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Take Control of Syncing Data in Snow Leopard
Learn how to sync your data with another Mac, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone, or PDA!
Is this ebook up-to-date? Excellent question. If you want to understand how syncing works conceptually or sync a non-Apple smartphone, or sync between your Mac(s) and MobileMe, this ebook remains pretty much spot on—though now that MobileMe has been discontinued, some of that content remains spot on as a history lesson, not as a practical instruction manual. However, since this ebook was updated in late 2009, Apple has released the iPad, iOS 4 (and iOS 5 and iOS 6...), and iTunes 10. Also, Apple made some changes to the Apple TV situation. For suggestions on other Take Control ebooks that cover syncing, and to learn about update plans, click the Blog tab below.
With clear directions and a humorous touch, expert Michael Cohen walks you through exactly how to sync managed data from a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard with a variety of devices and services. 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, you'll find useful advice and directions. ("Managed data" is data that you can't usually see as separate files in the Finder—data such as iCal events, Address Book contacts, Safari bookmarks, and anything you store in iTunes.)
You'll also learn how syncing works under the hood and get troubleshooting advice in case your sync engine throws a rod.
You'll learn about syncing managed data on a Mac running Snow Leopard with:
"It offers a great in-depth look at syncing on your Mac." —CNET Reviews
Types of sync data covered include:
Types of devices covered include:
Connection technologies and software examined include:
Includes a coupon for 50% off any product from PocketMac, makers of sync solutions for Mac and Windows.
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, and played with a lot of new technology. He's the author of a number of books, including Take Control of PDFpen 7, Take Control of Pages, Take Control of iBooks Author, and Take Control of TextExpander.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book explains how Snow Leopard “thinks about” syncing, and it shows you how to take advantage of Snow Leopard’s syncing capabilities, and how to go beyond them when they fall short. This book was written by Michael E. Cohen and edited by Tonya Engst.
This the third time around for Take Control of Syncing, so let’s get you synced up to date.
The first edition was called Take Control of Syncing in Tiger, and it described how to take control of syncing both files and other stuff in Mac OS X 10.4.
The next edition got a longer title: Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard. Although it incorporated quite a lot from the first edition, it barely glanced at file syncing and focused just on the “other stuff.” Why? Because that other stuff was the stuff that it was hardest and most confusing to take control of. That stuff comprised the kinds of data that usually didn’t exist in single, easy-to-find files, but that instead were kept in databases of various kinds that were stored in hard-to-find (and dangerous-to-alter) places on your Mac.
Take something as seemingly simple as a movie in your iTunes Library. When you sync it with your iPod touch, you sync not only the video file itself, but stuff like the number of times it’s been played, its current play position, and so on. Some of these data are separate from the video file itself, and live elsewhere on your Mac, often as entries in various databases. The movie file is only one part of the movie data that you sync.
In that book and in this one, I call these kinds of data managed data. They include your contacts, calendars, bookmarks, application preferences, keychains, songs, movies, iPhone apps, Dashboard widgets, and more. Some of them are the kinds of data you want to get at from other Macs, or from other devices like an Apple TV, or from another computer that isn’t a Mac. And they’re the kinds of data you want to keep current on all of those devices, whenever and wherever you change that data.
Snow Leopard has a rich set of features that allow you to sync managed data. However, 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 Snow Leopard’s syncing features with a minimum of fuss and confusion.
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has great synchronizing capabilities that help you share 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.
Sorry, no, it does not. It talks about syncing iPhoto photos to an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV, but not to another Mac. However, the Blog for the ebook has an informal article about syncing iPhoto photos between Macs.
Yes. Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard looks at this topic for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. It was updated in late 2009, so it includes details on iTunes 9 and iPhone OS 3. Take Control of Syncing in Tiger discusses syncing in 10.4 Tiger from the perspective of 2007.
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!
June 2011 -- We don't plan to update this ebook.
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:
—Tonya J Engst
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.
—Tonya J Engst
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