Okay, here goes a bit of a rant: I was doing a video edit recently, and I got so into what I was doing that I forgot to hit save for awhile and, wouldn’t you know it, my video editor crashed and I lost about 30 minutes of work. Not a catastrophe, but maddening nonetheless. Why do I bring this up? Because if my video-editor software had an auto-save feature, I would have lost no more than a few minutes of work instead of a half hour.
It got me to wondering, why don’t more DAWs, video editors, and other creative applications have auto-save options? It seems like such a no-brainer to me, and should be a basic feature common to all programs.
Kudos to Digidesign, because Pro Tools has a very useful auto-save feature, called Auto Backup, with which the user can setup how often an automatic copy of your file is made (or turn it off completely). Steinberg’s Cubase and Nuendo have such features, as does Cakewalk Sonar.
I know that some people don’t like auto-save. The complaint is that it can make the program slow down briefly when it’s saving. My response to that is: fine, if you want to work without a net, that’s your prerogative. Turning it on should be an option. Also, the feature should be designed so that it won’t save during a recording or playback (because that could cause a glitch).
Yes, we should all get in the habit of hitting Command + S (or Control +S on a PC) every time we do almost anything in a DAW, at least anything of significance. But no matter how diligent you are about saving, I’m willing to bet that there will be times when you get so into producing or playing or whatever you’re doing in the session that you forget to hit save and then…
I’m curious for your opinions: do you like auto-save features? Have you lost data due to the lack of an auto-save feature? Let me know what you think.