Tips

How to stream music from Google

Friday’s announcement of Google Music is great news, but it’s only available if you live in the US.

There is another way to stream your music from Google, which while not as visually impressive as Google Music, sounds just as good. You can stream your music from Google Docs to your PC or phone.

To do this, you need Syncdocs and a media player like iTunes, Windows Media Player or VLC.

Guide to playing music on Google Docs

To stream your music from the web:

1. Install the latest free beta version of Syncdocs.

2. Right click on the folder containing your music. Select “Create Google Playlist”.
If it not already on Google Docs, Syncdocs will pop-up and ask you to upload it first.

3. Syncdocs will make two “Google Playlist” files.

Syncdocs syncs these files to Google Docs, so you can just download the playlist files from another browser and open them to play your music. Open these files to your mobile, or other computer you want to listen to this music from. You can also email these files or get the short link in Syncdocs sharing.

What’s great is that you don’t need the big audio files on the device you are using to play the music. All you need are the tiny playlist files. The audio is streamed live from the Google.

The “Google Playlist” file that Syncdocs creates, is a tiny file with links to your music on Google Docs.

Open the playlist in Windows Media Player, VLC, Winamp or iTunes on any other PC or Mac. You can also play it on your mobile, the m3u playlist file can be played with a playlist media player, like Just Playlists on Android or fstream on iPhone.

 

Playing in VLC in Windows

 

Playing in Just Playlists on Android

How to sync Google Drive to Dropbox

Syncdocs works fine in along with with Dropbox. You can sync to both Google Drive and Dropbox simultaneously. You can also select a subset of folders in either to sync.

Why Multiple Syncing?

There are a few reasons one might want to sync to Google Drive and Dropbox at the simultaneously. The main reason is to get your Dropbox files synced with Google Docs and back. This means you can easily edit Dropbox files online, share them to anyone and access them on any device.

Dropbox has better Linux/Mac OSX support than Syncdocs, so you can use Syncdocs and Dropbox together to sync files from your Mac and PC to Google Docs.

Google Docs provides great online collaboration and and online office suite and is accessible from more  devices than Dropbox.

You might also want to sync to multiple cloud servers for redundancy. Syncdocs uses Google Storage to store your data and Dropbox uses Amazon S3.

How to Sync Google Drive to Dropbox

Previously Syncdocs needed the Dropbox or Google Docs folder to be in a specific place. Now, with Syncdocs version 1.23 or later, you can simply select your Dropbox folder and have it synchronize to Google Docs with Syncdocs. Here’s how:

To access the selective sync menu.

1. Right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, and select Preferences. Then in the folder tab, click the Select button

 

 2. Click on “Add folder” and select My Dropbox.

Note that you don’t have to Sync your entire Dropbox folder, you can select a sub-folder inside it, too.

 

That’s it! Changes you make to stuff in Dropbox will be synced to Google Docs and changes in Google Docs will be mirrored back to Dropbox.

Selective Google Drive Sync

Why selective sync?

Selective sync allows you to select which folders to sync to Google Drive and Apps.

A  reason for selective syncing might be to save bandwidth or storage space.

For example you might have a main desktop PC and you want everything synced or backed up to Google Drive. You might have another netbook with much more limited storage and only want to sync work or a certain project folder with this netbook.

Selecting collections

Syncdocs now lets you select the folders (collections) you want to sync on each PC. You can check or uncheck the folders you want. The checked items (like “Contacts”) are synced, while the unchecked items (like “Videos”) are not.

Shared collections

Another use for selective syncing is to ignore the files others share with you on Google Drive and Docs. In the image above, collections others share with you are shown at the bottom of the list. Often you don’t want all these folders on every PC.

Accessing the selective sync menu in Syncdocs

To access the selective sync menu.

Right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, and select Preferences. Then in the folder tab, click the Select button

You’ll need Syncdocs version 1.23 or later for this feature.

Arbitrary Folder Sync

We’re busy testing some new features in Syncdocs.  If you’d like to try these new features now too, then download this beta version .

This version is not fully tested, so do not use it for critical data. This version does not need registration. Please feel free to comment or make suggestions on the forum.

