Cloud Storage Best Practices

Cloud storage applications such as Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, and Google Drive can conveniently share production files, access files remotely, or back up projects. However, few cloud storage services are optimized to handle the fast pace of music production software. In this article, we will discuss some of the common problems (and solutions!) that users might encounter.

Note:  If you suspect a cloud storage application is causing performance issues in Live, quit the cloud application and turn off your internet connection before opening Live. If the problem goes away, the cloud application is likely at the root of the problem.

General Advice

  1. If storing files in a cloud-synced folder, make sure the files themselves are available locally (on your computer) at all times. Some services, such as OneDrive or iCloud, may offer the option to store only references or links to those files on your computer while the actual file resides in the cloud. In those instances, Live will not be able to locate the file, as it does not physically reside on your computer.
  2. Whenever possible, turn off cloud synchronization before launching Live.
  3. Only use cloud applications to store library content, such as audio files and Live Project Folders. Do not sync program files like the Live application, third-party applications, or plug-ins.
  4. Scheduled backups can interfere with Live's performance at seemingly "random" intervals and may cause your computer to experience drop-outs or perceived performance issues. 
  5. Files containing a "[Space]" as their first character are not backed up to the cloud and may not work as expected with Ableton Live.

How To Configure iCloud and OneDrive

Optimized Storage in iCloud:

The Optimized Storage feature in iCloud Drive deletes older files from the Desktop and Documents folders when storage is low. If you save any media files in either of those folders, they may get deleted automatically.

To fix this:

  1. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then turn off Optimized Storage
  2. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then move them to your Music folder (or any location other than Desktop or Documents)
  3. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then turn off Desktop and Documents from iCloud drive

OneDrive Files on Demand: 

The Files on Demand feature in OneDrive stores references to files on your computer while the actual file is in the cloud. Ensure that "Always keep on device" is selected to store the media files locally.

For other cloud services, please refer to their documentation on how to store your files locally.

Other Symptoms of Cloud Storage Problems

Note:  Although these symptoms can relate to cloud storage, this is not guaranteed.  For more information on these types of problems, please refer to the linked "More info here" articles.

  1. Seemingly "random" CPU spikes / crashes
  2. Error message: "Media Files are Missing"
  3. Error message: "The file '[Live Set.als] could not be opened"
  4. Cloud-synced folders added to Live's Browser regularly have missing files.
  5. Sets in the "Open Recent Set" menu appear greyed out.
  6. Live crashes while saving a Live Set.
  7. Files mysteriously re-appear after being deleted.
  8. Files mysteriously duplicate themselves.
  9. Certain Max for Live devices are unable to read audio files.
  10. Corrupted Live Sets  (Rare, but not impossible!)
  11. Error message: "The audio file [file path] cannot be read. [file path]: EOF"

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: