Tips on Backing Up - Bundle Files

Last updated on 3/29/2016

Backing up your Cakewalk files - The benefits of the Bundle

In the wonderful world of computers, backing up your work is more than a good idea. It's essential when you're using your computer for creative projects. Making backup copies of your Cakewalk files is quick, easy, and can save you some serious headaches, as well as hard drive space.

The preferred method for backing up files containing audio data is to save them as Cakewalk Bundle (.BUN) files. Here's how to do it in Cakewalk:

  1. Choose File | Save As.
  2. Change the Save As Type to Cakewalk Bundle.
  3. Name the file.
  4. Choose your saving location, and save the file.

Why use Bundle (.BUN) files rather than Project (.WRK) files for backing up?
First, a quick lesson: A Project (.WRK) file contains MIDI data, project-specific settings, and references to audio data that resides in the location specified by the current Data Directory (Options | Audio | Advanced). Backing up the .WRK file, or transferring the .WRK file from one machine to another, will NOT automatically backup or transfer the audio clip files referenced by that .WRK file. So saving or copying a .WRK file alone is not enough to safeguard your projects or transfer them to a different computer. 

The .WRK format is perfect for everyday Cakewalk use, and we don't suggest you save as a Bundle every time you save. However, once you've come to a point in a project where you've made significant progress and feel the need to back up the file, the Cakewalk Bundle comes into play.

The Bundle (.BUN) format preserves ALL data, audio and otherwise, in one file, which can then be moved to any location you like. Because of this, these files also tend to be quite large and slow to open. You'll need to save your Bundle files on your hard drive, or on some large capacity storage medium such as a CD or tape drive. Once that's done, you can delete the .WRK file version, then use the Clean Audio Disk command to remove the associated audio files (which you don't need because they're saved in the .BUN file now). This will free up space on your hard drive for your next project.

When you're ready to work with the project again, simply choose File | Open and navigate to the location of the Bundle file. The file will open with all data preserved just as you left it.

Sharing Files
Another advantage of the Bundle file format is that you can give that Bundle to another Cakewalk user, and he or she can open it up in the version of Cakewalk they have installed on their computer. It's a great way to share files with friends, co-workers, and collaborators.

For example: If you carry a .WRK file from your machine over to your friend's house and try to play it on his computer, you'll find that any audio data you recorded in that .WRK file is missing. That's because the audio data is actually still residing in the Data Directory back on your machine, and wasn't transferred to your friend's machine when you brought the .WRK file over.

If you carry a .BUN file from one machine to another, that .BUN file will have all the data in it and will open up on your friend's machine just as it does on yours.

Bundle files can be attached to emails, though their large size may be somewhat prohibitive if you don't have a very fast connection.

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