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[Discuss] File size vs size on disk   [Discuss]

By: Laurent Duchastel     Montréal, Québec  
Date: Jan 08,2015 at 11:53

Onedrive's smartfiles introduce some new challenges for file management.

With this technology, a file can be offline or online. When offline, the file is completely downloaded locally. When online-only, only a symbolic link and some metafile data are downloaded, usually around 4kb. There is also for each file a alternate stream available, which contains, I presume, sync info, hash and other metafile data. (Using Nirsoft's AlternateStreamView utility is very informative).

But sometimes file can be "half-downloaded", flagged as being online-only, but having a significant part of its content on disk. This is the case with some Office file, but especially true for mp3. Since OneDrive is now unlimited for Office 365 subscribers (10TB actually), I put my entire collection of songs on it. To my knowledge, the free Win8 Xbox Music app is the only one capable of playing mp3 from OneDrive while downloading them, resulting in a cool, free and personal streaming experience. (Not to be confused with Xbox Cloud which is not free). When a file as been completely played, it becomes offline. Eventually, I can free hard disk space by setting the file (or whole folder) online-only again. The problem is when you play only part of the song. Since not all the song has been played, the file is still considered online, but in reality a big chunk of data is still there, eating space. For instance, a 120Mg song could be considered online-only, but 112Mg being there. It comes very fast to gigabytes if many files are concerned. The solve the issue, I have to put the file offline entirely, then offline-again.

The real problem is WHICH files are partially downloaded? With ZTree, there is no other way to my knowledge to check each file individually with Shift-F10 | Properties and let Windows Explorer dialog box shows two stats: File Size vs Size on disk. This is tedious.

Listing all files with size + size on disk in a manageable way (especially for very large sets) would be terrific. Any idea ? I don't ZEP for it, although I believe OneDrive popularity increasing, ZTree will benefit eventually of such improved features like this, as well as filtering by offline status, putting files ctrl-offline/online them, and managing alternate streams internally.

Laurent Duchastel

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