Ability to set the location of the data folder

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Posts: 3

Post by badmozart »

I'm trying to sync Synthesia between two machines (my desktop where I edit MIDIs and my tablet PC which is connected to my piano).

This is complicated by the fact that Synthesia wants to save all of it's data in /AppData/Roaming.

I'd prefer to be able to set it to an arbitrary folder, one that could be synced by Dropbox, for example.

I already sync the folder with all my custom MIDIs in it, but performance history is not synced between machines (for example). Also fingering notes.
Posts: 13095

Post by Nicholas »

This is kind of an advanced solution, but I've used it for this exact AppData situation in the past with other apps: you can use Windows symbolic links (or hard links or junction points, etc.). Symbolic links (or "symlinks") are a kind of shortcut that behaves more like the original folder/file than the usual Windows .lnk file.

Historically the only way Microsoft exposes these is at the command line with an awful interface. My preference is to use this free third party extension which adds a right-click context menu entry when dragging folders (or files) around.

If you use that, the procedure would become something like:

1. Move your existing Synthesia data folder someplace convenient in your Dropbox folder.
2. Right-drag the "Synthesia" folder back to AppData\Roaming, and choose "Drop here..." --> "Symbolic Link".

Then, on any other systems you'd like to sync with, it would just be step #2 (since you've already got the folder in Dropbox).

The usual cautions apply: running the app at the same time on two machines that are set up this way would probably cause a file conflict. The workaround is "don't do that". :lol:

Another Dropbox-specific caution: once you learn about symbolic links, it is easy to get carried away and start making them all over the place. Dropbox itself doesn't like (and won't sync) symlinks inside the Dropbox folder. They used to try to do something reasonable, but around 2019 they gave up and just started ignoring them. (It starts to get hairy when you symlink from inside Dropbox to Dropbox; how many copies did you want?)

So the "real" files should always live in Dropbox and then symlinks to those files/folders should be made elsewhere (like AppData\Roaming, etc.).
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