Living with 2 MBPs, 1 iPod and 1 iPhone - Data Sync?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ArthurDaley, May 9, 2010.

  1. ArthurDaley macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    After waiting sometime for the refresh, I plunged to buying a 17" MBP.

    Now I'd assumed all along the way to sync data was well planned out, since many have a Mac and a MBP (in my case it's two MBPs). But after much Googling I'm left disappointed.

    I want my two MBPs in sync. If I drag and drop a file on one, I want that reflected on the other automatically and vice versa. Both will be on same LAN most of the time. Essentially one is left connected to a 24 inch LCD with wireless k/board and the other is left in living room and I expect to be able to interact with either and the changes will show up on the other (and vice versa).

    To handle iCal and AddressBook I went for MobileMe (and found it disappointing yet again, failing to work and costing relatively a lot).

    But the real problem is files. As the machines will not each change files whilst be on a different LAN I don't see why an Internet based sync is necessary, but I'm not entirely opposed.

    The more I look into syncing two Macs the more I'm surprised at the lack of robust solutions. I'm hoping I'm wrong and someone can tell me how easy it is.

    I imagined I'd use Chronosync but when I look at apps I use and what they say, (e.g. 1password, OmniFocus, DevonThink, Curio), they seem to recommend using the likes of DropBox. But DropBox is not a great sync tool and I only see it as good for limited number of files, besides I've got Gigs of stuff to keep in sync so it seems mad to be going via the cloud.

    (I looked into iTunes and ended up deciding on a network drive for it as my iPod will have what I want to listen to on the go.)

  2. EdoDodo macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2009
    Well, I have a fairly similar set up with an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPhone and an iPad and here's how I sort it out:

    - I use the iMac at home, so the bulk of my files is there, MacBook Pro has only basic programs that I need when I'm out and about (iWork and a few games), I don't really need anything else on the MacBook Pro.

    - I sync my iPhone with my iMac and my iPad with my MacBook Pro so I have a bit more control over what goes where.

    - I only have a fairly small amount of files that need to be kept in sync (documents and a couple of XCode programs) so I use Dropbox to keep them in sync.

    - I sync my music using Syncopation when the two macs are on the same network (ie. when I'm at home).

    - I sync my contacts and appointments between Google Contacts/Calendar, Address Book/iCal and my iPhone (and I use Yahoo! as an additional backup). All of this is done automatically by iTunes when I connect my iPhone to my iMac in the evening.

    - I don't need contacts and appointments on my MacBook Pro because I already have them on my iPhone, but if I did I would use Spanning Sync to get them off Google Contacts/Calendar (or use the same set up I mentioned before with my iPad).

    - I don't sync my pictures with anything except my iMac since I don't need them anywhere else (well, except backup drives of course).

    Well, that's just how I have mine set up, quite like the way it works for me but of course everyone likes to have things set up in their own way, thought I'd just drop in in case you got some ideas from it.

    It looks a bit messy when written in a bit of a rush like this but it works and mostly does it automatically (with the exception of Syncopation, which I manually run when I make changes to my music library, which isn't often anyway).

    I think that the main thing about keeping stuff in sync is thinking about what you really need everywhere and what you only need in one place. Trying to sync everything would be a nightmare, so I just keep the MacBook Pro as a secondary computer and primarily use my main computer, the iMac.
  3. thespazz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2007
  4. EdoDodo macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2009
    Yeah I would agree with this one, the main part of the sync set up I mentioned above is indeed Dropbox. Although it is only useful for a limited number of files I think that if you reconsider the usage you make of each one (do you really need ALL your files to be on both computers?) then it will probably work for you.

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