Using a cloud-based service to sync to a locally saved folder?
July 4, 2019 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Situation: I have a folder of audio files stored on my PC I would like to be also stored locally, synchronized, on SD cards in phone1 and phone2. For an order of magnitude idea we're talking a ~20gb folder not like 2000gb. I think the way you do this involves clouds?

How I currently accomplish this: Transfer files over USB cable to phone1, then connect phone2 and do the same.

What I would like: Ideally I'm imagining a situation where both phones, either automatically or by telling them to individually, update the folder on the SD card to match the one on my PC.

I'm pretty sure the solution is a cloud-based service, however the only experience I have with them is using Google Drive to store documents for access via internet on any internet-connected device.

Is Google Drive what I want too, just paying to upgrade to the higher storage limit? Is there a better or separate (free or low-cost as I don't need a huge amount of storage) service for this? Would there be a way to properly sync it with Google Drive or this other service, rather than "syncing" it by deleting the older folder on phone1/2 and downloading the entire up-to-date folder from the cloud. Which would still be better but it would take a while.

Example of something similar I do: phone1 is where I store my podcasts. The podcast manager I use has a feature where it creates a backup file, which I can upload to Google Drive, and then download it on phone2 and "restore" it and it automatically downloads over wifi all the podcasts I had saved on phone1.

For additional context I don't need to sync these every day or anything. Just occasionally.
posted by ToddBurson to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Myself, I like using OneDrive for this - but you will need the $2/month plan, which allows up to 100gb.

... But, you might not be able to choose the location (i.e. SD card, or other folder on a PC) where files get stored locally....

As for sync'ing - you just leave the clients running and things will sync automatically - on your phone just tweak them so they do it over wifi if you have a data plan that sucks (hello Canadian people)...

Google Drive would probably do the trick just as nicely. Or "Box" or "Dropbox" - all these cloud services have clients on all platforms.

Heck, my OneDrive is actually synchronized to my local Synology (NAS) device - and then my phone, my tablet and my laptop. (and even my work laptop)
posted by jkaczor at 9:48 AM on July 4, 2019

Response by poster: @jkaczor: Thanks! It seems like OneDrive actually does have that feature, and that it's not an expected feature for most of these clients so it's something to look out for. I'm seeing OneDrive added that option about a year ago and Drive might still not support it.

Also just as a reference for if anyone happens to read this in the future: apparently there are podcast apps (at least one - Pocket Casts) that do sync across devices so I might have to try switching.
posted by ToddBurson at 10:53 AM on July 4, 2019

Syncthing is a good free option. It doesn't actually save anything to the cloud, it just helps your devices find each other and then fires the syncing.
posted by ropeladder at 12:52 PM on July 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


That sounds nice, IIRC - OneDrive evolved from SkyDrive and which came from... (possibly not actually sharing DNA), "Windows Live Mesh", I loved that - not only would it sync from one device to another, but... it also had Remote Desktop sharing/control capability that literally punched through every corporate firewall I ever tried it on...

Good times.
posted by jkaczor at 1:37 PM on July 4, 2019

I use Syncthing a lot, but the only trick is that to use it on MacOS you need to use some really old-fashioned package managers apparently. But I'm syncing between Android and Ubuntu so it's all just Linux anyway...
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 11:03 AM on July 6, 2019

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