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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync Apps
BitTorrent Labs has released BitTorrent Sync, a tool for syncing files across computers, using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol. This app lets you choose a specific folder (or folders) to sync, and have it automatically synced on one or several computers. It runs on OS X, Windows and Linux.

I find this an interesting tool. While I use Dropbox regularly, and depend on it for collaboration, and to sync a number of files between my two Macs, there is a limit in the amount of space available. (With the free version, it's 2 GB; paid subscriptions are available if you want more storage.) But also, Dropbox requires that anything you sync be put in its own folder. You can use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder, but if you want to sync the contents of a specific folder on your Mac to another Mac, this gets a bit complicated.

With BitTorrent Sync, you choose the folders to sync, and store them wherever you want. You could conceivably sync your entire home folder, though I'm not sure I want to try that yet. There are no space limitations, because you're not storing the files in the cloud; they're merely getting moved from one side to the other. And you can sync files in both directions, or only one, using read-only folders.

Dropbox has many advantages. You can access files on an iOS device, and Dropbox stores multiple versions of files. But if you want to simply sync one or more folders across computers, BitTorrent Sync could be the way to go.

If anyone else has tried this out, feel free to post comments on how you've found it.
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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: empyreal on Apr 30, '13 07:57:47AM

I am currently in the process of syncing about 300GB of music files for our Sonos between NASs in our two houses and it seems to work fine. Because one of the homes is rural and has a slow (1.5MB/sec) connection, it's going to take a while -- about a week. But preliminary tests indicate the bi-directional syncing is going great.

I am also using it so that my iPhoto library can now be on a NAS instead of my local MacBook Air, freeing up about 45GB of memory on my smallish 250GB SSD on the Air. My plan is to not have to schlep my iPhoto library around anymore.

For different purposes, I have, Dropbox, and Google Drive. BTSync fills a great hole in the functionality offered. I'm thankful for it.

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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: pokett on Aug 11, '13 09:13:56PM

How has this worked for you with regards to your iPhoto library? I'm trying to find the best way for my wife and I to manage our photo library between multiple computers - my macbook air and her macbook pro.

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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: empyreal on Aug 12, '13 10:11:35AM

Not very well, I'm afraid. The monolithic file system structure doesn't really work well with BitTorrent Sync. I've been changing my mechanism to use a normal file system via Picasa, but haven't really gotten it to work well yet. I'll still be working on it.

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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: gahms on Apr 30, '13 10:09:27AM

One limitation is that you need to be logged in for the Mac client to run.

For me it is a limitation because I have a mini I use as file server and would have liked for my local folder to be sync'ed to that.

Another (compared to e.g. Dropbox) is that there is no versioning. Changes or deletions are propogated to all other machines.

Otherwise it seems to work as advertised.

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Eager to try, but sad for the state of things
Authored by: sr105 on May 01, '13 12:43:38AM

I'm eager to try this. I find it sad that this already existed back in 2005 with Microsoft FolderShare later called Live Sync (Windows and OSX). Microsoft killed the project because it competed with Sky Drive or whatever Microsoft's dropbox is called. It worked flawlessly and even versioned conflicting files.

I used to use the service to sync my clients' work from my laptop to a pc in their office. It made them feel better that if I were hit by a bus and my laptop spontaneously combusted, they had all of my work (with only a 2 second delay) on their own machine.

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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: pokett on Aug 11, '13 09:12:14PM

Now that this has been out for awhile, I'd be interested to hear how useful/effective its been for the iPhoto library. I'm trying to find the right solution for sharing my photo library between my macbook air and my wife's macbook pro, and I'm wondering if this might be a possible solution.

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Sync files across computers with BitTorrent Sync
Authored by: sagdusmir on Sep 05, '13 04:07:04AM

Be aware the btsync does not sync the resource-fork or other extended attributes of a file.

It works for simple music files and images but will trash other os-x filetypes that rely on the resource-fork.
Be careful and have a backup!

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