Jesus Fucking Christ, iTunes.

This is a new one. This time it randomly decided that only most of my music is now Other.

Are there any tools that will let me diddle the phone to turn Other back into Audio without deleting and re-syncing it all?

Failing that, I am now accepting suggestions for ways to sync MP3 files from a Mac to an iPhone without going through iTunes or iCloud or any other cloud service, and without jailbreaking. Does that exist? (If you are thinking of suggesting something that does not precisely match all of those criteria, please don't.)

Previously, previously.

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16 Responses:

  1. Would you entertain options that fit those criteria, but don't use the built-in music player? If so, I got options.

  2. Kevin Burke says:

    I had the same problem, I filed a Radar about it, and the Apple folks sent me a device profile which apparently adds more logging to ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter during sync. Unfortunately I'm no longer able to reproduce this (and live in terror of doing so, since the only reliable thing I've found to fix it has been a full restore). I'm happy to send you this profile or upload it somewhere.

    Not sure if it will actually log the issue, since it comes after the device already has a ton of Other on it, but it might.

  3. Daniel Marsh says:

    I've gave up on Itunes ever getting better ages ago.

    I happily use BitTorrent Sync to sync 3-10 GB of ever changing audio and video daily between my Win7 PC and my Nexus 5 and my Ipad. They have clients for Mac OS and several other platforms as well. I think it does use the cloud for minimal client discovery/nat traversal, but all data transfers occur client to client. You can optionally restrict it to transfers over WiFi only to make sure you don't blow through your cellular data plan. It is very bandwidth efficient (a bit like rsync) as it only syncs the changes. You can set up syncs to be 1 way or bidirectional as well and setup is very easy through shared secrets or QR codes. I am very pleased with BTSync overall and have a strong distaste of pure cloud based storage platforms like Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.

    The downside is Apple being Apple, you will most likely have to use a 3rd party media player on your phone.

  4. jwz says:

    This shit never would have happened when Jobs was around.

    I mean, he might have done something objectively even more horrible -- like declaring that iTunes no longer does files at all, it's cloud only, welcome to hell and here's your accordion -- but this nonsense of "we claim it does this thing but that only works like 70% of the time"? That shit, up with which he would not have put.

    Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

    • Dan says:

      I just don't understand why you keep running into these problems. I don't in any way doubt you, but in my personal experience, everything always works perfectly with my Apple devices. Do you have any idea at all why things seem to keep going bad for you, even the simple things that millions of people use like syncing music?

      • It's not just him: search around on the apple support forums and complaints this crap are commonplace.

        Now, what percentage of that kajillion itunes users does it happen to? Lord knows. But it's clearly something that happens.

      • PDP says:

        He actually uses his shit, rather than buying the newest shiny toy, loading it with a few albums, and then just playing angry birds like the device is a $600 tiger electronics toy?

  5. Andrew Grafham says:

    It happened to me every time trying to sync 80 GB of music onto a 128 iPhone 6. The workaround I found was to sync it in smaller chunks by selecting batches of artists at a time to sync, but it was very labour intensive.

  6. Patrick says:

    I think I have mostly bypassed that by not letting iTunes automatically sync and being _hugely_ careful to not interrupt it while it's twaddling around I dunno, fluffing the goddamn pillows on your iPhone. I suspect the phone's iTunes database gets corrupt and so while iOS recognizes the media as occupying space, it doesn't have any reference for it so off it goes to la-la land.

    It's a huge regression - syncing used to be a big obvious state on the iOS device, then they allowed background syncing and wifi syncing, but at some point in the process they stopped ensuring data integrity during the sync process (or maybe the database got so big that journaling became problematic) and those of us with big phones and large synced libraries get pooched.

    I suspect for me at least _some_ of it is your lyrics app updating the metadata, which causes iTunes to resync the whole song all over again, but without the "copying media 1 of 3300" progress indicator. I should just beat the hell out of lyricswiki one of these evenings and get it over with for once and for all.

    • jwz says:

      If my music doesn't auto-sync to my phone then my phone is no longer an MP3 player, so that's a solution in the sense that "don't have a phone" is a solution.

      No I'm not going to manually decide exactly which particular tracks are on the phone at any given time, like an animal.

      • Patrick says:

        No, not the "Sync only checked songs and videos" option, or any of the manual media management options - the "Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected" option:

        That _seems_ to keep it from going as stupid as quickly. But I live in fear of the time I forget I'm syncing and absentmindedly remove it from my dock because 3 or 4 iOS releases trained me that that was OK and now it's so much Russian Sync Roulette. Coz yeah, now that I can sync the whole thing over (although downsampled to 128k AAC), there's no going back to being choosy.

        • jwz says:

          Oh, that. Yeah, I think it's Russian roulette, like you said. The fewer syncs, the less opportunities for it to fuck up. I turned off wifi sync in the hope that that was related but it didn't help.

          • Patrick says:

            And y'know, the more I look at it, I wonder if I didn't just say "oh fuck this" and enabled iTunes match on my phone, made a playlist that was every goddamn thing in my library in iTunes, then clicked on the "download from cloud" icon on my phone and let it come down from a server on the other side of the frickin' continent rather from over a frickin' wire from the computer on my desk. Well done, Apple. Good job.

            Which ultimately just exchanges one set of sync faults for a whole _new_ set of sync faults (when exactly will a new song show up on my phone? "eventually" seems to be the answer) and a fundamental misunderstanding of how people are supposed to manage their media on a portable device. iOS media management works fairly well when you only have a couple hundred tracks on your phone. It's unsupportable when you have ten thousand.

            But that's not really a solution to your original problem, as such.

  7. Glaurung says:

    Have you looked into Phonetrans (http://www.imobie.com/phonetrans/ )? It claims to be able to sync music, apps, etc, without having to fuck around with Itunes. Unlike most of the "itunes alternatives" out there, it has a mac version and it's free.

    I have used it to transfer app data, and it works for that in situations where Itunes 10 says "a hundred files at once, egad, take me to my fainting couch!" I have not used it to manage music because I don't listen to music on my device, but it may be what you're looking for.