Artiffine Under the Hood: How We Pin Gigabytes of NFT Artwork to IPFS
Dealing with gigabytes of NFT metadata can be a headache with many platforms. But with Filebase, it's a piece of cake.
When you’re building NFT projects that need to hold 10,000+ image or video files a piece, you can easily get lost in a nightmarish sea of metadata. As you might already know, this metadata is not stored directly on the same blockchain as the NFTs themselves, but rather on another distributed network known as the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Organizing and mapping all of it to the NFTs themselves is enough of a challenge, not to mention many services commonly used to pin data to IPFS often have file size limits, overall storage limits, and other restrictive factors or complications involved.
But as a creative agency building NFT projects for a wide variety of clients, we need to pin gigabytes upon gigabytes of data to IPFS regularly, and we don’t have time for half-baked solutions. Any solution that we use for our clients needs to be consistent, rock-solid, and built to last. We need to be able to guarantee that the metadata associated with the NFT projects we are building will stay pinned to IPFS long-term.
So how do we do it? Quite simply, actually.
We use Filebase.
Why Filebase is a no-brainer for decentralized storage.
Over the course of our Web3 journey, we’ve tried quite a few solutions. They all work in their own ways, but all have relatively minor shortcomings that become major headaches later on down the line. Some are free, but limit each file to 50MB, others limit how many files you can upload or your total amount of storage, and many are simply a pain to use at any kind of scale.
Filebase is a decentralized storage and geo-redundant IPFS pinning service. For every file uploaded to an IPFS bucket on Filebase, there are 3 copies stored across IPFS nodes in the United States, London, and Germany. This provides a high level of data availability and resiliency against outages, natural disasters, or common hardware failures.
When we came across Filebase, we were so amazed at the straightforward interface, the flexibility, and the price point, that we were almost certain there would be a catch.
It completely covered all of the bases for what we wanted in a decentralized storage solution, for much less than other solutions, and we knew we had to switch over immediately. And so we did, and haven’t looked back.
How we use Filebase to pin massive metadata collections to IPFS
Filebase provides several options for uploading metadata files to IPFS. For a full rundown of the available methods, head over to their documentation, they have a ton of useful resources and how-tos. At Artiffine, we primarily use the drag-and-drop method and the Filebase S3 API to upload metadata files.
For smaller collections, the drag-and-drop method using the Filebase Web Dashboard works well and is very intuitive. As the name implies, you simply drag-and-drop the files you would like to upload into the intended bucket through Filebase’s interface. It really doesn’t get much simpler than this.
The Filebase dashboard gives you a comprehensive overview of your uploads, data storage, buckets, bandwidth, and recent activity:
For our workflow, we generally create a new bucket for each project. Here’s a bucket overview of several projects from the Filebase dashboard:
Within each bucket, you can view each file and check its status:
For larger collections (e.g. 10,000 video files) the Filebase S3 API can be more reliable, as its “mulitpart upload” functionality allows uploads to be restarted if they are interrupted or fail at any time throughout the process. This is especially useful if you have been uploading a batch of images for hours and it fails in the last few minutes – no need to panic, you can easily resume the upload with nothing lost!
One huge benefit of the S3 API is that it is S3 compatible, and thus allows you to interact with it via hundreds of tools that support the S3 API standard, such as the AWS CLI tool. This requires you to be a bit more tech savvy, but for most devs it will be a piece of cake.
If you need a comprehensive IPFS solution, look no further than Filebase for all your storage needs. Their docs should be more than enough to get you started, and we feel confident in recommending them to anyone and everyone.
If you need a little more help, e.g. with solution design, custom smart contracts, UI/UX and web design, or content and community management, then Artiffine can help with all of that. All of our projects use Filebase for IPFS storage, and yours will benefit from the reliability and flexibility of their platform. Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to discuss what you have in mind for your NFT project.