BitTorrent Sync: Free Alternative To Dropbox For DJs + Producers
Lots of DJs and producers want to be able to organize the same iTunes library on any computer, have Ableton Projects available on all computers, and Traktor collection synced across machines. The obvious answer is Dropbox – but it carries its own limitations in terms of cost and storage limits. In the search for an alternative appeared BitTorrent Sync, which uses the distributed power of BitTorrent to cleanly sync your files across as many machines as you want- read on to learn more.
“BitTorrent! Won’t the Feds shut me down?”
Don’t panic, this isn’t remotely illegal. BitTorrent Sync is very similar to Dropbox – here’s the core feature set that makes it just as good:
- Automatically keeps folders and files in sync across multiple computers and users
- Free and no storage limit: storage is limited by the size of your HD. If you want 2 TB of syncing space, just get an external HD.
- Private and secure: There’s no middleman or third party data centre involved, so your data is your data. The file transfers are encrypted and folders are connected to one another by a randomly generated pass key (check out the security features here)
- Fast – P2p Speeds: The more computers you have sharing a folder, the faster you’ll be able to push changes across all of them – since they use the peer-to-peer sharing structure that makes BitTorrent one of the fastest and most efficient methods of file distribution on the internet.
The only major setting that BitTorrent Sync has comes in the type of synchronization:
Full Access (2 way sync): This is just like Dropbox – add/delete any files or folders from one folder and it is added/deleted from the other folder. Great because it creates mirrored folders, bad because you have to be a bit more cautious about deleting things.
Read Only (1 way sync): One folder is the master and the other is a slave. So files that are added/deleted to the master are added or deleted from the slave. But any files that are added or deleted to the slave folder won’t sync to the master folder. This could be a good option if you’re doing an off-site backup where you don’t want anything being accidentally deleted.
WHY DJS + PRODUCERS WOULD USE BT SYNC
Three reasons for why this is an essential tool for any DJ or producer.
1) Collaboration: Many people already use Dropbox, but that free 5GB starts to go pretty quick once you start sharing full Ableton projects with all the samples included. With BitTorrent Sync, having no limit on size allows sharing of all of your production projects for free. BitTorrent Sync will keep folders in sync and up to date. Of course, there’s no intelligent detection of who is working on what- you’ll need a service like Splice for that.
2) Consolidate iTunes (or any track collection): Finally! An iTunes library that always contains the latest tracks and playlists no matter which computer you added it from. BitTorrent Sync will also sync deletions between folders. This can be great if you’re purging your iTunes library of Spice Girls, but keep this in mind because you don’t want to accidentally delete a song and lose it on every computer.
3) Off-site backup: With hard drives it’s not a matter of if it will fail, but when. You can use BitTorrent Sync to backup specific folders or even your entire computer with a big enough external HD set up at a friends or parents house. BitTorrent Sync will automatically push any changes to that external HD. (*If you do this, load the external HD with files from your computer first, don’t try to copy 1TB over the internet).
Here’s a quick demo of how the tech works:
Want to learn more about Bittorrent Sync and how it all works? Check out their FAQ