Should I Just Use Google Drive?

I’m a strange, silly man. I tell myself that I won’t be uploading anything or sharing anything until I have all my files sorted and organized. Then I spend far too many hours searching for the perfect cloud storage system so that when I am ready to start sharing shows again I’ll be able to. I land on Google Drive, it seems to have most of what I need and should work well for you all. But it gets pretty expensive once you get over 5TBs. I tell myself that my new plan is to not share shows every day. That I’m going to share fun things like entire tours or a cool run of shows, etc, and I’ll only do that once a week, or maybe 2-3 times a month. That will limit my storage needs so Google should still be ok.

Then I think that I also really want to have an online storage system for all my files. I like the idea of a cloud backup. But again that is really expensive. Except for File Factory. File Factory is cheap and has lots of storage. But File Factory isn’t all that great for non-pro downloaders

So I’ll use Google Drive for my sharing and File Factory for my backup. It’s the perfect plan I think. I start uploading a little to File Factory. Hey, I say to myself, why not share these shows on File Factory. Maybe they aren’t great for everyone to download, but I bet some folks will like them. So I do that. Then I decide to share stuff on File Factory every week. And I upload even more.

Here’s the question. If I’m uploading everything to File Factory and sharing those links should I still use Google Drive? Or, since File Factory doesn’t work all that well for non-pro accounts, should I just switch everything to Google Drive.

Google is much more expensive than File Factory. I could keep those costs down if I just use Google for my “official” shares. I’d still probably beg for money, but probably less frequently. If I just use Google then I’ll be uploading shows every night and that will add up fairly quickly. On average I’d say I’ll upload one TB every six months.

The price breakdown for Google is this:

2TB: $99/year
5TB: $249/year
10TB: $44.99/month ($599.88/year)
20TB: $99.99/month ($1,199.88/year)
30TB: $149.99/month ($1,799.88/year)

That’s all the plans they have (well, technically they have a 100gig and a 200 gig plan but I’d burn through that super fast). For some reason they don’t have in between plans, but jump up by 5 & 10 TBs. Once you get past 5TBs they only bill monthly as well.

I currently have enough money in my Paypal account to buy a 2TB plan. That wold last me probably about 1 year at which point I’d have to renew anyway, and I’m guessing I’d need to bump it to the 5TB plan. Then in another 1 1/2 years or so I’d need to bump it to the 10 TB and renew that for a few years until I’d have to bump it to 20TB. Probably. I currently have just under 10TBs worth of shows, but presumably in a few years I’ll have more than that.

That’s a lot of money. When I decided to use File Factory as my backup storage plan it was mainly because I didn’t want to beg for that much money from you all. I hate begging in the first place, and that seems like an excessive amount. Especially since my whole plan for the blog has changed and I won’t be doing daily posts for individual shows. I also worry that at some point you guys will get tired of giving and then I will, once again, lose all the shows I’ve uploaded to a cloud storage.

But screw it, I’m asking anyway. You all have been very generous in the past and I thank you for it. If you want to help pay for Google Drive in the future please let me know. At this point I still don’t plan on doing posts for individual shows. I’ll probably do a daily post where I just link to what I’ve uploaded to Google Drive that night. Unlike File Factory you will be able to read the text files inside of Google Drive and make better decisions on what you want to download. But you won’t be seeing that info in a post on my blog.

Or if you’d rather opt out let me know that info too. Or if you are happy with File Factory. It really doesn’t matter that much to me but I know some of you all hate File Factory and Google Drive will definitely be easier all around. But I’d like to hear some feedback.

30 thoughts on “Should I Just Use Google Drive?

  1. I think the answer is pretty simple. File Factory is a totally flawed service. Many of us are unable to (or just would rather not) successfully navigate through all the spam that comes with using that service. If the point of putting the shows up is so people can access them, there’s only one answer – the Google Drive. It’s better to spend money for something that works than to save money with something that doesn’t. What do others think?

  2. Hi Mat – Here is my profile and perspective.

    Profile – I download everything Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia you put out. I just finished with all the Dylan. I’ve downloaded tons of other cool stuff over the years.

    Perspective – I love Amazon, or whatever it is that you’ve been using up until now. I can’t get used to any of the other stuff. I’ve tried File Factory, Guitars 101, etc. But they all have all these links, pop ups, or other things that I’m not used to. One sniff of anything that makes me nervous when it comes to downloading stuff onto my computer and I’m outta there! I have Windows and updated Virus protection, and maybe I’m excessively paranoid, but I don’t where this stuff is coming from? Am I missing something?

    Recommendation – I’m happy to contribute to whatever is easiest and safest as anything that has your stamp of approval is OK with me – all the stuff on Amazon seemed to have the ole “Uploaded by Mat Brewster” so I trusted it. But going to some of these other sites, like the other day with the Led Zeppelin 15 CD set (which I’d still love to get), that have all these different links and download opportunities, I just can’t trust…

    Sorry for being so verbose, but thought it might help! Cheers, and thanks for you ongoing dedication!

  3. Thanks, everybody. I’ll want to continue to receive comments, but I was pretty sure the vote would be for Google Drive.

    I’m sorry some of you have received pop-ups and other spammy things with File Factory. I’ve never once gotten anything like that. I use Firefox with some basic ad blockers and it has always worked good for me. Speeds can be slow, but I’ve never received pop-ups or other nonsense. Didn’t really even know that was a problem for anybody. So, that is good feedback.

