Sunday, April 13, 2008


Keeping in Sync

In general, the iTunes/iPod ecosystem works pretty well. By now I've had my music collection ripped and downloaded across a couple of different operating systems and computers over the last decade or so. And I'm able to keep the basics of the file formats in synch between my laptop and desktop Mac pretty well by using the rsync UNIX command.

But there are some things that make me very nervous. By now I've kept pretty good handle on my ratings and last play dates -- and I use both of those fairly actively when I set up the playlists to synchronize with an iPod, so I keep a mix of songs on my iPod based on how frequently songs are played and when they were last played.

And that's something that is a bit more of a challenge to keep synchronized across iTunes libraries used by different users across multiple machines. You'd like to be able to keep track of what the last playtime, date, and number of plays no matter what computer you've used. And if you have a library of songs, you really would like to minimize the amount of work you need to do to add songs to the various libraries.

I'm not sure I have a perfect system. rsync certainly helps things a great deal keeping the files in sync -- but it's a little less straight forward to keep the metadata synchronized across libraries.


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