When I got my iPhone, without thinking too much about it, I copied a bunch of music and photos from my home computer to my work MacBook. I did this because I would be syncing the iPhone with the MacBook (the iPhone is a “work machine”, after all).
What are the downsides here? First of all, you’re wasting hard drive space on your work machine with music and photos—that you’re already using to take up room on another machine. Second, since I work from home, all that music is almost always available via my shared iTunes anyway. Third, I have to make a conscious effort to pick and choose what to put on the MacBook so I can sync it to my iPhone.
Well, that was dumb.
Turns out, you can sync different areas of the iPhone to different machines. So, here’s my breakdown:
- Synced to work MacBook:
- Email (I have the work email on the iPhone. I use GMail through Safari on the iPhone.)
- Address Book (My work Address Book is not yet well-populated, but that’s where my data will be soon.)
- Safari bookmarks (I actually don’t use local bookmarks as a del.icio.us fan. But I use the local bookmarks just for bookmarks I want to have on my iPhone. So, the nice thing here is that I can use bookmarklets on the iPhone, to do things like save to del.icio.us, find text on a page, or reveal Microformats.)
- Synced to my home eMac:
- Music (Right now, I have a smart playlist for my dozen or so favorite artists that I sync to the iPhone.)
- Photos (For the first time, I’m using the rating feature. I have a smart folder to sync anything with five stars.)
- Podcasts (Though I usually listen to them on Erin’s 1st gen. Shuffle.)
- Videos (I have the wonderful 45-minute videos “Ella Six Months” and “Ella One Year” as well as “Ella’s 1st Birthday Party” and a video of the family cat. Oh, and a couple Death Cab videos pulled from YouTube with vixy.net.)
I find this works wonderfully. I just sync the work stuff more often, the play stuff when I want to get new photos of Nolan on there. Now my work hard drive is music- and photo-less, which frees a ton of space.