T42

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  1. I disagree - the closed source is an aspect of trust, and broken trust is the heart of what's happening - BTSync claimed one thing, then changed their tune. Since they're source is closed, how do we know their claims about their source are any more valid than their claims about features not being deprecated/removed?
  2. Well put - I think you hit on a number of accurate points here. And as you said before, BT needs to come out with a real mea culpa - one that includes a change to their fee model to something more like we've described - free version of the app, with additional features in the pay version to entice users to upgrade, *without* deprecating features in v1.4. Otherwise the audience will be much smaller, and frankly the kind of userbase their targetting with this new model isn't very large. BTSync is by it's very nature a functionality for more than the average user, but their new model is insulting to that very target. I'm a very analytical, skeptical, critical consumer. I've bought very little software over my 25+ years in IT, so it really has to be good to sell me...BTSync ain't-not at $40/year! Backup services charge that much per machine, for *terabytes* of storage. (Crashplan was $49/year when I had 4TB up there, and it was accessible via the web form any machine. Yes, it wasn't Sync...but BT isn't providing cloud storage...)
  3. Thanks kram. Yes, taking this approach (kill 1.4, start at 2.0) could work well if: 1. Grandfather in existing accounts to still have unlimited sync "sets" (folders) 2. Setup v2 with two account options - Free and Pro, with the Free version limited to 10 sync sets, and pro unlimited 3. Instead of subscription let the user buy the app version as I described. You buy v2 Pro, you get v2 Pro functionality forever (including incremental) updates to v2. 4. Continue working on value-added features, to entice users to upgrade to v3. Perhaps improved compression, performance, transmission speeds, etc. I'm sure there's a plan for feature implementation, with some kind of matrix showing difficulty/value/priority. Let the users vote on what's most important to them to help drive that development. It seems to me that a bean-counter type got ahold of BTSync and realized the challenge of monetizing a decentralized system because it's not dependent on back-end infrastructure which they can rationalize charging for (no data center storage, etc, like DropBox, etc). As BTSync stands, once you've built the app it will "just work" - with little control by the "company" because it's just a BitTorrent client - which uses a decentralized system (our machines). This new model is simply a way to monetize with artificial constraints because there are no "servers" that manage it. I've liked the idea of BTSync since I first discovered it. Unfortunately it's always been shy of the mark for me (controls/permissioning are rather simplistic, performance on mobile devices lackluster). This change to a monetized, hamstrung client has made me search for other solutions. Frankly all I really need is true self-hosted cross-platform VPN and sync client. There are solutions out there, but they all want you to subscribe for nothing more than running software on your own box (e.g. NeoRouter). Why should I pay for their clearinghouse servers when my home server already runs DynamicDNS? It's frustrating that the current business approach is for subscriptions for stuff that really doesn't require it. With one subscription to a DYNDNS service, anyone can host their own VPN providing secure comm from any device with a compatible client. Any other app can run across that VPN. In the last couple years Android devices have powered up enough to be able to run a VPN continuously. Fortunately this event with BTSync has caused me to revisit other sync solutions, and I've already setup SyncThing on my home server, laptop and phone. It's already working better than BTsync ever has for my needs (largely backing up phone data, with a secondary feature to share files between machines). It has it's limitaitons too, unfortunately. Sigh...I wouldn't mind finding some devs for each platform (Windows, Linux, iOS, Android) to design and build something that provides all the features it really needs (with true discrete access controls, sync directionality, etc). I would monetize by version/feature addition. This would provide a "full circle" approach - users would be part of the dev cycle, and there'd be cash flow to help keep dev going. Most likely though, this kind of cash flow wouldn't make significant money, which is why orgs like BTSync choose the subscription model. At least NeoRouter provides hosted servers and performance levels for the subscription. Followup... For the last 4 years I've had my own secure sync by using DynDns and an SFTP server hosted on my home server, with sync clients on each device (Foldersync on Android, scheduled tasks running different SFTP clients on Windows). Lots of flexibility (limitless sync sets/permission/scheduling/overwrite, etc), and all controlled by me, and I can add a new sync almost instantly from most any client. This is what a sync system has to be better than.
  4. What seems to be most frustrating is the combination of how they transitioned to a pay model and the blatant denial of what was previously said and how this technology works. This is 2015, not 1995 - far more people understand how tech works today than 20 years ago, so can see through the (non)techo-babble being spouted. It's really unfortunate the BTSync marketing/CFO/whatever team didn't take the approach that many other bits of freeware are taking today - continue providing the free functionality, and provide additional *new* features in the pro version to entice people to upgrade.I'm stil not hot on the subscription basis they're going after, especially since there's little backend to support that would justify a subscription model. A better model would be to be able to buy each major version, with minor versions being included in the price of the major (since those should be bug fixes, minor improvements), and continuing to allow each major version to function when the new version comes out...sort of a rolling-free-version functionality (but you only get that major version feature set through purchase, while still maintaining a true "free" version that has a noticeably reduced feature set). Taking this approach, as a goodwill measure they could allow current 1.4 users to continue on indefinitely, expecting that at some point enough additional features would be added to entice most of those users to upgrade. It's pretty simple - it's easier to get people who like you/are on your side to continue supporting your product if you work *with* them. Keeping a free funcitonality and enticiing with new features is working *with( your customer base - degrading an existing product to give the *appearance* of greater functionality in the upgrade/pay/pro version is not. Hopefully the BTSync team will change tack and take the free/premium approach I describe - it seems to work really well for many apps on iOS/Android
  5. They don't solve the same problem - one is a storage system that uses a sync architecture, the other is *just* a sync architecture. BTSync is much more like a VPN (you control the secure chanel between your devices) and something like Robocopy over that channel, Dropbox, etc are a storage system using a VPN-like channel. They are not the same, and while they *can* solve *similar* problems, the storage aspect of Dropbox, etc make them very different tools. People compare them because some of using BTSync want JUST the encrypted channel, without our data being stored elsewhere (on someone else's hardware, e.g. dropbox, etc), for different reasons - security, trust, etc. The reason you should pay more for Dropbox is it's orders of magnitudes more epensive to run the service, since it's a *storage* system, not just Bittorrent (a distributed system reliant on user systems) with some sync features thrown on top. Do you really think the storage, management, backup, deduplication, replication between data centers, network bandwidth for user data, network bandwidth for replication to the tune of probably petabytes isn't far more costly to run than a simple Bittorrent system? THAT's part of the beef...what BTSync does isn't all that magical, and doesn't require significant infrastructer/management costs - nothing even close to the scale of a file storage system like Dropbox, etc.
