"Hmm, the manual says that unless media is attached to a citation it will not sync up to Acom"
The ACOM on-line member tree program requires the any *Media* (uploaded data), to be initially attached to at least one profile in the tree. Once the data is uploaded and attached to the profile, you can: 1) link the data to a specific "event/fact" in the profile timeline, as well as 2) attach the data to other profiles in the tree.
Can you cite where they use the term "citation" as in "the manual says that unless media is attached to a citation"? They're using the term "citation" incorrectly and should be advised to change it, no wonder people are confused.
The media you have uploaded and attached to profiles (and further, to timeline events/facts in those profiles) in your ACOM on-line tree *should* sync with the FTMM file/db/tree, and vis-verse. The *media* share between the two apps is 1:1.
I suggest this; I used this and still use do this to this day, because tech is not static. I keep a test tree on ACOM and FTMM. I tinker around with test tree to learn how the two share data and learn the tricks of both program, before exposing my db's to changes. I don't allow auto sync, never have, simply because Ancestry's persistent site issues are legendary. There is too much wonky that can occur.
I'm not an ACOM apologist, far from it, but this is a hobby for me, not saving lives. Genealogy is a slow practice to begin with, I don't work fast, don't have piles of data which require instantaneous syncing. Instead of ending up with all the issues and the frustration that so many have, I'm moving along with my research, and utilizing the tech to (what I believe) the best of its abilities at this time. This too will change in the future, tech is not static.