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Smart Phone "Cloud based Music Management" Backup, replication, distribution and file management.

Well as advised in the welcome forums I've decided to post my first guide.

Unfortunately I cant copy and paste it with formatting or images so if you want to see them you have to go to my blog (I know what a drag) But it will make is considerably easier to read and follow with screen shots of the process. For those that are proficient with android this may be doable with just the text here but for people who are closer to novice it is advised you look at the screen shots for some clarity.

Profanity: Smart Phone "Cloud based Music Management" Backup, replication, distribution and file management. (All Free and Easy)

There are no ads or any bull shit, that is a direct link to a nicely formatted guide with images, this post is a copy and paste of my guide but could not get images and i'm not going to format the same wall of text again for hours when it is already done and easily accessible.

Note that there is a bit of theory and explanation about computer concepts which are advisable to know so you can understand and proficiently use the applications to your liking.

Smart Phone "Cloud based Music Management" Backup, replication, distribution and file management. (All Free and Easy)

What this guide will enable you to do:
Manage media files/android files from your browser through a cloud vendors site.
Manage your playlist and or media files from your local computer and have the changes rolled onto your phone through the cloud (note that a internet connection is mandatory)
Have a cloud backup of your files/music/mobile play-list depending on your cloud capacity
Add files to your android from any location or device that has an internet connection (not just limited to music). Also anything you add is immediately backed up.
Replicate whatever files are in your folder to your associated devices. (Phones, Cloud, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops and anything that can run Dropbox.
Add files anywhere any time and have them replicated to your device.
You can set up your device and various applications to save information within the created file directory and have that information replicated, distributed and managed from any of the devices.

The inception of this guide as well as the issue it solves)
Basically I wanted to be able to manage (add, remove and move) the music on my phone around without having to plug it into my computer or use the touch display to get the job done. This also lets me copy music remotely and have it updated as soon as my phone is on a WiFi connection.

The Limitations:
The current 4.3 and 4.4 versions of Android have been confirmed to have issues regarding the Micro SD cards and how the android systems read them, so for the most part you will have to store your music on the internal storage for most of the available android tools to be able to read the files you intend to have synced. There are a few exceptions to this for users who have rooted there phones but I'm not going to explain them in this post.

What you will need: All free, yay.
A cloud storage account which is equal or greater in capacity than the music and or files you intend to have synced on your phone:

My recommendations for the cloud client are:
Dropbox, One Drive or Google drive since they are large companies and have the infrastructure to support high speeds. There are a number of cloud companies that off high amounts of data for free but they are generally pretty slow..

The following will all require registration as well as a client download to your systems for optimal performance. At least one of the following is required, In my opinion go with Dropbox.
Dropbox - Free 50gb of space (Link to download and register, opens in new window.)
One Drive - Free 15gb of space as well as 15gbs for camera syncing. (Link to download and register, opens in new window.)
Google Drive - Free 15gb of space. (Link to download and register, opens in new window.)

Some background information
Folder Sync is an android application that syncs folders into your cloud accounts and drop box syncs it locally onto your system or off your system and into the cloud. We can manipulate the various mechanisms within these application in a way that is akin to the semi automated managing of files.

I recommend is 2 way sync so that you can delete something on your phone and it will be deleted off the cloud as well as vice versa. It also enables you to copy a file from any computer to your Dropbox folder and have it update on your phones paired folder as well as your main computer systems local folder which is not paired but accepts all changes made in Dropbox as well. Essentially what I'm saying is any changes within the paired folder on any of the configured devices will lead to changes to all the the local folders in each devices which have been synced, note that this can be done through any web browser that can access Dropbox. Pairing will be explained later on.

The application
Folder Sync Lite (free)
The lite version is free and allows one folder pair which is enough for what we are doing. Technically that's all you need for everything since you can just create sub folders for various other things but since its so cheap the application is worth buying see below.

Folder Sync (paid) $3.66
The paid version can manage most or all your cloud accounts as well as the file syncing involved with that. It keeps logs, is capable of backups and even has other optional security features such as a pin code. It has a scheduled sync option as well as an instant sync which watches for changes and reacts accordingly. Folder sync is also a pretty good file manager and you need one of these since the stock file manager is pretty terrible. This tool also has a very comprehensive help section which includes fun things such as Tasker integration, short-cuts and what not. On a personal note, so far I have not experienced any issues with this tool and am very heppy with it.

How to set up Folder Sync
Download and install folder sync from the play store. You can use the links above.

