Apple’s Mobileme service offers a great way to sync your files between computers. Paying $99 a year gives you 20GB of offsite space to sync your iDisk. I’ve been using this part of their service for a few years now and have found that it works great for very small files like text documents, however; once you start filling it up with larger files the rate of failure rises. Failure being a constant message of “last sync failed”.
This is so completely annoying. If anyone should get this right it’s Apple. Also, while I’m on my virtual soap box, if you think Time Machine backs up your iDisk think again. If you want the iDisk backed up you have to use Chronosync or some other backup solution. Annnnndddd, file dates are wiped out with iDisk. Wanna track when you created a file on your idisk? Forget it. The workaround is to date your files. Thanks Apple!
For these reasons I’ve abandoned Mobileme’s iDisk and have switched to Dropbox.
Dropbox is a free service currently in beta but it is working great for me and other users. If the fact that it’s a beta scares you mind that Gmail is still in beta. Gmail! So don’t go griping if you lose all your Gmail mail someday. Back that stuff up.
Dropbox gives out 2GB of free space. If you go over this amount they charge for more room. The software works SO well with the Mac OS. I have a “writings” folder setup and anytime I change a file inside that folder it seamlessly updates it to my other computer. And it’s really quick. iDisk takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R and their’s no Rosetta stone to decipher any error messages you get.
Notice the large check mark next to the “Photos” folder indicating the folder is up to date. GROWL is also installed along with Dropbox to notify when files have changed. Growl is a preference pane that runs in the background constantly monitoring programs on your computer. It’s main feature is beautifully displaying notifications.
You can also share a a specific folder with another dropbox user. I’m currently sharing a folder with my writing partner. Anytime she changes a file in that folder it’s instantly changes in mine. Plus I can limit what folders she has access. Workarounds like adding a “checked out” folder help solve the problem of both working on the same file at the same time.
Dropbox also keeps older versions allowing you to restore something you might have accidentally erased. All in all I’m loving this program. I wish the iDisk worked this well. It should, it really should.
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