I need some backup software for just backing up files of a particular type or a smart folder. In this case I need to backup all my video. Is there a free backup software available that will accomplish this for me?

  • want a sort of incremental backup (like TimeMachine), or only a simple copy of current files?
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 9:45
  • Just simple copy of files of specific type. The files will be access by both Windows and Mac OS's
    – blue-sky
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


http://www.crashplan.com/ is free for offline usage and can backup folders to an external drive or over LAN. Maybe this helps!


Your Mac has batteries already included. The only drawback (for some people) than it is command line (Terminal.app) solution.

The following shell script can do the job

case $# in
    (2) SRC="$1"; DEST="$2";;
    (*) echo "Usage: $0 source destination"; exit 1;;

cd "$SRC" || exit 2
find . -type f -print0 | grep -ziv 'cpan' | grep -ziE '.(avi|mov|mp4)$' | rsync -n -av0 --files-from=- ./ "$DEST"

Save it into some file (e.g. mybackup.sh) and run from the terminal: sh ./mybackup.sh /path/to/the/source /path/to/the/dest, e.g.:

sh ./mybackup.sh ~/Downloads /Volumes/your_usb_hdd_name/path

Run the scipt and if you satisfiled with the result (will print out what will backing up), remove the '-n'. (The '-n' mean dry run)

rsync can do network backup to, or is possible emulate the TimeMachne functionality too, (incremental backup), etc - rsync is extremely powerful.

If you interested, can learn more with man rsync from the Terminal.

Ps: Or, it is not enough simply select in finder's search "All Movies" and simple drag&drop to result into the destination?

  • Thanks, my videos are scattered all across my iMac, I geuss I should move them into one location first ? or can script be amended to find all vidoes?
    – blue-sky
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 11:23
  • The script looks at all directories under the SRV directory
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 11:42
  • The above script find all avi, mov, and mp4 videos (defined by file extension) which are anywhere in the "source_tree". Will copy them into "dest". Can you define what extensions want? Or i should modify the script find really all video files everywhere on your mac, but taht type of script will run really LONG (several 10 minutes).
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 11:43
  • analysing files regardless their extension is not the best idea. so would be helfull, if you can provide a list of extensions - what want backing up. And really want search your WHOLE mac? not only your HOME?
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 11:46

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