  6. Um, no, they aren't, AT ALL. BTSync is a sync ARBITRATOR - your data doesn't (necessarily) transit their servers (probably doesn't ever, since that would cost them more), nor do they store any of your data. BTSync is much more like a peer-to-peer VPN than Dropbox, etc. There's NO comparison to file-storage services, except that those services may add sync to their transport component. File storage services have to subsidize extensive datacenter, storage, deduplication,and replication/backup, transport (upstream/downstream/replication), for many terabytes of data (petabytes?). None of which is required with BTSync - only a few servers to handle the magnets/torrent files. Just guessing at numbers, but I'd venture BTSync datacenter costs (for actual users) don't even run into the $1m/annual category, while certainly Dropbox, etc run into the tens of millions. Datacenter costs ain't cheap.
  7. I think the current "Read Only"/"Full Access" model needs to be improved. While it's been good as a start, I think directionality should be more configurable (and referrred to as such). It would be useful to be able to dictate on a per-machine basis the directionality of a Sync Folder, rather than only at initial setup. For example, take Machine A, Machine B, Machine C. If I configure a SyncFolder on A, then share the Full secret with B and Read-Only with C, then the only sync I can get is: All from A to B, C All from B to C, A With no way to change any of that. With the current options, this scenario isn't possible: Sync all between computer A and B Contribute ONLY from Computer C. Perhaps having a secret for Inbound and Outbound would be more useful, then each Sync could be configured explicitely. This would also address having a "Backup" feature on the desktop that's similar to what's on the Android client. Again, thanks for the great app and all the effort in the desktop and Android versions.
  8. Most things have been covered by other posters, but I'd like to add/reiterate/clarify: 1. Scheduling - enable, on a per-sync basis, the ability to limit transfers to set times. My specific application is to sync my phone backups to my own server on a nightly basis (I use Titanium Backup on a nightly schedule, and currently FolderSync copies the backups to my SFTP server after TTBackup completes. Unfortunately, Foldersync has some consistency issues). Limiting this sync to late-night hours (and wifi) means it happenswhile I'm asleep, and doesn't kill bandwidth/battery during the day. 2. Push Only/No Comparison/New Files Only - Related to #1, the existing Backup feature is great, essentially providing the one-way sync I need for my backups. From a performance perspective, having it sync only new files, and not perform a comparison would speed up the transfer process and reduce network bandwidth. Implemented as an option that can be enabled/disabled per sync folder would allow an initial sync to ensure all files are there, then disabling the comparison would allow for faster syncs. By only syncing "new"/"changed" local files (and marking them old/unchanged) this would provide all the backup functionality I need, without requiring a comparison of the target - simply copy the new files, overwriting any existing on the target (overwrite could be an option). 3. Phone-to-Phone Sharing - A mechanism to more easily Share items within Android. Currently I have a sync folder setup between our phones, so I can copy a file into the folder and it will show up on the wife's phone (and vice-versa). This is great for larger files, but is a little clunky - there's no notification of a new file, and placing a file there is a bit tedious (especially if coming from an app that doesn't provide easy file system access, or indicate the file name). Perhaps a "Share via BitTorrentsync" option would be useful, and the feature would be configurable within BitTorrentSync such that the user pre-defines the folder, and can enable/disable notifications. Notifications should allow launching of the shared file. Granted this would require setting up the shared folder between devices first, but if you build this as a feature you can walk users through the initial setup and share the secret via Email or SMS with a button (which is already implemented for other sync setups). I also see this as needing to be a one-way sync so that deletions won't be synced. This would also be needed if folders are sync'd between multiple phones. 4. Bandwidth management/throttling. I realize BitTorrent by design minimizes bandwidth usage - but being able to control that to some extent would be nice. Perhaps adjustable based on network type (wifi/3G/4G/SSID) 5. Interface Tweaks - The interface (on Android) is a little unintuitive. The small down-arrow for delete/pause is difficult to hit, which makes it hard to realize that it's a different function than simply touching the Sync Job name itself (took me about 15 minutes of tinkering to figure out that button was actually a different set of options). Perhaps using a touch on the Sync job to showthe config for the job, and touch-hold to bring up the alternate menu (which is more like standard Android functionality anyway). Even better - touching would show status, and touch-hold would bring up a menu which includes pause/delete/properties/history, etc. 6. Service Option - Provide a switch to run BTSync as a service or just an app.This would enable sync in the background without the main app running. With the service disabled, users could then choose to "Sync on demand" by launching the app. Thanks for the great app - both on PC and Android. It has a LOT of potential to be a real game-changer.