New features

Selective sync now works locally too

Previously, Syncdocs only let you select which Google folders you could or could not sync. This feature now works locally, to let you ignore or sync local folders, too.

To access the selective sync menu.

1. Right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, and select Preferences. Then in the folder tab, click the Select button

 

 

2. Use the check boxes to select which folders (collections) you do or do not want synced. Both local and Google folders are shown.

Folders shared with you on Google are also shown.

Sync any folder on your computer

The “Add folder” button above lets you add folders that are anywhere on your PC to sync to Google. The folders you select do not have to be in your “My Google Docs” folder.

Syncdocs will show a link to these folders in your Google Docs folder, but the folders and data live elsewhere on your hard disk.

There are currently a few limitations to this: you cannot select your Windows system directory, or an entire drive. If the folder is on a removable drive, Syncdocs won’t let you sync it, and advises you to copy it instead. The feature is not supported on Windows 98 or ME file systems (FAT32).

Easier Dropbox to Google Docs sync

You can more easily add a folder inside your Dropbox folder to sync to Google Docs or vice versa, using the “Add folder” feature.

 Upload files or folders by right clicking on them

You can upload a file or folder to Google Docs straight from the right click menu in Windows:

Upload files or folders from the command line

 Uploading existing files

To upload an existing file (of any type) from your PC to Google Docs:

syncdocs.exe upload “C:\path\filename.ext”

If exactly the same file (based on contents, file name and time) is already on Google Docs, then the file is not uploaded again. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Direct Uploads” collection on Google.

 

 Uploading folders

You can upload entire folder trees in the same way:

syncdocs.exe upload “C:\path\folder\”

Note the trailing slash “folder\”.  Syncdocs will upload the whole folder tree on the next sync, if it is not already on Google. The folder is synced to your Google Docs folder root, not DirectUploads like files.

Other improvements

Syncdocs now uploads items so that only the root folder shows in “Home” on Google Docs, while all items show in “All items”.

Syncdocs now handles dates before year 1601 and after 7000 on Google Docs.

Sync More Files for Free

 

We’ve just made it easier to get more file sync quotasyncdocs on twitter and facebook

Get way more file sync quota simply by inviting your friends to Syncdocs. You get a  +250 bonus per friend.

The person you invited also gets an extra 250 file bonus, so starts with 500 files. They can also invite others, while staying in sync with Google Docs on all their PCs.

Invite as many people as you wish, up to a max of 10,000 files.

Go here to invite by email, or to get a link to share on your blog, webpage, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

-The Syncdocs team

 

 

 

Backup Google Drive

Preparing for disaster

Backups are one of those things we all know we should do, but never get around to.

Only when our laptop is stolen or disk crashes do we regret not having made the backup. All our precious files and photos are gone forever.

Approximately 92% of stolen laptops are never recovered, while hard disks have around 10% chance of failure per year.

Google Drive storage

Google storage and Syncdocs make it easy, quick and cost-effective to backup your data to the cloud.

Google has distributed, fast data centers around the globe. This makes Google storage a safe, reliable place to backup your data. You can easily access your files via the web and on most mobile phones.

Google Drive storage is on of the most cost-effective cloud solutions available. 100GB of online storage is $2 per month. Syncdocs is only $19.95

So for less than $4 a month Google and Syncdocs give you 100GB online backup capability.

Go back in time

Syncdocs also stores previous versions of your files on Google, so you can easily go back to an earlier version.

Sync vs Backup

Sync

By default Syncdocs syncs your PC to Google and every other linked PC. This means that the Syncdocs folder on all your PCs and Google Drive  are the same.

Backup

Backup is typically a one directional copy from your PC to Google.

How to setup Syncdocs to Backup Google Drive

This guide will walk you through the steps needed to backup your PC to Google Drive.

1. Select the “preferences” menu item in Syncdocs

Right click on the Syncdocs task bar (system tray) icon:

2. Select “Advanced Options”

You may not need this step if you are already seeing advanced options.

3. Un-check the options indicated below

Your files will now be backed up to Google Docs.

Whenever you make a change these changes will be synced.

You’re done. Simple as that!

