Software for audio collaboration?
September 6, 2006 7:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm collaborating with someone on multiple large music projects (200-500 megs each). I'm looking for a way to have the projects in a central repository and allow us to upload and download only our changes to and from the repository.

I thought of Subversion or CVS (though I've barely ever used them). Looking into them a bit I don't think I have much use for version tracking in these audio projects and I assume it would take a ton of hard drive space to track every single little change. So maybe they're not what I'm looking for.

I'm basically looking for a quick and easy way for us to synchronize our projects without having to re-upload and re-download the whole thing (say via FTP) every time. Is there an easy way to accomplish this? We're both on Windows and I have a Linux server at my disposal (which might be nice to use as an off-site backup.)
posted by frenetic to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
rsync does what you're talking about based on, if I'm not mistaken, the MD5 hashes of each file. If you're working with text files, I believe it also uses diff to send and receive changes, if that's more economical than sending the whole file. If you're working with some binary format, like MP3, then I think it has to send the entire file if a change has been made "inside" it.

rsync is available for windows through cygwin.
posted by odinsdream at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2006

I'd grab bsdiff & write a couple quick perl scripts.
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:42 PM on September 6, 2006

You might want to take a look at Unison, which uses the rsync algorithm underneath and has a nice cross-platform GUI. It's made for two-way directory synchrosization
posted by Emanuel at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2006

Oh, I should add that, contrary to what odinsdream implies, rsync works well with binary files, only sending the differences. I routinely use it for multi-gigabyte files where only a small part of the file changes, and it's very quick. Unison also works very well for this case.

odinsdream is correct that it won't work efficiently for MP3 files (or compressed files in general) because a small change to the source audio will result in completely different MP3 data.
posted by Emanuel at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2006

Thanks for clarifying Emanuel. I admit I don't know the specifics. I've only used rsync for batches of jpegs.
posted by odinsdream at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2006

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