WIFI Backup to External Drive

Discussion in 'iPad Hacking' started by Mandody, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Mandody

    Mandody
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    Hello All, you are my last hope. Please forgive me if this post is a little abrupt, but I"ve been running round in circles for so long I'm going slowly mental. So - here it is :

    If I've got an iPad in one hand, and an external WIFI hard disk in the other...how do I get my Garageband projects from the iPad to the hard drive without using any cloud services or iTunes or another PC or another MAC.

    Will iFiles do it?

    Hoping someone can help.
     
    #1 Mandody, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  2. twerppoet

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    Since you may not find someone who owns all the components necessary to test this, I'll break it down a bit. If the answer to all these things turns out to be good, then it's probably worth the effort to jailbreak and give it a test.

    1) In iFiles. Can you navigate to the GarageBand folders and see the files? Are they in the .band format?

    2) In iFiles. Does iFiles support the Share Sheet when you select a file? In other words, can you Open In the selected file in another app?

    3) In your Wi-Fi drive's companion app. Does it show up on the Share Sheets? In other words, if you have a .band file in, say, DropBox, when you select the file and choose share, does the Wi-Fi Drive app show up in the Share Sheets as an option? You should be able to test this yourself, if you can get a sample project into DropBox or another app on the iPad then see if you can get a copy onto your Wi-Fi drive from there.

    If all those components are in place, then the chances that you can do what you need are very high. A lack of any one of them is probably a show stopper.

    I can't test any of this myself. I don't jailbreak, so I don't have the iFiles app, and I don't have a Wi-Fi Drive so I can't test that end either.

    You should probably post the brand and model of your Wi-Fi Drive as well, in case someone has it and can offer more insight on it's options/features. If you already did, sorry for missing the info.

    Good luck.
     
  3. giradman

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    Hello - TP has outlined well the issues you must resolve - you likely will have to 'jailbreak' (JB) your iPad to gain control over the file system - I do not JB my iDevices, so you'll need to visit the appropriate forum here to see if the Garageband (GB) files can be saved to another device in that mode?

    I have GB on my iPad Air - don't really use the app but made a musical file - I was curious if a backup might be made to my AirStash (pic below of the device) - the AirStash creates its own Wi-Fi network and works well w/ transfer of image files - connected my iPad to the device's network and opened GB - there are plenty of 'share' options, but the AirStash network was not one; I suspect that your Wi-Fi external drive will have the same issue, but check w/ their website.

    Of course, the easiest solutions as mentioned here (and in your other thread) is the use of the 'cloud' but apparently you'll have no internet connections on your trip - are your certain? Not even some 'hot spots'? My only other suggestion is to consider a Mi-Fi solution, i.e. buy a small device for establishing your own personal upload connection - limited plans are likely available assuming that the method will work in your travel areas. Dave :)
    .
    61N5caGHcnL._SL1500_.jpg
     
  4. Mandody

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    Hello Again Twerppoet :)

    Thanks yet again for your timely and informative reply. I think I'm finally beginning to understand how iOS works.

    I'm actually not able to try out any of these suggestions for myself either. I'm currently in India. I bought my iPad online after Christmas so it's waiting for me back home in the UK. I haven't purchased a WIFI storage device yet - so hopefully I can research the bundled app thoroughly before I do.

    OK. So I'm going to try and explain my understanding of how this works. Please correct me if I'm off the mark. In iOS, documets are tied to applications. When you use "Open in" from one app, it just creates another copy of the file within the destination app. So unlike in Windows, instead of having one file that you can open in several applications, under iOS every time you open a file in a new app, it creates a new version of that file within the new app.

    So...to back up my Garageband projects, iFiles has to be able to browse to the .band files (which are actually folders right?) and support the "Open in" feature, which will bring up a list of apps. The app that comes with my WIFI drive has to appear in that list, or to put it another way, it has to appear on the "share sheet" - is that right? If I can nail this terminology I can begin asking the right questions. Similarly, in order to restore my projects, the app for my WIFI drive also has to support the "Open in" feature, so I can open it in iFiles and from there restore it to the appropriate Garagaband directory? Please me know if I've understood this correctly. And just to clarify this share sheet terminology...when we say an app supports Share Sheets, does that mean it has the "Open In" function, or that it appears in the list when the "Open In" function is used? Hope all that makes sense.

    A huge thanks again Twerppoet. You are the iPad guru.

    NB : Giradman - just read your post. A big thanks to you also :) Just to be clear...there are plenty of WIFI connnetions in India, but very few reliable ones. This would be OK if I was dealing with small files, but I'll be creating large multi-track audio projects.

    Thanks for exploring the Garageband share options for me. Is iFiles likely to appear as an additional share option from within Garageband once it's installed? Or do I have to browse to the .band files from iFiles as mentioned previously. Once again, I hope that makes sense.

    Cheers for now
    Mandody
     
  5. twerppoet

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    No problem. I think you've almost got it. I'll add some clarification below.

    That's good. I'd hate for you to be stuck with a device that you couldn't use for what you intended.

    This was completely true in iOS 7 and earlier. In iOS 8 we now have iCloud Drive. Besides allowing the syncing of files between devices and computers, iCloud Drive allows apps to access files that are in other apps. However, it's not universal. Not all apps support it, and one of those, unfortunately, is GarageBand. I suspect Apple will add this support eventually, some apps are always trailing behind, but even when they do it probably won't support project files, just the importing and exporting of audio tracks and loops.

