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My Troubles With Live Mesh

February 11, 2009

Live Mesh touts a simple, yet brilliant idea; being able to access my files and folders from anywhere. Whether it is done with syncing the contents between 2 or more computers utilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) technology or via the Live Desktop.

I decided that I should try to sync my music-collection between my laptop and desktop. Given the 5 GB limitation on what goes to the Live Desktop, I had to choose the P2P solution for my approx 120 GB music collection.

I recently went through my collection and fine tuned it, with album art and tags, utilizing iTunes, Zune and MediaMonkey. Time consuming but rewarding in the end when everything was in place.

Then I made the stupid decision to try out the Live Mesh Beta to sync between the two mentioned computers.

Installing Live Mesh and setting it up is fairly easy, but screwing it up is even easier.

When choosing to add a folder to your Live Mesh and then in the sync options choosing which computers to sync to, what happens is that on the “other” computer a destination folder is created on the desktop. Here is my first complaint ; why can I not choose destination folder myself? So that I can make two almost synced folders become synced? If that option is in there it so well hidden that I cannot find it.

Well, Ok I thought. I have enough disk-space on the C-drive of my desktop to add the entire music-collection. The sync started by itself – which is actually my second beef; why can I not force when Live Mesh is to sync or not? Anyway, folder structures were created and the process seemed to go just fine.

After a few days I found that the process of syncing had stopped, but that the desktop only had approximately 95 GB of the 120 GB it should have… I looked everywhere to find info on how to continue the sync process to no avail. Bummer.

Then I double-clicked the shortcut for the Live Mesh “music” folder on my laptops desktop with the unintended result of changing the sync folders location on my laptop – not to where the music was, but to my laptops desktop. AND – for some obscure reason – the result is (either from that clicking mistake or something else altogether) is that ALL my music on my laptop has disappeared! The folder structure is basically there. Album art is there. But not A SINGLE MP.3 or AAC file to be found.

Yes, I have a backup of the collection (unfortunately made before I tuned the collection), but…..

It is my own fault, I know. I did this on a laptop running a Win 7 Beta OS, with Live Mesh which certainly is in beta, but I am still annoyed (understatement). As it is I have to return to tuning my collection once again, but then I will sync it between the laptop and the desktop using an old and proven way: copy the contents to a removable drive and then onto the desktop. And from then on continue to manually sync the two collections. At least I get to control the procedure and the destination location.

So: At the moment I can not in any way, shape or form recommend using Live Mesh for syncing important folder/file structures. I have created a work folder I will use to sync between the beforementioned computers, but always keeping a backup around. I do think that Windows Live Sync might be a better tool for that, but that is a different post!

Edited; 2009-02-12 Typos…

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