Replaced my iDisk with Dropbox

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by ulbador, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. ulbador, Dec 20, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010

    ulbador macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    So I have three modern Macs that I use, a work iMac, a home iMac and a MacBook, and have been using MobileMe for years to keep them in sync. I have been relying on iDisk to store a handful of key files and directories that I need to share between them.

    Over the years I've noticed the iDisk can be wonky. For example, on my MacBook and work iMac sometimes if I create files or folders on the iDisk, they won't show up on my home iMac for days after I put them there, if they even show up at all. To fix it, I have stop and restart the iDisk syncing.

    Recently, I went to grab a folder off the iDisk, and loe and behold, half of the files in the actual folder were missing. I looked in another folder I had recently moved and it was completely void of any of my files.

    So I called up MobileMe support. The guy on the phone actually told me (exact words) "Sometimes data-loss can occur with iDisks, which is why it is very important to back up your computer with Time Machine. This will make a backup of the local sparseBundle of the iDisk". While still a pretty unacceptable answer, I said thanks and started searching through TM backups, only to find that the only iMac with a Time Machine backup of the iDisk is the one that likes to randomly lose folders as mentioned above.

    Luckily, I hadn't deleted the files from my MacBook yet (which I usually do once I copy them to the iDisk). Of course it was a horrible and gut wrenching afternoon thinking the data was gone as I wasn't able to access my laptop to see if the files were still there until I got home.

    Yeah... we will see if I ever trust ANY data to iDisk again, especially with the answer that "sometimes data-loss can occur". With that said, I really love the Dropbox interface. At least with it, I am 100% certain if a file has been synced or not.

    Dropbox is highly recommended as an iDisk replacement and I am honestly thinking of investing in the 50Gb upgrade.
  2. Macsterguy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2007
    I also sync 3 Macs and while I haven't had the problems you describe, I DO WISH Apple would BUY DROPBOX !!!
  3. ulbador thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    I do too. I really do think the interface for Dropbox is so far superior. Unfortunately, when it comes to important data, all it takes it losing one file one time to completely burn me and turn me away from iDisk.
  4. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I like DropBox and have abandoned iDisk since I started using it.

    I pray that Apple does NOT buy DropBox. They'll screw it up by making it more restrictive, and do dumbass stuff in the name of making it drop dead easy for every idiot on the planet.
  5. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    And there we have it. The key problem.

    Never fully trust cloud computing. This could have just as easily happened with Dropbox just as easily as iDisk or Windows Cloud or any other similar service. As a quick backup of your Documents folder just incase you're caught short without a memory stick, or you haven't planned on the need of a certain file, cloud disks are great. Relying on them is just plain foolish.

    I'll give you that iDisk isn't fully up to speed compared to Dropbox. I will not give you that it was iDisk's fault. It was yours for relying on cloud disks. Data loss can occur on any of them.
  6. ulbador, Dec 20, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010

    ulbador thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    This is correct. One should never rely fully on cloud storage

    There is a degree of redundancy built into this though. Your remote iDisk is stored locally, a fact you see when you turn off syncing and it drops the sparseBundle on your Desktop. That is honestly my major complaint. The files aren't even present on the local iDisk. With Dropbox, at least I can see that a file wasn't synced remotely instead of seeing days or weeks later that the iDisk syncing had a problem by viewing one little line of text on the bottom of my Finder window.

    Trust me, I know that 99% of data loss is preventable by the user. At the end of the day I was hoping I would be able to recover the missing files, from the Trash at the very least. But, because of the timing, I was unable to access them when I needed them.

    The point I was making was with how the Dropbox system appears to work, even if the Dropbox service ate all my files, I would still have reliable copies on every machine that the Dropbox was synced with. With iDisk, this is also how it is supposed to work, but with the number of oddities I've seen with it over the last few years, I don't trust it anymore and this was simply the last straw.
  7. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a


    May 21, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've not had any problems with iDisk or with Dropbox. However, iDisk is noticeably easier on CPU and RAM utilization than FileSyncAgent (iDisk). Dropbox has an excellent sync scheme but I wouldn't pay for it in addition to MobileMe. I've racked up over 15GB from referrals so it's basically a backup for my backup. :)

    As for speed/performance, the nod definitely goes to iDisk. Dropbox has LAN Sync which is an excellent feature but it's noticeably slower for me on uploads and downloads.

