Scooter Software's Beyond Compare 2 is one of the best utility programs I've ever used. On a Windows XP machine, I rely on it almost daily to synchronize directory structures for backups and updates. Since all of my machines use the same directory structure, it is invaluable in helping me to shuttle files around to the machine I'm going to work (if I need the files locally). There is one problem, however. I'm in the process of switching to the Mac, and there doesn't seem to exist anything remotely similar in functionality.
I've used rsync and various GUI apps for it, but a blind sync is not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for an application that will allow me to navigate and sync parallel directory structures and let me update or mirror uni- or bi-directionally without having to navigate in both source and destination panes (like the UI used in many FTP apps).
When I get home from a trip, the first thing I do is connect my machine to the network and push my local directory structure to the main server. This is easily accomplished using rsync and blind backup apps, but those solutions have several problems. First, I don't want to sync the entire structure. I know which directories have been changed, and I want to select specific folders to sync. Also, when I want to take specific files and directories with me on a certain machine, I pull them over selectively, and it only copies those files that are new or changed.
Richard Sipe details a way to use Beyond Compare from within a Parallels instance running Windows XP, but I want something that runs natively. Accessing files from within Windows isn't a good solution for me.
The closest app I've found so far is zsCompare, which allows for parallel views of source and destination directories. However, it pales in comparison to Beyond Compare. So far, here are a few things I've noticed about zsCompare:
- no live browsing of parallel structures until a full compare is complete
- non-Mac interface
- bizarre installer
- no progress information when copying (% complete)
- interface locks up intermittently when copying
- copying takes up insane amounts of CPU and memory
- clunky feel, in general
- runs out of memory during large compares
Why doesn't a similar app exist for the Mac? Any tips from expert readers out there?
*UPDATE* It looks like ChronoSync is a good sync app as well. Its "Analyze" feature has parallel browsing of directory structures. I'm giving it a try.
*UPDATE* Dammit. You can browse the parallel directory structure in ChronoSync, but you can't copy/move back and forth from that screen. :(