In a use case where files are consumed sequentially in a predictable order, for instance watching every episode of a TV show in chronological order, there is not really a need for every file to be copied to my laptop at once. I would still like a few files copied at any one time though, so that if I go mobile I always have some of them with me.

I would like to have a complete local listing of the entire contents of a directory from, say, a SMB share. The mirror should allow for random access; if a file exists locally it will be used, but if not its counterpart will be accessed over the local network.

I'm wondering if there's a sync application that works similar to this, i.e. in phases:

  1. Copies the directory structure and mirrors the contents with symlinks to its files. This way the mirror is immediately usable without any heavy copying.
  2. I can mark which files I want to be copied in full to the client machine.
  3. The client copies marked files whenever the opportunity arises, and deletes copies of unmarked files.
  4. Accessing uncopied files is relatively transparent, as long as it has local network access.

Some kind of file browser integration, like a badge for the state of a file, would be a bonus.

In other words, I'm interested in a sync application that behaves somewhat like the Podcasts app on iOS, but on the file system level; all files are visible always, but only some of them (of my choosing) don't require network access. Only one-way sync is necessary for this kind of use case.

I am most interested in a client for macOS and server for Linux, but I am interested in all combinations of clients for Windows/Mac/Linux.

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