    Mission, have you tried the Google Drive links? Did they work for you? They should not give you any kind of pop-ups or anything like that as it is Google. I do really like how you will be able to check out the text files and images before you download via Google.

    I loved Amazon. It was pretty heartbreaking to learn they were discontinuing their service. I guess they just weren’t making enough money at it.

    • Hi Mat – I don’t know if I’ve tried Google Drive yet, but it sounds a lot better than some of the other stuff. TBH, I’ve been so busy with getting all the Dylan that I’m only now trying to get back to downloading some of the other links you’ve sent out, both for this lifetime and the next several!! Thanks so much!!

  4. Hello Mat–I’m not a fan of File Factory but I am a big fan of you. If you decide to use a more costly platform, then I am happy to offer my support. Thanks for great music!

  5. If your intention is to share stuff and have people download then FF is a non-starter tbh.

    To throw a spanner in … I generally dislike all things Microsoft but because I need a 365 account, I get 1 Tb of storage for free and it’s an easy share … also worth a look if you use MS.

    • iDrive sets limitations on how long their links work. After a set time period then they automatically die. They also restrict how many people can download their links. So after 50 people download them (I forget the exact number) then the links automatically die. They an be reset but that would be a huge pain in the butt.

      They were super cheap and that’s why I looked into them, but their restrictions just won’t work for me.

      But thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I have used File Factory for many years with no reason to complain. However I am living in deepest Africa so this may be a skewed opinion. Google Drive has not been unfriendly.

  7. I love google drive and dislike file factory. That said, email me and I’ll gladly give you a contribution to help with the cost of google drive. Keep up the good work!!!

  8. I use iDrive for my backups and google drive for hot backups and
    sharing… Let me know if you could use a patron… I would spring for
    1TB to get you started. Or if you are already started I would send you
    money for a second TB.

    I do website/webapp development professionally (mostly corporate, but I
    do stuff on the side). I can help you with automation, cataloging, etc.
    let me know!

    Thanks for all of the music!



    • For now I’m good moneywise. I had some money left over from the last time I asked for donations around here and bought myself the 1 TB option on Google. That should last a while.

      Out of curiosity what kind of automation/cataloging could you do? I’m not entirely sure what that wold look like for my site but it sounds cool.

      • I could write code that crawls though your music library, either on your computer or in cloud storage, and pulls all of the tag info and then uploads that to a DB. From there I can build you a web app that will let you review, search, list, and, depending on where the files are stored, update the tag info. The automation could also retrieve the tag info and rename folders and file names using tag info in a format that you can configure. I also have code that can convert file formats (FLAC to mp3 for example).

        • For instance, I am writing code to watch for your email, parse out the links, go to the link addresses and scan for downloadable folders/files and do so. That way every time you send out an email I get all of your music so I don’t miss anything.

        • That sounds amazing. And a little confusing. Would you need access to my hard drives, or is this something you could send me and I could run it on my hard drive and then I’d, what, send you the info?

          Right now I have my shows on multiple external hard drives. A lot of it is very unsorted. So for example I just went through my Amazon Drive and downloaded shows that I had lost from my physical drives. Those shows are sitting in a folder completely unsorted. They are not in their proper artist folders and sometimes in the wrong hard drive. Would that cause problems? Would I need to get them into the proper folders first?

          Also, as you know, not every FLAC file is tagged properly. Everybody seems to use a different system of naming things. This is especially true when it comes to show dates. I’m assuming your code would just scrape the existing information then we’d have to figure out a way to get everything organized using the same naming system.

          I love the idea of having a database that contains all the show information, but because everything is so disorganized I don’t know how time-consuming it would be for you to create something workable and I don’t want you to waste your time.

          • On a slightly related note, I’ve been thinking for years that I’d love to create a Van Morrison site. My idea would be to have something that listed out all of his concerts in a format similar to what I’ve done on my blog (but not necessarily in that exact format). I’d like it to include basic show info (date, location, etc) but also setlists and then list out every existing source.

            What I’d really love to do is have some way of being able to search and sort the info in various ways. For example, I’d love to be able to find out every show he performed where he performed the song “Moondance” or maybe where he performed both “Moondance” and “Vanlose Stairway”. Or a way to list out all the shows with a particular lineup or guest singer. Etc., etc., etc. I’d love to be able to dig deep into his shows and collate and sort all sorts of information. I’m thinking something like what Jerry Base ( does.

            I figure you’d have to input all the show information into a database and then use some coding to do all that and that is way beyond my knowledge base.

            Do you think something like that is possible? Do you have any interest in helping me with something like that? That is a big ask and I in no way expect you to say “yes.” But your comment got me to thinking about this again. Feel free to say “no” especially if you aren’t a Van fan, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

      • TL;DR; version is “Yes!” possible and very interested…

        Let’s take this offline for much deeper discussion. Please email me at [this is not all just a solicitation setup, I promise]. I have only just begun to spin up my side hustle officially. I would like to start getting used to using this email and set up for my side projects. Also, this is a completely pro bono offer to help! I have not even begun to do any marketing, I need projects I can showcase so you get a cool site, I get a project I can point to, and the world gets a “vanbase”

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