synchronizing bookmarks between OSX and an iphone
June 14, 2009 2:44 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to synchronize all bookmarks from Firefox 3.5 to an iPhone running firmware 2.2? I know iTunes can synchronize the PC's Safari bookmarks onto the phone, but...

My primary browser is the Firefox 3.5 RC running on OS10.4.11 on an older Macbook Pro. I believe the sqlite database format used to store the bookmarks in 3.5 is pretty much unchanged from firefox v3.0.11 so this shouldn't be an issue.

I've noticed that iTunes 8.1 offers to synchronize the PC's Safari bookmarks with the iPhone. Easy enough. But is there any easy and effective way to export all of my Firefox bookmarks to Safari first? Will Safari 4 import a full set of Firefox bookmarks from the sqlite file?

If I set this up as an automator action for Safari, I guess the plan would be to have Safari periodically overwrite all of its bookmarks with a copy of the ones present in Firefox, and then let the iPhone sync. I would not be manually creating any new bookmarks in Safari as I pretty much exclusively use Firefox, and occasionally Opera.
posted by thewalrus to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Only Safari syncs it's bookmarks with the iphone - so you need to get your bookmarks there. And it's a sync, so if you replace it, itunes will have to push all the bookmarks to the iphone. That shouldn't be a 'big' deal, given that bookmarks are text.

I haven't used these...but here are a couple of utilities that may help:
Foxmarks/Xmarks free plugin for safari + ff
Bookit - $12 shareware that syncs Safari & Firefox.
SyncIt keeps bookmarks synced between different browsers, platforms and systems (free)
posted by filmgeek at 3:56 AM on June 14, 2009

You've laid out a whole plan that should work just fine—there is an option in Firefox to export bookmarks and one in Safari to import them. Voila! Of course, that only solves your dilemma one time, and you probably want something more robust. In that case, I have used BookIt in the past and it worked fine for me; I'm sure one of the many free options will work, too.

If you end up using a utility that doesn't understand the newish Firefox bookmarks file format, you can still get Firefox to generate the old style file—change "browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML" (via about:config in Firefox) to True. This will cause Firefox to build a bookmarks.html file (like old versions used to do) as well as the newer database-style bookmarks file.
posted by bcwinters at 5:04 AM on June 14, 2009

I use linksinablink. I'm not sure if it notes all of my stumbleupon favorites - Nope. I am using Firefox with a PC and I am pretty sure I'm not keeping up with foxmarks bookmarks on the PC, but it does seem to be doing its job. It will also sync with your google bookmarks if you prefer.
posted by mearls at 6:14 AM on June 14, 2009

I use foxmarks (now called xmarks) on every computer I work on. It works with both firefox and safari and thus syncs with my iphone. I do not know how I would cope without it to be honest! Its the first firefox extension I install.
posted by gergtreble at 7:24 AM on June 14, 2009

I use Bookdog on my Mac to sync my Firefox and Safari bookmarks as needed. There's an option to copy all bookmarks from Browser A (in my case, FF) to Browser B (in my case, Safari) so that B only has the bookmarks from A.

You have to do it manually, which is a downside, but it also organizes and verifies your bookmarks, which is what I originally got Bookdog for.
posted by immlass at 8:25 AM on June 14, 2009

I use xmarks for this - the safari plugin does not require that safari runs to sync the bookmarks, so it works very well for this scenario.
posted by temancl at 8:56 AM on June 14, 2009

This may not be what you want, but if you use Foxmarks/Xmarks (linked above), they have an iPhone web app that allows you to browse your bookmarks:
posted by socratic at 10:40 AM on June 14, 2009

Another vote for xmarks for exactly the reason temanci mentions. Safari doesn't need to be open/used/looked at for the syncing to work seamlessly. (xmarks for safari runs as a service type application up by the clock).
posted by cayla at 11:32 AM on June 14, 2009

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