    This is pretty close. Almost all of Apple's file types are actually folders, but most apps made for OS X and iOS are smart enough to treat the bundle as a single file. However, GarageBand is only too likely to be an exception. Unlike the iWorks apps .band files are rarely moved around and shared online. That means third party tools are unlikely to recognize the extension. Even Apple's apps may not recognize it outside of GarageBand.

    Open In and Share Sheets are pretty much the same thing. The first is the old way of doing and referring to the ability to send/copy a file to another app. In iOS 7 and even more so in iOS 8 Apple change the look and feel of the feature. iOS 8 included several other kinds of actions in the dialog, and revealed that Share Sheets were actually just a subset of Actions which are all based on Extensions.

    Here is a post I made about Extensions when they first came out. I didn't nail the terminology, but it should be close enough to give you and idea of how things are supposed to work now. But hold in mind were are still in transition. Not ever app supports these features properly. Good news, Share Sheets/Options/Icons aren't one of the issues, since they've pretty much been supported since iOS 7.

    http://www.ipadforums.net/threads/about-extensions-the-basics.123969/


    This is what worries me most, that iFiles won't know to treat .band extensions as files. No way to know until someone tries.

    I'm almost certain you will not be able to restore/copy .band files from your wi-fi drive directly back to GarageBand. There is no mechanism for this. The only import option is for audio files/loops. To recover a saved .band project you'll probably have to use a computer and iTunes. Since you're contemplating this mostly as a backup, it shouldn't be a major issue; unless you lose and need to recover a file before you return home to your computer.

    You might be able to use iFile to insert the .band file back into GarageBand's folders directly. However, this is pretty risky. You never know what other support files or indexing you might be bypassing. You'd want to experiment with this carefully, before you put a ton of un-backedup files into GarageBand.

    In genreal it is fairly safe to copy files using iFiles. It's always risky to delete or add files. iOS wasn't designed for users to interact directly with the file system, which means apps might not handle unexpected changes gracefully.
     
  6. twerppoet

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    I should add that I'm doing an awful lot of guessing here. I 'know for a fact' only a few general things about each part of the problem, and am connecting the pieces the best I can; but without any of the software or equipment to test.

    What the iPad and iOS are designed to do it does pretty well, but you're playing around on the edges, trying to force it to do things the apps and iOS aren't meant to do. At least not yet. Things are moving in that general direction.
     
  7. Mandody

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    Hi Twerppoet,

    For the final time please let me say how grateful I am for your time. It's been very educational - you've helped me to more fully understand the idiosyncracies of iOS. Having been an IT professional in a previous life, I've decided that such a convoluted solution to achieve something so simple has driven me to defeat. I've contacted the manager of the Apple Store back home and they've agreed to a full refund. I almost felt they were a little ashamed of this lack of functionality. And so they should be.

    Although I have to concede what a lovely piece of kit the iPad is - much like a Ferrari that's limited to 30mph. My first foray in to the world of Apple and it never even made it out the box :-D I'm forced to conclude from all this that the iPad is primarily an entertainment device. In terms of real productivity, it's just a prosthetic limb for OSX. A childish "mobile" device that can't wander too far from home. Yet it has all the capabilities of being so much more - a powerful, elegant, and truly versatile mobile computing solution. So near and yet so far. I know millions of users are delighted with their iPads, and I'm happy for them, but if the last week has taught me anything, it's that a very significant and growing number of users are not happy at all. From my point of view - it's a laughable and epic fail. I'm actually looking forward to a new Windows laptop. Who would have believed that was possible? :-D What do they say? Better the devil you know ;-)

    And I can't disagree with you at all Twerppoet when you write :

    I just wish someone would inform the guys at Apple that being able to keep a local backup of your own work is hardly cutting edge functionality. And I hope you're right when you say things are moving in that general direction - I shall be keeping a very keen eye on future developments ;-)

    I shall say goodbye for now. I may be back - my dad's recently bought an iMac :-D

    PS : sorry for the rant Twerppoet. I'm sure you realize it wasn't in any way directed at you. You are an absolute diamond sir for giving up your time to help and inform people like myself. Just one last question - how do I give you an actual official thanks on this forum so it counts in your stats...I can't find the button :-D and you've most certainly earned it ;-)
     
    #7 Mandody, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  8. J. A.

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    If you access this forum via a browser, you'll find the icons below every post. Here's their meaning:
    image.jpg
    Tap the one you prefer, it'll be added to his ratings.

    Btw: I'm using my iPad for work, and not for entertainment. Since I owned my first iDevice, I seldom if ever use my Windows PC.
     
    #8 J. A., Jan 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  9. twerppoet

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    No problem.

    I'd just like to point out one things about your rant, about the iPad only being for entertainment. It's always tempting to judge a device or app based solely on our own use case and needs. For you, the iPad is indeed less powerful and flexible than needed. For others it can be exactly what they need, and yes, that's even for productivity.

    Every profession and even every person has specific needs that may nor may not be met by some device. For you, a laptop is probably still the minimum viable computer. A MacBook Air would do everything you need, keep most of the iPad's portability, and offer a far more fully featured version of GarageBand. Heck, you could even go pro and use Logic.

    It's more money, yes, but lets face it, if you actually need a Ferrari then you need to buy a Ferrari. Even the best compact isn't going to do the job no matter how attractive and practical it is in the city.
     
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  10. Mandody

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    Hi J.A,

    Yeah I got all those icons, but I was looking for one that said "Thanks" as his profile lists "Thanks Received" :)
     

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