1. Open Folder Sync, you will see the following screen.
2. Press accounts then add account.
2.1 Create a unique name so you can differentiate it from other cloud accounts.
3. Click Authenticate account which will give you a prompt which will ask you for the login information of the selected cloud service. Fill the information in and press login.
Allow access for folder sync from the cloud storage provider. (using One Drive as an example)
4. The cloud service will then come up with a prompt which will ask you to decide whether you want to allow or deny access for Folder Sync. Obviously if you want to proceed give permission to the application and proceed to the next step.
5. You will be returned to your add account screen and it will display your cloud limit as well as how much you have used on that particular account. Since you can have multiple cloud accounts you can use this tool to manage the various backups and folder syncs you may have or may want. Click save and navigate back to the main screen and save your newly added cloud connection.
6. Click folder pairs.
7. You will see add folder pair, press this:
8. The remote folder is the folder which will be synced to other devices.
My Remote/Dropbox Folder

Some context through an example:

What I did was just use my battle stations local Dropbox folder since uploading through ethernet is faster than WiFi, I then copied the exact same files and folders in the exact same location based from the root directory and folder sync just went through checked everything that was the same off then uploaded anything that Dropbox was missing and downloaded anything it was missing locally which was then synced across my multiple devices . I had 4.3gbs of audio and it only took an hour or so to have it uploaded and replicated to my phone since all that was uploaded were the missing files as well as last minute additions made by me. The Dropbox service distributes the files immediately after they have been uploaded to the server to the applicable devices. . /storage/sdcard0 is the default directory in android which is the music folder is in and you can set this directory to be the paired folder and sub folders.

The local folder you probably want is the folder on your device which contains your music that way we can manipulate it from a browser and still have your mostly likely stock music player detect it after its transferred, usually automatically but you may or may not have to scan your folder for changes within the music player application if your new files are not detected when you open the player.

9. Now for the Sync types (we are using 2 way sync but feel free to deviate to fit your needs)

Remote folder sync is:
The files and folders are governed by the remote directory and changes that are made within the local directory (your phone) will not affect anything.

Local folder sync
This is merely the opposite of the above the files and folders and governed and affected by the changes made on the local device and ripple into the cloud which acts as a nice backup.

Two-Way sync
This is so much fun, I'll use an example to describe this one. Lets say I'm at Starbucks an on the wifi, I hear a great song and decide to download it onto my laptop. I then take that music file and place it into the synced dropbox folder either in a browser or a local synced folder on my laptop and the changes will ripple through to the dropbox folder and then to your various devices based on how you have local storage configured on each device independently. This means that the file I download is replicated not only to my Dropbox account but downloaded locally only my battle station at home where I can jam it with my subs but it is also replicated onto and into my music folder ready to be listened to, all without having to even touch my phone.

FolderSync settings
10. Most of this is personal preference and self explanatory but I will explain a few key things here:

Instant sync essentially means that the application watches the folders for any changes and if it detects any it will update them immediately

Obviously you want to sync sub folders especially if you are doing the above method on a free version of folder sync.

Since I am a turbo nerd I like to be notified of changes so I can monitor if anything has gone wrong since I have only used the tool for a couple of weeks and am still paranoid of the horrible drop sync experience I had.

Now its time for the bread and butter. This part is about optimization and how you deal with file conflicts etc.

11. Override old files should be set to always and if conflicting modifications should be set to skip file which will make it so you don't upload the exact same file over and over again. The application will simply check the file and say "I have this, check the file size and MD5 check sums" and move on. To make this faster you can disable the file check size so that the application does not need to process file sizes. Since there are a lot of files to process in your playlist or music folder it speeds things up a bit

11.1 You can make it so Folder Sync only syncs when you are on a white listed WiFi connection (set it to your home WiFi) otherwise you may unintentionally use excess data where you aren't supposed to be using data at all.

I recommend only sync if charging as WiFi uses a large amount of battery over an extended period of time. The application can be configured to only sync based on certain conditions these being the type of connection you are currently on whether it be 4g or WiFi as well as only sync if charger is attached.
Configure these to your liking and press save.

Not on a WiFi connection at the moment so the screen shot shows an error which you will not get.

12. Once you are done hit save and you will be taken back to the folder pairs screen, you will see the following screen. Press sync and it will start to sync. If it is syncing make sure you are syncing to the correct directories or you will end up with duplicates which are just a waste of space. It took me a few attempts the first time on a lesser tool but it did not take too long.

The upload
13. This is the point where you are uploading your music folder or the files are being checked against each other and only differences are exchanged depending on what method you took, this can take a while depending on how much music you have but uploading from your battle station and creating identical file hierarchies cuts down the time. The time this takes also heavily depends on the speed of your internet connection but this is a one off large transfer so you will not have to do it again since FolderSync will only sync changes unless you configure it otherwise such as overwrite which would be pointless for most.

14. To verify the sync you need to log onto Dropbox and view the transferred files in your browser, you can also see the files on your computer in your local Dropbox folder and you can use both these to add, remove and rearrange your media with rippling changes to all the devices you wish to sync. You just have to make sure that the original sync folder stays in the exact same place but you can essentially add anything inside.

Folders synced viewed on Dropbox
I personally, at present only use the sync on my desktop and phone for music and screen shots but I am going to look into a solution to backing everything up many android related things easily. Also you are now done :) If you set it up to watch the Dropbox folder then any changes will immediately be uploaded and distributed. The alternative would be to schedule syncing for whatever time period you prefer, ie. hourly, daily, weekly etc..

Next on my agenda is explaining how to get this with minimal effort as well as shows.rss integration.

Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed the guide please share it, if you have any issues post below and I'll try help you out.

Edit 1: Have a bit of time so formatting


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