If you use more than one PC on a regular basis you know how much of a nightmare it is to manually keep everything in sync. Using primarily web tools helps greatly in that respect but it doesn’t solve everything. Whatever the solution you chose you want it to be automatic and simple. I’ve been using FolderShare to keep my laptop and home PC in sync for about a month now and I finally feel I can share the ins and outs I’ve discovered along the way.
This will be a two part post and first I’d like to describe what I’m currently syncing and why, as well as what my future plans for FolderShare are.
What I’m currently syncing:
- All my music regardless of format. I’d love to be able to stream my music using a service like Anywhere.FM (previously posted here) or mediamaster (shared by Barak) but I like to be able to purchase songs and add them to my library wherever I am. I’m using FolderShare to overcome a shortcoming of iTunes itself. If iTunes hosted my music on the web and allow me to purchase songs so that I could download them later, I’d be all set.
- My iTunes library. This is due to another shortcoming of iTunes itself. It doesn’t auto detect media. Therefor unless I want to run a tool to auto detect the newly synced media or import files each time I purchased new songs on the other computer I need to keep the actual library synced. A problem with this is iTunes uses absolute paths in their library so I needed to have the directory path of the synchronized music exactly the same (in my case E:music) which meant setting up a partition on my laptop.
- My Firefox profile. I use a lot of extensions for Firefox and tend to change them in and out pretty often. It gets to be a pain because I’ll find a setup I really like but I need to install all the extensions and configure them on every PC. Including my work PC this really sucks. Syncing my Firefox profile alleviates all of these problems. You also get the added bonus of synchronized bookmarks and history although that doesn’t really matter to me as I don’t use them.
My future plans are:
- Syncing my Windows User Profile. One of the great things about Vista is they finally got the separation of application and data correct despite some applications tendency to corrupt the user space. All the data including your desktop is now under your user profile. I use my desktop as my workspace by keeping files on it that I’m currently working with. This can be anything from videos, documents, software I’m working on or Images. Syncing my user profile will mean regardless of which PC I’m sitting at I’ll have access to the same workspace.
- Syncing my Windows Sidebar. I’m not sure how this is going to work, or if its even possible but we’re going to find out. I change the applications on the sidebar out quite frequently, trying different setups. For the same reason I’m syncing my Firefox Profile I’d love to keep the same setup for my sidebar widgets on both PCs.
That’s it for my current uses and future plans. Stay tuned for my next post regarding my lessons learned about FolderShare.