Our (Sync’d) Future

05/04/08 :: by moquito

Device of the FutureI’ve done a lot of thinking recently on the new technology issues that really impact our lives. Sure, the internet could be faster, our computers could take less time to boot up, and laptops could be lighter and last longer. But, let’s face it, in general, the core of technology works pretty well these days. And because it works so well, we’re free to focus on the little things that would make our lives easier.

Syncing my files, email, contacts, photos, music, and documents is currently my #1 challenge. Between my Mac Pro at work, Windows XP (using Parallels on the Mac Pro), my Sony VAIO Laptop (Windows XP), and my iMac at home, I have four separate computers and two platforms that I need to access my data on. I don’t have time to think about which computer I last used for a particular document, to get the latest version of the document. I also don’t have time, upon purchasing a track from the iTunes store, to manually copy it three other times, and make sure it’s labeled with the correct Genre, in the correct Playlist, etc.

There are many Syncing tools for data out there, and TechCunch does a good job at profiling them here. But they also all have their shortcomings; one doesn’t work with parallels, once is Windows, only. One doesn’t do what it says it will do.

I finally settled on an obscure syncing program, PowerFolder, to get the job done. It’s not the prettiest or easiest to use, but it does work, and it works cross platform, including with Parallels. I also found this amazing program called SuperSync, that syncs all of my iTunes libraries, again cross platform.

These are all good starts. But, when I jump in my car, I’m again at the mercy of what’s on the radio, on my iPod, or iPhone. And all the new music (or photos) I just added to one of my computers isn’t automatically in my car.

I want a service that syncs all of my data, without any intervention from me, to all of my locations, and all devices. This includes a hard drive in my car, syncing over the cell phone network, to automatically add any music track I might add to any of my iTunes libraries.

Far fetched? Not really. Lexus is already building cars that remember any CD you put into them, so you don’t need the CD anymore. The cell networks are the biggest bottleneck, and they really need to catch up with our digital lives. But, that’s a whole other conversation.

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