One of the main attractions of Mac OS X Tiger with a .Mac subscription is the ability to sync your Address Book contacts, iCal calendars, Safari bookmarks, and other stuff across several Macs. Although .Mac syncing was available in earlier versions of Mac OS X, several desirable enhancements were introduced in Tiger, including the abilities to sync Mail-related information and passwords from your Keychain. (See http://www.mac.com/1/sync.html for details.) I think there’s much promise in Tiger’s .Mac sync abilities, but there’s been a rather irritating bug in the Address Book sync feature since the initial release of Mac OS X 10.4. The bug, documented by Apple in their Technical Document 301230, is that contact URL field entries cannot be synced to .Mac. Technical Document 301230, dated March 30, 2005, warns that “if you reset the sync data on your computer, then choose .Mac as the master source to replace the data on your computer, you may lose all URL information in Address Book.” The Apple technical document goes on to recommend that you place URLs in the Notes field for .Mac syncing. This workaround allows you to transfer your Address Book contact URls to your .Mac account and subsequently to other Macs, but they will not be available in your Safari bookmarks. The way I understand it, unless a contact’s home page is present in the URL field in Address Book, the home page will not show up in your Safari Address Book bookmarks. There are some workarounds.
- Create a bookmark folder in Safari’s Bookmarks Bar, and copy your Address Book bookmarks into this new folder. You can subsequently sync your Safari Bookmarks to make them available across all of your Macs.
- Cut and paste back and forth between the URL field and the Notes field in Address Book. (This workaround seems to be suggested by Apple in Technical Document 301230.)
- Copy your Address Book folder from ~/Library/Application Support, where the ~ symbol stands for your home directory, onto a tiny USB flash drive and carry it around with you. This really defeats the purpose of .Mac syncing, though.
I hope Apple will fix this in the next update to its otherwise awesome operating system, Tiger.
If anyone has a better workaround or could shed more light on this problem, please post your thoughts.