Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Managing my music collection

I've been struggling to figure out how to manage by music collection. I have a rather large collection of files encoded in WMA format at a high bitrate. I listen to music primarily at work, but also occasionally listen at home using my PC or Audiotron.

My main problem has been figuring out how to keep everything in sync available in all places. Unfortunately my choice of the WMA format a while back completely screwed me because my Audiotron doesn't support it. Neither does my Tivo for that matter. So either I rerip everything again or live with not being able to stream music around the house. I looked around at various streaming options but haven't found anything that supports the wide variety of devices I want. mp3 served via windows shares seems like the lowest common denominator. iTunes looked quite interesting, especially when coupled with AirTunes, but was too captive for me.

I decided to punt on streaming music around the house for now. I think the only answer is reripping everything and I'm just not up for it. So, what about the synchronization problem? I thought about getting some kind of USB drive and lugging it between home and work. DVD-R's are always an option if the collection is mostly up to date. Neither of these options were particular appealing so I went in search of some nifty software to do it, and I found the answer. Plain and simple rsync. It's secure (can be run over ssh), provides incremental updates and is easy to use. I use it to sync music between my PC and backup server so why not between home and work. The initial sync was not exactly quick, but who cares? It required none of my time and was free (unless Comcast cuts me off for excessive bandwidth usage ;)). Yep, KISS prevails again.



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