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Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard
Is your data stuck on your Mac? Learn how to sync it with another Mac, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone, or PDA!
With clear directions and a humorous touch, Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard explains how to sync data from a Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with a variety of devices from Apple and other companies. Whether you want to sync phone numbers between your Mac and your mobile phone, share calendars and keychains between Macs, or move only new podcast episodes to an iPod, syncing expert Michael Cohen has the answers. You'll learn what software and gear you need and the best ways to move data between devices. The ebook also explains how syncing works under the hood and provides troubleshooting advice in case your sync engine throws a rod. Covers iTunes 9 and iPhone OS 3!
Is this ebook up-to-date? Excellent question. You should buy this ebook only if you want a history lesson about how syncing worked at one time, back when MobileMe was active and all the various third-party products covered in this ebook were current. Much of the specific information in this ebook is no longer correct.
Includes a coupon for 50% off any product from PocketMac, makers of sync solutions for Mac and Windows.
Types of sync data covered include:
Types of devices covered include:
Connection technologies and software examined include:
Sampler of special questions you'll find answers to:
This ebook explains all about syncing in iTunes and with an Apple TV. For a more media-centric approach, check out the Macworld Digital Music and Video Superguide. Also, for detailed advice on setting up an Apple TV with respect to networking, Take Control of 802.11n AirPort Networking has you covered.
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Michael E. Cohen has taught English composition, worked as a programmer for NASA’s Deep Space Network, helped develop the first commercial ebooks at the Voyager Company, co-founded a major university’s Humanities computing center, taught a number of people, and played with a lot of new technology. He's the author of a number of books, including Take Control of PDFpen 6, Take Control of iBooks Author, and Take Control of TextExpander.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This ebook explains how Leopard "thinks about" syncing, and shows you how to take advantage of its syncing capabilities, and how to go beyond them when they fall short. It was written by Michael E. Cohen, edited by Don Sellers (with help from Tonya Engst), and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Once upon a time I wrote a book called Take Control of Syncing in Tiger. The book that you have before you is the direct descendant of that one, but, like all children, it is more than just a revised version of its ancestors. The Tiger book described how to take control of syncing both files and other stuff in Mac OS X 10.4. This book, though it incorporates much information from the last one, barely glances at file syncing and focuses just on the other stuff.
"Wait, what?" I hear you exclaim. "Since when aren't files data?" Well, yes, files are data, but the kinds of data I want to explain how to sync are those kinds of data that are not (for the most part, anyway) nicely corralled in individual, well-named, user-created, easy-to-drag-around files. The kinds of data with which this book deals are stored in places on your Mac where it is perilous for users to tread, and which may involve the contents of more than one file.
Take a podcast in your iTunes library. When you sync it with your iPod, you sync not only the audio or video file itself, but stuff like the number of times it's been played, its current play position, and so on. Some of this stuff is separate from the media file itself, and is stored elsewhere on your Mac—and is stored in inaccessible places on your iPod. This is not a drag-and-drop-friendly state of affairs.
In this book, I call these kinds of data "managed data." They include your contacts, calendars, bookmarks, application preferences, keychains, iTunes songs and video, Dashboard widgets, and more. They are the kinds of data you want to get at from other Macs, and from other devices, too, such as your phone or your PDA or that annoying Windows machine that they shackle you to at work. And they're the kinds of data you want to keep current on all of those devices, whenever you make a change on any of them.
Leopard (and its recently released descendant, Snow Leopard) has a rich set of features that allow you to sync such managed data. But because managed data is, well, managed, it's not always clear just which data are being managed, and how and when it happens. This book attempts to dispel those mysteries, and to help you exploit Leopard's syncing features with a minimum of fuss and confusion.
Your book pointed me to the solution for my problem within 5 minutes of purchasing it. The $10 price was more than worth the money and made me give you this full endorsement for a "Job Well Done"! —Michael Clarke, referring to the Tiger edition
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard provides great synchronizing capabilities to help you share your information between devices—unfortunately, to a casual observer those capabilities may seem to be confusingly scattered all over. In fact, though, there's order in the chaos: to take control of syncing you need to learn a few simple concepts; make a decision or two; and, usually, follow a few short steps.
Most of the revisions in this version of the book address syncing changes and improvements provided by Apple’s continuing development of its MobileMe service, by Apple’s latest iPhone software (version 3.1 as of this writing), by iTunes 9, and by third-party developers (especially Google, which has furiously been enhancing its syncing capabilities).
These sections are new or substantially updated:
Further, the Sync Keychains section has been revised to include modified advice.
Also, though this book is about syncing with Leopard (yep, I just checked—that’s what the title says), I’ve also included some occasional tips and notes about things you can expect to find changed if you update to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
Additional changes and enhancements are sprinkled liberally throughout the text of the book. Sync you very much!
After you download and unzip your ebook, open it in a PDF reader (typically Apple's Preview or Adobe Reader). You'll find the coupon on the last page.
