Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Transferring Files Over WiFi

In a previous article I describe how you could use Microsoft SyncToy 2.0 to backup and transfer your files to an external hard disk drive.

I use the same method to backup and synchronise files between my Acer Aspire One netbook and my gaming PC.

My iTunes Library and Music is synchronised so that both machines show the same play count, song ratings and playlists etc.

I synchronise my Outlook PST file also, which keeps contacts and appointments, as well as emails on both machines the same.

Certain other files and folders are kept the same so that items such as my past weblog post’s, created in Windows Live Writer are always available for reference or editing.

Any files I download on my Aspire One are backed up to my gaming PC’s Downloads folder, using the Contribute option in MS SyncToy, which means that my netbook's Downloads folder doesn’t get filled with everything from the gaming PC’s folder.

All in all it’s a pretty sweet deal. - itunes-logoHowever, sometimes things go wrong, as they did for me just the other day, but the trouble started in iTunes

I was sitting at my gaming PC, going through the contents of my iTunes library and making a few changes – things like artist names and filling in missing album artist information, nothing too taxing.  After I had finished I figured I ought to re-sync my iTunes library with my Aspire One so that the updated information would be the same on my netbook, and therefore my iPod too (which I have coupled up with my netbook only).

Upon doing so I realised that there were some 1722 tracks that required transferring from the gaming PC to the netbook, and given the distance between the netbook and the PC, and that they’re both on the network wirelessly the total time to transfer all the files was going to take upwards of 16 hours(!) which is a very long time to say the least.

So I had a little think and decided to use an external USB hard disk drive to copy the library from my PC and then transfer those files to my netbook, which I did.

However, for some unknown reason, after doing this there were still over 1000 operations that needed to be completed by SyncToy to bring everything up to date.

In the end I connected both my netbook and the PC to my network hub and synchronised the two that way, a process that took less than an hour.

What I have taken away from this experience is simple; the very next time I decide to update my iTunes library information, I shall have my netbook close at hand and synchronise the two every few minutes!

Do you have a similar experience you would like to share, or maybe you have another solution, such as alternative to Microsoft SyncToy,for transferring files between computers?  Leave you comments below!

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