 

Restoring your backed up files from Google Drive

Backups are pretty useless unless you can restore them. Here’s how to restore:

1. If you’ve only lost a few select files

Go to Google Drive on the web and save (download) from the web interface.
If you have a many list of files online, use the directory tree or the search box to find the file by name.

2. Restoring multiple folders

Check the “Download Google files to this PC” option in the preferences screen shown above. Click on “select” above and choose the folders to restore.

If these folders still exist locally and you want an exact copy of Google Drive to overwrite them, then delete them locally first.

3. Restoring everything on the same PC

Check the “Download Google files to this PC” option above. Then just Start the Sync.

If the data still exist locally and you want an exact copy of Google docs, then wipe it locally first.

4. Restoring everything on a new PC

Just install Syncdocs on it. The default settings will copy everything back as a sync.

5. Restoring a particular version

Click on the file in Google Drive then from the list of versions select the one with the date and time you want.

 

More Backup Options

Optional: Do not convert files to Google Docs format

If you are just backing up to Google Docs, then you probably wish to preserve the original document formatting, so don’t convert to Google Docs.

Optional: Back up once a day

Normally Syncdocs backs up changes to your files when you save them. You can also set a scheduled backup.

Syncdocs lets you back up changed files once a day to Google. Check the option below and select the time you want to backup to start.

Note that your PC needs to be turned on at the backup time, and Syncdocs needs to be running in the taskbar.

Limitations of Syncdocs Backup

System Volumes

Syncdocs is designed to back up data files, but not your operating system.

Syncdocs cannot backup entire volumes, so you can’t use it to backup your entire C: drive or ‘Windows’ directory. For this you need a drive imaging tool like Acronis True Image or Symantec Ghost.

Locked Files

Syncdocs also currently cannot backup locked files. These are typically Windows registry files, active Outlook PST files or in-use Microsoft SQL databases.

Comments? Suggestions?

Please let us know what you think.

How to Sync Dropbox and Google Drive

Update: there’s now an easier way to do this – see this post

Syncdocs works fine in parallel along with Dropbox. You can sync to both Google Drive and Dropbox simultaneously.

Multiple Syncs

There are various reasons one might want to sync to Google Drive and Dropbox at the same time. The main reason is to get your Dropbox files synced with Google Docs and Drive. This means you can easily edit Dropbox files online and share them to anyone.

Another reason is Dropbox has better Mac/Linux support than Syncdocs, so you can use Syncdocs and Dropbox together to sync files from your Mac and PC to Google Drive. You might also want to sync to multiple cloud servers for redundancy. Syncdocs uses Google Storage to store your data and Dropbox uses Amazon S3.

Folder structure

Both Syncdocs and Dropbox use folder-based sync. You can setup either inside the other:

google docs inside dropbox

 or

dropbox inside syncdocs

 or just point the Syncdocs data folder to the same folder as you use for Dropbox data

dropbox and google docs sync at same folder level

Syncdocs asks you what folder you want to use during setup.If you want to change this folder after installation, right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, select ‘Preferences’ and then change the folder.

change sync folder

 Administrative Users on Windows 7/Vista

On Windows 7 and Vista, Dropbox runs with Administrator privileges by default, while Syncdocs does not.  So if both programs point to the same folders, you will need to run Syncdocs as Administrator, too. This is to give Syncdocs permission to see changes made by Dropbox.

You can run a Syncdocs as Administrator by right clicking on the desktop icon or Syncdocs.exe file and selecting “Run as Administrator”. There is also a shortcut in the Start menu to run Syncdocs as Admin.

Syncdocs will still sync if not run as Administrator, but will not detect new files or file renames created by Dropbox, so for full operation, run both as Administrator.

Accessing the Google Tasks App from Your Desktop

Get a little more organized?

Google tasks is a nifty little to-do list manager. Its a Google app that can help you get a little more organized.

Use it to create task lists and manage small projects.

The great thing is that you can view your task list on most devices:
https://mail.google.com/tasks/android – Android version
https://mail.google.com/tasks/iphone – iPhone version
https://mail.google.com/tasks/m – mobile version

You can also see tasks in your Google calendar app or Gmail sidebar.

Now you can create tasks right from Syncdocs too.

