Folder comparison app for one-off comparisons/merges

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ozaz, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I currently use GoodSync to compare and sync folders. The process of comparing the contents for a new pair of folders involves
    1) creating a new job name
    2) selecting the folders to compare
    3) confirming sync/backup settings
    4) Hitting an analyze button to run the comparison

    This multi-step process is because the app is designed for running defined jobs repetitively. But it is annoying when all I want to do a quick one-off comparison of two folders I have not previously created a job for.

    Can anyone recommend a folder comparison / sync app that lets me quickly select two folders (e.g. by drag an drop) and runs a comparison of contents using default settings before requiring me to decide on any sync job names and sync settings?
  2. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    What's your OS? I've read that Lion does folder merges, but I don't have Lion yet. It might not meet all your requirements, but check it out if you have Lion.
  4. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestion but I have a bit of an aversion to paid apps that don't provide trial versions, regardless of how cheap, so further suggestions would be very welcome.

    Thanks. I do have Lion and I didn't know that.
    But it seems to require both the folders to have the same name and often I just want an overview of the differences rather than committing to a merge
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    I use Terminal and the diff command. Since it's built into OS X (i.e., free), you might want to try it. It will tell you which files are different and which files are only in one folder and (optionally) which files are the same:

    -r Recursively compare any subdirectories found
    -q (or --brief) Output only whether the files differ, not the differences themselves
    -s Report when two files are the same

    Open and type the following line, adding a space at the end:
    diff -rqs 
    Now drag folder1 into the Terminal window, then drag folder2 into the window. Ensure Terminal has the keyboard focus, and hit Return. It's pretty quick and easy, I think.

  6. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks for the clear instruction. It is quick when you know the command.

    However, I'd still rather find an app as I easily forget terminal commands and having to look them up defeats the purpose of having something fast. Also, I'd like a bit more details in the output (file sizes, dates modified etc).

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