Ever heard of SyncToy? It’s yet another secret software from Microsoft (much like FolderShare) which is just so awesome that they never advertise it, anywhere. I have been using their 1.x version for about a year and it "simply works", which is the best compliment ever, in my book, especially for a little utility.
As the name implies, it is a simple Synchronization tool. You give it two file folders, either on your local computer, or, more often, on two computers on your home network. Next, it simply runs making sure that the two folders are completely synchronized. That is, all their files, sub-directories and their files, are all exactly identical. Here are some of the great uses I have for it in my home:
Backup tool! My Photos and My Music Collection directories are Synchronized to a backup folder on another computer, providing simple and effective backup.
My Videos, such as cartoons for kids, are backup up and synchronized to kids PCs, so they can all enjoy it on their local PC.
- Synching of e-Magazines (such as GamerZines, or Zinio) with Laptop on the Go.
Synchronization of Online Game installations, such as World of Warcraft. This game frequently updates it’s client, and instead of re-downloading 300Mb patch to several PCs where we play this game, SyncToy simply Synchronizes only the modified files.
And Yes, it works on Windows Vista as well as XP!
PS: Writing about "Works as Advertised" made me think about Zune Client software. All its bugs keep messing up my music collection and my podcasts!!! Seriously why even develop a whole new media player!? Why not improve Windows Media Player and be done with it?!