Cross-browser bookmark sync?
September 29, 2010 6:05 AM   Subscribe

What is a good alternative to Xmarks for cross-browser bookmark syncing?

I just saw the news that Xmarks is going to close its doors. I use different browsers on my home and office computers, and I have come to rely on the cross-browser bookmark syncing service that Xmarks provides. I'm hoping they find some way to continue providing this service, but assuming they do shut down in January, what are my options?

The two features I valued in Xmarks were:
1) cross-browser bookmark syncing
2) the ability to access my bookmarks via their website (which is awesome when I need to find a bookmark on a public computer).

Is there another option that will provide both of these features? I didn't use their password-sync, so I'm not bothered about replacing that feature.
posted by pemberkins to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Delicious, or one of the numerous clones? There's also Google Bookmarks, or keeping a bookmarks file in Google Documents (which is actually what Chrome does if you allow it to sync your bookmarks).

Also, any online note service, such as Ubernote, Evernote, etc., will provide something similar.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:12 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I appreciate it's not quite as immediate and in-browser, but you could just move all your bookmarks into Delicious. It's pretty tightly integrated into Firefox via a good official extension. It's obviously a third party storage service, but then so is xmarks. Set up your browsers on all the computers you use to link to the same Delicious account and you're sorted.

Also, I believe the next versions of both Safari and Firefox are meant to support cross-syncing of bookmarks.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:13 AM on September 29, 2010

Lifehacker says nothing out there with the cross-browser syncing the Xmarks offers (offered).

I am also mourning the loss of Xmarks and for now I am switching to Firefox Sync and just having that sync bookmarks in Firefox between two work and two home computers. Not much use when I am using Chrome though.
posted by 543DoublePlay at 6:14 AM on September 29, 2010

Another vote for delicious. I installed the firefox extension and I don't really use "real" bookmarks anymore.
posted by crocomancer at 6:27 AM on September 29, 2010

Unfortunately, Firefox Sync is the best option I've come up with, but it doesn't fulfill either of your criteria, as it's Firefox only and as far as I can tell no online option. I'm posting it because I imagine there are going to be a fair number of people reading this thread, lamenting Xmarks demise, and looking for okayfinesomethingthatjustworksinfirefox.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:04 AM on September 29, 2010

I've read threads on reddit and slashdot and probably others. All the suggestions are wrong; there are no alternatives right now. Most modern browsers have sync of some sort built-in, but most are incomplete next to Xmarks and none are multi-browser. Delicious and its ilk are not at all the same thing.

We're just screwed for now.
posted by chairface at 7:44 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also worth mentioning: Delicious is a Yahoo property. If Yahoo makes your blood boil (as it does mine), it is less than ideal. Also, it is a social bookmark system which is exactly what xmarks was good at not being. It let you have a work profile, home profile, and never the twain would mix. So you could have, you know, personal bookmarks. Private ones. Special ones. No one had to know how much you like reading cupcake blogs.

That said, I'll probably be migrating to Delicious, but only because it supports tagging and Chrome doesn't yet.
posted by chairface at 7:51 AM on September 29, 2010

Best answer: The xMarks people have been hinting at open-sourcing their clients and servers, which should hopefully open up some new avenues for hosting the service elsewhere in the future.

I depend on it heavily enough that I'd gladly shell over a few $$$ per month for a hosted service.
posted by schmod at 10:07 AM on September 29, 2010

posted by thilmony at 11:03 AM on September 29, 2010

If you want to go the Delicious route but don't want to deal with Yahoo or the social aspect of online bookmarking services, you might check out Pinboard.
posted by crosbyh at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2010

I use SyncPlaces for my Firefox installs, but it might work for Chrome with some manual workaround. SyncPlaces stores everything in a .json or .xbel file, which you should be able to import into Chrome with one of it's addons.
posted by Jim T at 2:33 PM on September 29, 2010

Response by poster: I'll try Google Bookmarks and see how it goes; if I don't like that, I'll bite the bullet and show the world my love for cupcake blogs in Delicious.

I'm also thinking about consolidating my life into one browser, to solve the sync problem, but I'm rather attached to using different browsers for different things/on different computers. That may just be force of habit though, so I might try making the switch and see how I feel about it.

Thanks everyone!
posted by pemberkins at 7:12 AM on October 1, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, and I should mention that I'll also be keeping an eye on the possibility that Xmarks keeps on keepin' on in charge form. I'm happy to pay a few bucks for the service.
posted by pemberkins at 7:14 AM on October 1, 2010

News flash!

Xmarks might not be dead. They're kicking around a pay model after the user outcry. You can pledge to pay here. The company cannot go forward as envisioned by the founders but a smaller operation might be possible.

As an editorial, I'd like to add that they probably are doomed long term. There is free sync in the major browsers and there isn't a reason for a multi browser solution can't leverage those back-ends.
posted by chairface at 8:54 AM on October 1, 2010

Instead of Delicious, I use Netvouz, which has the ability to make some folders/bookmarks private. Plus, hierarchical folder organization as well as tagging. Plus, it will check for dead links and periodically provide a list for you to check manually (awesome).

Self-registration is currently disabled because of spammers, but if you email the info address and ask, they'll manually create an account for you. It's not a well-known service, but I much prefer it to Delicious.
posted by timepiece at 11:57 AM on October 7, 2010

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