Good news! The current version of this ebook, version 1.1 was revised in mid 2009 and thus covers iPhone OS 3 and iTunes 9. Snaps to author Michael Cohen for a lot of perseverance on this 1.1 update, which was free to everyone who'd bought 1.0.
This ebook doesn't much cover Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. For information about syncing in Tiger, see Take Control of Syncing in Tiger, but note that that ebook does not cover MobileMe syncing.
Sorry, no go. This ebook doesn't cover that topic. Here at Take Control headquarters, however, we are really liking the Dropbox file synchronization utility. If you have a reasonably fast Internet connection, check it out!
Well... not so much... Someone once wrote in with a question about this— here's the question and Michael's answer:
Question: I'd like to synchronize my Palm TX with my many Macs running OS X, and my work PC running Windows XP. I already do this, but would like to use iSync/iCal/Address Book instead of the moribund Palm Desktop on the Mac. Does this book talk about the pros and cons of this approach?
Answer: Generally speaking, you should not sync a handheld device (mobile phone, Palm, etc.) with more than one computer. Syncing with more than one computer vastly increases the possibility of sync conflicts between all the devices involved, and can increase the chances of data corruption as well. Apple includes this warning in its iSync help: "IMPORTANT: You should sync your phone with only one computer. If you sync your devices with more than one computer, your information may not sync correctly (you could see duplicates or wrong information)."
Things can only get even more confused if you sync a single Palm device between both a Mac OS computer and a Windows XP computer, which have rather different ways of syncing information.
The book does not talk about syncing handheld devices with Windows (the title, is, after all, Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard).
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
October 2009 -- because Leopard is no longer the current version of Mac OS X, it is unlikely that we will update this ebook again.
December 21, 2012 --
Google has announced that Google Sync, its syncing method that uses Microsoft's ActiveSync technology, will no longer be available as a syncing option for most users. Support for it, except for paid users of its Google Apps service, will end on January 30 for Mail and Contacts; it is already unavailable for Google Calendar syncing. Instead, IMAP, CardDAV, and CalDAV are the preferred protocols for syncing. This means, in the case of iOS devices, that push email and calendar events will no longer be available to new users for Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar (Google, however, will continue to support accounts that have already been set up to use Google Sync). You can find out more about this change in the TidBITS article, Google Drops Google Sync for Most iOS Users, and in Joe Kissell's Macworld article, What the End of Google Sync Means to You.
—Michael E. Cohen
June 28, 2011 --
As iCloud rolls in, MobileMe rolls away, and takes some of its syncing capabilities with it. Read on to find out what stays and what goes.
—Michael E. Cohen
June 8, 2011 --
On June 6, 2011, Apple announced a new service called iCloud that will appear at some point later in 2011 ("fall" in the northern hemisphere), and will replace MobileMe from Apple's perspective. Until then, MobileMe continues unchanged, except that Apple is no longer selling subscriptions or charging for renewals; all current members automatically have their accounts extended through the end of June 2012.
When iCloud becomes available, existing MobileMe members will be able to migrate to the new service, which will be free (albeit with optional paid features, such as iTunes Match and additional storage). So far, Apple hasn't released details about the fate of iDisk (including file sharing and iWeb publishing); MobileMe Gallery; Back to My Mac; the Backup application; Web-based access to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars; or Mac-to-Mac syncing of things like preferences and keychains.
In the meantime, you can learn more about iCloud and what it might mean for MobileMe users in the following places:
November 24, 2009 --
Take Control reader J.S. wrote in, asking if Take Control of Syncing Data in Snow Leopard explains how to sync an iPhoto library between an iMac and a Mac laptop. Although the ebook does not explain how to achieve this feat, the email exchange about the topic has some good suggestions. The suggestions build on one another, so read to the end before trying anything.
October 22, 2009 --
Listen to MacVoices #9107 and find out what author Michael Cohen has been working on lately, and why about 95% of the Syncing Data in Leopard ebook will appear in the Syncing Data in Snow Leopard ebook. Michael discusses what managed data is, and he pulls aside the curtain to help you understand how data syncs between your Mac and other devices.
October 16, 2009 --
Home Sharing, a new feature in iTunes 9, makes it possible to easily sync purchased iTunes Store media among family members (or any group where everyone is authorized on the same iTunes Store account). While the feature is a clear win for sharing around iPhone apps, several Take Control authors have been perplexed by Home Sharing, either because the feature didn't perform as they'd expected, or because it's very difficult to concisely explain the differences between it and the old iTunes Sharing feature. Thankfully, Take Control author Ted Landau's recent Mac Observer article tackles the subject with detail. If you're interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to share media in iTunes, check it out!
February 9, 2009 --
Google announced the availability today of Google Sync for iPhone. This service allows you to sync your Google Calendars and Contacts with your iPhone wirelessly, using push technology. The service requires you that you set up an Exchange account on your iPhone and that your iPhone is running the version 2.2 firmware or later.
—Michael E. Cohen
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