    This was from one of my uploads on a 5Mbps upstream... (Dropbox doesn't nearly this high.)
  8. alansmallen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    In the last couple of weeks, I made the full transition from MobileMe on my macs, iphones, and ipad to Google and DropBox. I am sooooo happy.

    In my opinion, DropBox does one thing well, while MobileMe does a bunch of things EHHH. Which do you prefer?

    Heres a referral, we both get extra space if you sign up.

    P.S. I don't work for dropbox, I just really like it so far.
  9. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a


    May 21, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Alan: Watch your CPU and RAM utilization during sync. I'm on a MBP Core i7 w/ 4GB RAM and CPU utilization floated anywhere from 0.1% to upwards of 40-50% during sync. RAM consumption seemed high as well. FileSyncAgent (iDisk) is much kinder to laptop batteries and will not sync if battery is below a certain percentage (20%, me thinks). Watch CPU and RAM utilization on both, you should see quite a difference, it only loads when it is needed--Dropbox is always-on and is always consuming some CPU utilization. It's one of the reasons I went web-only with Dropbox.

    To be sure, Dropbox is excellent and I recommend it highly to ppl who float between Macs and PCs. :apple:
  10. heresjohnny macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2010
    I tried MobileME for 60 days.... and found iDisk to be an absolute joke.

    Much happier with iDisk. The sync features of mobileme were nice, but Google offers free replacements for syncing most things that works very well.

    I was constantly having problems with iDisk - does it even work for large files? Never for me.

    I might keep MobileMe if it was $10/yr, that's about all it's worth to me.
  11. big samm macrumors 65816

    big samm

    Oct 27, 2008
    I love mobile me... My MacBook pro , iPhone 4, and iPad 3G are always in sync... Real easy to use.... But I never really used iDisk... NEVER!! I like dropbox... It's easy and you can upload pictures and videos to the desired folder... But I don't think I would pay for dropbox.... Mobile me as more value... Plus you can find good deals on eBay...
  12. FinanceGalSF macrumors newbie


    Dec 11, 2009
    San Francisco
    iDisk disappointing

    The whole thing is wonky. I had to buy ChronoSync because what Apple will not do is synchronize deleted files. I uploaded 3 slideshows I created with iPhoto *6 hours*, they are there on my iDisk, but will not play from there, you have to download them (mp4 files, so Windows won't play them either). The MobileMe Gallery will not sync with iPhoto - just says "pending". iTunes will not sync on the 3 Apple products I own, and iMovie files cannot be moved from one Mac to another without screwing up the "permissions". Have Time Machine, do use it, but cannot access my latest files and directories from that when I travel, am considering Drop Box. Having Internet access to Contacts is great, but the e-mail client doesn't exactly sync either.
  13. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I think Apple wrote iDisk using legacy code from System 3.0.

    I tried copying a zip file of an old mail folder to my iDisk and it just refuses, giving me some unhelpful error message that only Microsoft would love.
  14. ooninay macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Two other advantages of Dropbox over iDisk: 1) it has automatic versioning of the files you put in it, so if you accidentally edit something crucial out of one of your files you can fairly easily recover an older version; and 2) you can recover files that you accidentally deleted. Neither are possible with iDisk unless you go digging around in sparse disk images in Time Machine where it keeps them locally (*if* you can find it). Oh, and #3) Dropbox folder is backed up in Time Machine just like any other, so it's much easier to recover dropbox files that were deleted accidentally than it is for an iDisk file. Users may cause most of the computer problems they have, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate really good software like Dropbox that helps us recover from our own foibles.

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