Sync Google Drive from a Flash Drive

Syncdocs Portable – How to Sync to Google Drive from a USB Flash Drive

Often it is great to take your data around with you. You might not want to download your Google Drive to each PC you work on.
Or you might want to access your Google Docs or Google Drive files offline.

Syncdocs runs fine from a USB flash drive (memory stick). All your settings, data and files live on the flash drive. This means that you can carry your complete Google Drive around with you and sync it from any PC you want.

Here’s how to get it working

  1. Download latest the portable version here
  2. Run SyncdocsPortableInstaller.exe , and select the extract location to your USB memory stick.
  3. Run it SyncdocsPortable.cmd (this tells Syncdocs to run in portable mode)
  4. If it’s the first time you’ve run – you’ll see the normal setup screen asking you for your password
  5. Enjoy syncing – files and settings data is stored on the memory stick

Unplug – take your files and settings with you

  1. Plug in to another machine, just run SyncdocsPortable.cmd or Syncdocs.exe.
  2. For portable use, it is better to use OAuth (give Syncdocs permission to access your Google Drive account)
    However you can still use a password in Syncdocs. Syncdocs may ask you to enter a password, as this is not stored on the USB stick.
  3. Enjoy syncing off the USB stick.

More details

The portable version of Syncdocs stores all your files in its own folder (“My Google Documents”) on the USB stick. This is so that it can be plugged into multiple PCs with different drive letters. If you wish to set the data folder location, then run the non-portable Syncdocs.

The portable 64bit version of Syncdocs is a separate download.

Changing the default storage location

By default the Syncdocs portable version uses the USB drive folder it runs from as its default data storage location. This means that you can take your data and the program with you on the USB disk.

You can override this and store your data elsewhere by running the PortableOwnSyncFolder.cmd shortcut.

Security notes

We recommend using OAuth with Syncdocs rather than entering a password. This is safer as Syncdocs never sees your password – rather you tell Google to give Syncdocs access to your files. However, we don’t force this option.

Syncdocs does not store your Google Docs password on the memory stick. It stores it in the secure Windows password vault on the PC. To tell Syncdocs to wipe your password from the PC when you’re done, run this version: PortableWipeVault.cmd

Note that the extra security means extra hassle – you’ll have to re-enter your password each time.

Updated version notes

The new version 4.x requires the -portable in its command line. Previously whether the version was portable or not was stored on the PC, but in order to save no settings on the PC, we removed this.

Running ‘SyncdocsPortable.cmd” will set this up automatically.

View Desktop Files using Syncdocs

Google Docs lets you edit most Office format documents. A less well known feature is that it can view, but not edit, even more file formats.

Syncdocs interfaces with this Google Docs viewer. Use Syncdocs as a viewer to view files on your computer.

To View a file:

Simply right click on a file.

 

Select “View in Google Docs

Syncdocs opens the file in a browser window. If the file is not already online, it will take a few seconds to upload it to Google first.

Here, the example .zip file is opened and the files inside the .zip file are shown:

 

 

What sort of files can I view?

Supported file formats for viewing:

Office Suites

  • Office 2007/2010 Word, Excel and Powerpoint .docx, .xlsx, pptx
  • Office 95-2003 Word, Excel and Powerpoint .doc, xls, ppt, pps
  • Open/Libre Office/Open Document Writer and Calc .odt, ods
  • Apple pages.

Electonic Paper

  • Adobe portable document format .pdf
  • postscript: .ps, .eps
  • Microsoft .xps

Images

  • most bitmap image formats: .jpg, .bmp, .jpeg, .png
  • vector images: .ai, .dxf, .svg, .mwf
  • fonts: .ttf

Video

  • many video formats .flv, .avi, .mpeg

Archives

  •  .zip, .rar – you can view the contents of files inside these archives, too

 

What are the advantages of viewing files online?

For one, you are protected from viruses and malware that can lurk in Microsoft Office and .pdf documents. The files are safely opened on the Google server, not on your PC.

Secondly, once you’ve viewed the file online, it is accessible from many devices. You can view it on your phone or easily share it with others.

Thirdly, Google Docs has an easy photo album capability. Just click on the “Images & videos” menu to get it. You can use this to organize and view your photos and images.