Don of the Day

Don of the Day


Adventures in software development with Xamarin and the Web

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Share


Twitter


File Synchronization on OS X

Don FitzsimmonsDon Fitzsimmons

During the process of switching from Windows to a Mac (more on that in an upcoming blog post), I came across a few problems. Not insurmountable problems, but some little things that took some time figure out. For instance, my photography workflow relied heavily on a free product from Microsoft called SyncToy. This is such a great utility. For years I used it to keep two hard drives synced and it always worked flawlessly.

See, my photography workflow goes like this: I import my photos via Lightroom to an external hard drive. A 2TB Western Digital Passport Ultra to be exact. That's what I call my working hard drive. It's what I use to store and edit all of my images. Because I'm paranoid about data, I keep this external drive synced up to another drive. A Seagate (big 7200 RPM) to be not as exact (I can't remember the model now, but that's not important). This is my archive drive.

The archive drive is then constantly backed up to "the cloud" (aka, a hard drive in another location) using Backblaze. I'm a firm believer that all of my photos have to exist in at least three places, one of which has to be the cloud. I actually restored a failed hard drive from Backblaze once and It worked very well. It took a long time, but it worked. Because I never want to do that again, I have two physical drives now.

Anyway, to get the files synced from the working drive to the archive drive, I used SyncToy. Again, it worked great. But now that I moved to the Mac, I had to find something that worked just as reliably. It took a while to find a suitable replacement for OS X. I came across a lot of crappy file sync software, but eventually I found GoodSync.

I haven't been using it long, but it's pretty damn impressive so far. I downloaded a trial and as soon as I saw how it worked, I plunked down the $29 without regret. While SyncToy was free, I would have gladly paid for it. You don't want to compromise on these sorts of utilities and $29 is a small price to pay. This tool has a great interface and I was able to get productive with it in minutes.

One thing SyncToy did that I loved, it allowed you to run a scan on the sync job so you could preview the changes that where going to take place. GoodSync does the same thing. In fact, you can't do a sync until you do an initial scan. Once it scanned each drive, it showed me exactly what files would be synced. It does so in a really visually pleasing way. Once I confirmed that the scan looked okay, I did a sync and it worked. It's not nearly as fast as SyncToy, but it does the job.

GoodSync also includes some nice features like scheduling. I love the idea of running automated sync jobs because sometimes, I let too much time lapse between importing photos and syncing drives. I plan to try this feature out, but first I have to decide on a trigger for the automated sync. You can also filter files. So, let's say you never want to sync video files. You could exclude those files from your sync. Nice.

If you're looking for a SyncToy replacement after moving over to OS X, I highly recommend GoodSync. It works on Windows as well, but I haven't tried it there. I would guess that it works the same way on Windows.

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Comments