I have a lot of pictures on my computer. And a lot of music. Perhaps not compared to some people I work with, but compared with most normal people, I have quite a few. Over the past six years, I have taken (and kept) 18,500 digital photographs and I have ripped almost my entire CD collection which comprises nearly 600 discs. The challenges have always been how to quickly and easily get to all of these files from the different computers in my house and how to back them up safely. In the past, I've kept both collections up on a file server but as they continue to grow, and as applications that use this content continue to count on them always being on the local computer (and have crappy performance when they are not) I've been trying to figure out a better way.
So last night, I started using FolderShare to solve this problem. I organized my folders of photos into years and created FolderShare libraries for each year. Then I did the same thing for music. Music was a bit tougher since I can't change my folder hierarchy without breaking my in-home music player and FolderShare has a limit of 10,000 files in a library. By getting rid of WMP's album art files and a bunch of desktop.ini files, I got under the limit though, we'll see how long that lasts....
Then I went to other PCs in the house and started subscribing to those libraries. On my main desktop machine, I subscribed to all of the photos libraries within the My Pictures folder and it started syncing them. Then on my Media Center PC, I subscribed to the music library. Looks like it will be a while before they are done syncing but I am looking forward to being able to work on local files, add new ones locally as well, and then have all of the locations synchronized to the changes I make on the files. Now I can use Digital Image Suite to tag my photos and all of the copies of those photos will be updated with the metadata. Windows Media Player can add the levelling and metadata to my music files and it will flow back to my server copies as well.
The syncing continues..