Backing up or synchronising files on a Mac? You need ChronoSync 4.8

Here’s a puzzle: you’re shooting video or photos on location, using a CalDigit AV Pro 2. At your workstation you have a RAID system that you normally use for offloading images or video clips shot when in the studio directly. The AV Pro 2 is also used as a secondary offload drive for those studio-shot clips. That introduces a problem: how can you make sure — easily, quickly and simply — that everything on the AV Pro 2 is synchronised with the RAID? The answer can be to change your workflow, buy a new AV Pro 2 that’s going to be used only as secondary offload station, or buy a $50 licence to a software called ChronoSync.

For a long time, Econ Technologies has been developing a synchronisation/backup application for the Mac. ChronoSync has evolved from a simple synchronising app to a flexible and powerful backup application that would be ideal for the scenario I described earlier. Sure, you could buy a second AV Pro 2, but all that hardware costs money, takes up office space and must be connected to your Mac as well. ChronoSync, on the other hand, is inexpensive and even runs in the background if you want it to, without taking up much memory or CPU cycles.

I tried ChronoSync 4.8 with exactly this scenario and it works like a dream. My own problem didn’t require much in terms of scheduling or file selection, but I’m seriously reconsidering my regular backup methodology as well, because this app will let me set up my daily backups and tune them to a very granular level.

And it’s all fairly simple to do as well. You start by going through an Assistant, which asks you a couple of questions and then sets up your basic sync task. You can further tune that task in the Task Editor to an insanely detailed level. Scheduling is incredibly flexible and powerful too. Again, you can start with an Assistant and then take it from there. Advanced scheduling takes you to the next level, with options to run a task only when it’s triggered by an event — such as starting up the RAID system or plugging in the AV Pro 2. Or by setting it up for “live-change” triggers. Those are new to version 4.8 and they will monitor a target for changes. A “Grace Delay” allows changes to ‘settle down’ before the task is run. You can even guarantee that the task will run at a predefined interval, if you are paranoid about changes not being detected by ChronoSync.

Except for my scenario, ChronoSync also lets you synchronise or backup to cloud servers, remote computers, NAS systems, etc. You can even create bootable clones — even remote ones if you have the ChronoAgent app as well.

The best part of ChronoSync isn’t even that you can do all that. It’s the Validator. The best backup applications come with a validation mechanism that lets you check whether your backup — or clone — is exactly the same as the original. ChronoSync has a user-friendly and customisable built-in validation tool to ensure the integrity of a backup. Corruption of backup data, especially bit-rot, may go unnoticed and that also applies to the first scenario I talked about, which is why offload apps like ShotPut Pro go out of their way to create all kinds of systems that prevent even one bit of the copy to differ from the result.

Verdict

If you’re serious about backing up and offloading, you need ChronoSync. Unless you’re happy with shelling out a lot of money for a subscription to a cloud-based backup service — risking your data to go lost when a hacker comes along — you can’t go wrong with this application. It’s simply amazing how little effort it will take to serve you well.

ChronoSync even supports concurrent operations and I/O throttling. It’s $49.99.

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