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10.4: Sync iTunes via rsync, python, and Automator
Authored by: extra88 on Mar 05, '07 10:30:16AM

First, don't use the -z switch for rsync for this. -z is "compress file data" but your files are almost all compressed (unless you have a lot AIFFs or something) so you're just wasting CPU cycles and time and possibly increasing the amount of data transferred.

If you keep your music within the default Music folder in your home directory (~/Music/), you don't need to do all the Automator stuff on receiving end, with one important caveat. I just make sure iTunes isn't running on the destination and sync the whole thing: rsync -a --delete-after /Users/USERNAME/Music/iTunes/ OTHERMAC.local:/Users/USERNAME/Music/iTunes/

The important caveat is I've found that my information about what podcasts I've already deleted is not preserved so the destination computer will re-download them and/or re-list old podcasts. I pretty much do my syncs one way and don't use the destination computer for podcast listening so I live with it. Note that my rsync example includes --delete-after which deletes any files from the destination that do not exist on the source (after it finishes transferring new data). If you don't have a delete switch in there (or use one occasionally) you can end up with deleted files coming back or redundant files in the case of files or folders getting renamed.

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