Fundamental flaw in file copying

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Hibbity, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. Hibbity macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    #1
    I haven't found a solution to this...


    I'm trying to back up my misic library onto an external hd. I already have the backup copy there, but it's been a while since I updated it. I have a lot of things that I want to keep on the external that I've deleted out of my iTunes library. Also, obviously, there are new albums that I have yet to copy over.

    I tried just dragging all the artist files over to the iTunes folder on my external and I got the message "there are folders with this name already in this location; do you want to replace them?" This is where the flaw is:

    For example, I have an old Beck B-sides album I want only on the external, and I just downloaded Guero, his new album. Thus, if I elect to replace the folder, the B-sides album will be deleted. Also, if I elect to not replace it, Guero won't be backed up.

    The only solution to this, I think, would be to expand all the folders before copying them over. Considering I have 60 gigs of music and hundreds of attists with new albums, I really don't want to have to do this.

    Apple really needs to fix this problem; it seems as if it would be easy for the copy process to include a scan within folders, and a subsequent addition of new files.

    This is extremely difficult to explain, so let me know if this doesn't make sense.
     
  2. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    i know what you mean and yes it is a pain. programs like Lacies Silver-Keeper could help you. it is a back up program that will let you back up only new files and files that have changed. other people will be able to offer you other programs that would do a similar thing.
     
  3. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #4
    It's not a "problem" that needs to be "fixed" exactly, but it is an issue that comes up with copying files (I've been in your situation before). It's more like a needed feature.

    AFAIK Windows can't do this either.
     
  4. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #5

    If I understand what is being said, it sounds like windows would handle this just fine.
     
  5. EasyB macrumors member

    EasyB

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    #6
    I switched to macs over five years ago. I have three macs now and I totally love them and think they a better then winBoxes. But, this is something that still bugs the sh*t out of me. Yes, with windows you could drag your whole music folder over to your backup location and only the files that are missing will be added, and nothing gets erased. But with mac, it doesn't work like that, and I think it should, or at least there should be an option for it. Is anyone at apple listening?

    -B
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Just because you have been ignored does not mean that you have not been heard. You should be ignored. There are ample back-up utilites on the Mac which replace only changed files. I use one of them, Synchronize! Pro X, everyday. A folder in MacOS X's HFS+ file system is an object. It is not a proxy for a file collection. If you want to move or copy some files in a folder to another folder, you have to open the source folder. This is not just a matter of aesthetics, it is a matter of safety and security.

    Whine all you want about how much more convenient the Windows method is. What one special interest gains is lost by other users of the OS. For the Windows user community, this tendency toward pandering to the whims of the few has given you an insecure bloated OS that is difficult to administer and use.

    This veteran Mac user does not want the same fate to befall the Mac.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    In your opinion.

    As another veteran Mac user - since 1984 - I disagree. Requiring 3rd party software to do fundamental OS tasks like merging files in another folder is counter to the goal of providing an intuitive interface. Yes, I realize that Terminal would allow a savvy user to do this without additional software, but few users would know to look there. Folder merges should, in my opinion, be part of the OS. This isn't a matter of catering to a few odd users. The fact the folders are "objects" is irrelevant, as the user shouldn't need to know that. Not allowing the merge option complicates consolidation and backup, and the OS shouldn't stand in the way of either of those things.

    This sort of thing falls into the same category in my mind as the inability to resize windows except from the one corner. It's ridiculous. I love OS X and I love Apple products, but that doesn't mean I need to think they're flawless.
     
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #9
    Yep, that's especially true when one looks at how real-world file folders are used. I've yet to encounter a filing cabinet that works as the Finder prefers.
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #10
    I am not sure what the OP meant.

    So this tidbit might help or might not.

    To back up my iTunes library, I go to the iTunes folder in the USER/ID folder. I select the iTunes folder and then drag it to my external.

    Once the copy function is completed, I change the iTunes folder name on the external HD to the following:

    iTunes - 20061110

    I do this each time I make a back up copy. So I may have the following:

    iTunes - 20060125
    iTunes - 20060204
    iTunes - 20060901
    iTunes - 20061110

    Usually I only keep one old backup copy. After making a new backup copy I usually delete the old one. However, depending on your HD space, you could keep more than one copy.

    Anyhow, this technique has worked well for me over the years backing up a variety of folders/files. It gives me a full back up each time and the external HD is the only cost. No extra software is required.
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Real folders have to be opened before you can move the documents within to another folder.
     
  11. Hibbity thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    #12
    I don't understand. How is it more secure this way? It seems like you're more likely to accidentally delete files in a folder this way. Don't mean to be a smartass, just curious.

    Or better yet, why don't they make a finder pref so we can choose?
     
  12. erikamsterdam macrumors regular

    erikamsterdam

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    amsterdam
    #13
    But if you have a folder "beatles" in both locations with different contents it's not going to understand that.
    And nothing rulez like the "auto skip" function in Linux, Window$ is also far from perfect there.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    The Mac way forces the user to select the individual files to be moved or copied to another folder. The user who cannot trust himself to move individual files certainly cannot trust himself to move the contents of a folder in the blind.

    As folder merges are not actions supported by the Finder, there is no need for a Finder preference to choose it.
     
  14. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #15
    Not really, just drop the contents in. Wonderful 1930s invention, that Pendaflex stuff.
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    I have yet to see the manila folder that allowed me to retrieve its contents without opening it first. I have yet to add documents to any real folder without opening it first. I have yet to merge the contents of two manila folders by dropping one folder on top of the other. Perhaps your experience is different.
     
  16. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
  17. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #18
    If i'm not mistaken, OP is saying..

    imagine you have a folder titled "Keep" with the files track01, track02, track 03 on a external drive...

    Now imagine you have a folder on your mac hard drive tittled "keep" with the files image1, image2, image 3...

    When the OP tries to transfer the "keep" folder from his mac HDD to the External HDD, the OP will get a message "there are folders with this name already in this location; do you want to replace them or skip them?" so basically if you transfer the folder, you will loose the files track01, track02, and track03 in the external HDD folder, since it would make a replicate of the folder found in the mac HDD (with files image01, image02,image 03)

    Now obviously you can rename one of the folders, but think of how much of a hassle this would be if you had a couple hundred folders like this... this situation can easily happen if you used a external hdd for a old computer, than want to use it for a new computer without erasing any of your old materials..

    hope that helps, this is atleast what i am understanding from the the OP.. :eek:
     
  18. Hibbity thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    #19
    you are correct my good man.

    And whoever mentioned iBackup, it worked perfectly. If anyone else is having this problem, check it out. I still wish you could opt to have finder work like this on its own without having to clutter things up with extra apps.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #20
    "tar" may work

    I think you can do what you want with a "tar pipe". You don't need any 3rd party software. Basically you run two copies of "tar"

    cd pathtomybackupplace
    tar cf - pathtomymusicdir | tar xf -

    You can read up on the tar man page for the details but as I remember tar is "additive'. when it un-packs the tar file it will not remove files

    A more straight forward way to do this would be to use "find". Find will look for a set of files to match some criterion and then do some command on them. You couldask t to find ALL files in a music directory and then to copy the file. The trick here is that yu are NOT using a recursive copy command you are usig a single file copy command multiple times
     

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