow. I encourage you to try it and explore ways it can benefit you.
Here's a personal invite from us at Panorama to get started. OUR INVITATION TO YOU TO JOIN DROPBOX
Let us know how it goes for you.