Learn how to sync your data with another Mac, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone, or PDA!

Take Control of
Syncing Data in Snow Leopard

Michael E. Cohen

Want to sync your Mac’s data without hassle? Michael Cohen walks you through all the steps, explains Apple’s syncing model, and provides essential troubleshooting advice. Covers syncing to another Mac, MobileMe, Google, Exchange, iPhones, iPods, Apple TV, mobile phones generally, and tips for Palms and Blackberries.

This product has been discontinued.

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.

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:

  • Another Mac
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • The cloud (i.e. MobileMe or Google)
  • An iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV
  • A non-Apple mobile phone
  • A PDA (i.e. a Palm or Blackberry, specifics are brief)

It offers a great in-depth look at syncing on your Mac. —CNET Reviews

Types of sync data covered include:

  • Calendar items stored in iCal, Entourage, Google, and Yahoo
  • Contacts stored in Address Book, Entourage, Google, and Yahoo
  • Data on Exchange servers
  • Data on MobileMe
  • Dock items and Dashboard widgets
  • Apple Mail account settings, Safari bookmarks, and application preferences
  • Apple Mail and Entourage notes
  • Keychains (user names and passwords)
  • Items from software that uses Mac OS X’s Sync Services, such as Yojimbo
  • Audio, video, photos, apps, and associated metadata from iTunes

Types of devices covered include:

  • Macs, with details on MobileMe and overviews of popular third-party options
  • The iPhone and iPod touch, via Microsoft Exchange, MobileMe, or iTunes
  • Old and new iPods via iTunes, with details on USB and FireWire connections
  • The Apple TV via iTunes
  • Mobile phones, smartphones, BlackBerries, and Palm OS PDAs via iSync and/or third-party utilities

Connection technologies and software examined include:

  • Bluetooth, USB, FireWire, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet
  • MobileMe, iTunes, iSync, IMAP (IMAP discussion is limited to Apple Mail), Exchange
  • Third-party products from BusyMac, Feisar, Mark/Space, Nova Media, PocketMac, and Spanning Sync

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:

  • What is the truth database? And what should I do if I think it’s lying?
  • When a sync occurs, what’s going on behind the scenes?
  • What is push syncing and how does it work?
  • What is the difference between syncing and a backup?
  • What does Bluetooth discovery mean, and what should I do about it?
  • Can I control exactly which audio and video files sync to my iPod?
  • How do I override automatic syncing when I connect my iPod to iTunes?
  • How does iTunes decide if a video file is a movie, TV show, or music video?
  • How does the Apple TV figure out what to sync if it fills up?
  • How do I sync everything possible to my iPhone—calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, the works?
  • How do I sync a mobile phone that Apple doesn’t support?
  • Argh! Snow Leopard’s iSync doesn’t support the Palm! What third-party software can I use instead?
  • I want to sync directly with an Exchange server… what do I need to know?
  • What’s the smartest way to sync keychains between Macs?
  • I have a syncing feeling about my data—what should I do?

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.

Michael Cohen

About Michael E. Cohen

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, and co-founded a major university’s Humanities computing center. He has authored several books, including Apple Interface Mysteries, Take Control of PDFpen, Take Control of Pages, and Take Control of TextExpander.

Does this ebook explain how to sync an iPhoto library between two Macs?

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.

Are there older editions of this ebook, for older operating systems?

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.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Quick Start to Syncing
  • A Briefing on Syncing
  • Sync by Device
  • Connect Your Gear
  • Sync an Apple Device with iTunes
  • iPhone and iPod touch Push Syncing
  • Sync a Handheld Device with iSync
  • Sync Your Mac with MobileMe
  • The Conflict Resolver
  • Sync with Third-Party Software
  • Lost in Translation
  • Think Before You Sync
  • Appendix A: If Things Go Wrong
  • About This Book
  • June 2011 -- We don't plan to update this ebook.