Thursday, 15 April 2010

Photo synchronisation over the internet

I've been thinking about synchronisation software lately. I'm very happy with Dropbox, but I would also like to use it to keep my photos backed up and synchronised across all my machines. The things keeping me from doing that are the 2GB storage limit, bandwidth use and the fact that I can't sync external folders.

To get around the 2GB limit, I'd just have to pay 10USD per month for a 50GB plan. There may be a better way, so I'm not taking that plunge just yet. As for bandwidth, the Dropbox client can be set to limit its bandwidth usage rate, so I guess that's okay too. I just think that the act of transferring my 15GB of photos over the internet might raise some eyebrows in the IT department at work.

What I mean by the external folders problem is that I would have to keep my photos inside Dropbox instead of the My Pictures folders on my various machines, and I'd rather not do that, even if I had the space. Live Mesh might be a better option, and it neatly sidesteps the storage limit too, but it doesn't work on Linux, which is a dealbreaker for me.

I did write a program of my own to copy files in and out of Dropbox one at a time to distribute to all my machines, and I learned a few things in the process. First, sync software always has more problems than you think. Second, Dropbox is probably not the best way to go about that kind of transfer.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I might look for a solution using rsync over a VPN.
PPS - That will probably also be harder than it sounds.

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