Take Control of Syncing Data in Snow Leopard
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Final Release Date: December 2009
Pages: 162

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-iCal events, Address Book contacts, Safari bookmarks, anything you store in iTunes or iPhoto, and so forth.)

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)

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

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?
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