Apple Said They Fixed iOS Device Syncing; But They Didn’t

I’m so tired of sync problems with iTunes. I ripped some CDs yesterday, and added the music to a playlist that syncs to my iPhone. I wanted to sync the music to my device before walking on my treadmill earlier today, but, of course, the music didn’t sync.

What irks me is that Apple claims to have fixed syncing in the latest update to iTunes (version 12.1), but the same problems are still occurring.

“This update also improves performance when syncing with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.”

I’m seeing the exact same problem that Rob Griffiths wrote about, in detail, regarding his then-new iPhone 6. If I look at the music that is listed as being on my device in iTunes, I see this:

Dimmed tracks itunes

All these dimmed tracks show that they are waiting to be synced. But even when the sync finishes – or, more correctly, times out without displaying any errors – the tracks still show as dimmed, and aren’t on the device.

Of course, now I’ve got this other problem, that we see so often when syncing iOS devices:

Ios device over capacity

iTunes now thinks that my iPhone is totally borked. See all that “Other” space, the yellow in the capacity bar? That’s iTunes now thinking that I don’t have any music on my device, even though the space is used.

I’ve also found that iTunes deleted the contents of some of my playlists, and some playlists entirely. I’ll have to reload a backup of my iTunes library.

Before the release of iOS, syncing was more or less reliable. There were issues, but not as often. But now, it’s a crapshoot.

Come on, Apple, this is getting ridiculous. I’ve restored my iPhone so many times that I’m probably wearing out its flash storage. This happens to so many people, so frequently, that syncing anything to an iOS device is becoming a major ordeal.


If you have sync problems, I would appreciate if you could post a comment below. I’m trying to collect as much information as possible to try and get Apple to pay attention to this issue. Please post the device you’re using, and a brief explanation of the problems you’re having. Also, post if these problems are new, since iOS 8, or if you’ve had them for a long time. Thanks!

284 thoughts on “Apple Said They Fixed iOS Device Syncing; But They Didn’t

  1. I have a 12GB iPhone 6 and iTunes 12.3 (I think). No new apps have transferred, although the sync shows that the step is complete. New music does not sync, and my phone shows that there are 26 added apps on my phone, while there are only 12 in my iTunes account App library, or whatever. How can I have 26 apps on my phone, when I have synced it to my iTunes library that only has 12 apps?? The sync progress bar says it has transferred all purchases, made changes, etc. However, it also says I am “over capacity”.

  2. I have a 12GB iPhone 6 and iTunes 12.3 (I think). No new apps have transferred, although the sync shows that the step is complete. New music does not sync, and my phone shows that there are 26 added apps on my phone, while there are only 12 in my iTunes account App library, or whatever. How can I have 26 apps on my phone, when I have synced it to my iTunes library that only has 12 apps?? The sync progress bar says it has transferred all purchases, made changes, etc. However, it also says I am “over capacity”.

  3. My mother is using an iPhone 6 and an iPad and just recently she had two problems with iTunes, the first problem was that iTunes didn’t recognize her device so it didn’t even show up in iTunes. The second problem was the same as the one you described in this post.

  4. My mother is using an iPhone 6 and an iPad and just recently she had two problems with iTunes, the first problem was that iTunes didn’t recognize her device so it didn’t even show up in iTunes. The second problem was the same as the one you described in this post.

  5. I have been trying for the last 2 days to sync books from Itunes to my Ipad. Everything looks good in Itunes but the books just won’t come through on to the physical Ipad even though in Itunes under my device books they are showing up there. It is very frustrating

  6. I have been trying for the last 2 days to sync books from Itunes to my Ipad. Everything looks good in Itunes but the books just won’t come through on to the physical Ipad even though in Itunes under my device books they are showing up there. It is very frustrating

  7. I am utterly disgusted and frustrated that I bought into this hype. Human beings are idiots believing all the crap to have the new shiny stuff. NOTHING WORKS for syncing from iTunes, Apple, etc. I am downloading third party knock off programs to sync Notes, then a different program to sync contacts, etc. I don’t even have much music – about 20 songs is all. I used my phone to record poignant points of life, photo, quotes, etc. Piss off Apple.

  8. I am utterly disgusted and frustrated that I bought into this hype. Human beings are idiots believing all the crap to have the new shiny stuff. NOTHING WORKS for syncing from iTunes, Apple, etc. I am downloading third party knock off programs to sync Notes, then a different program to sync contacts, etc. I don’t even have much music – about 20 songs is all. I used my phone to record poignant points of life, photo, quotes, etc. Piss off Apple.

  9. Here it is 2016, and I’m having more problems syncing my iPhones and iPad(s) than ever. I’ve never had these problems before, at least not to this extent. I start the sync, and it starts backing up the device. Problem is, it NEVER FINISHES! Seriously, can it really be that technically difficult to complete a simple sync process that has worked for years? I’m tired of having to finally give up and then FORCE CLOSE iTunes just to get out of the program. For those of you that think that I haven’t waited long enough to complete the backup – How does 2.5 hours sound? Long enough? I could re-burn the CD’s in that time…

  10. Here it is 2016, and I’m having more problems syncing my iPhones and iPad(s) than ever. I’ve never had these problems before, at least not to this extent. I start the sync, and it starts backing up the device. Problem is, it NEVER FINISHES! Seriously, can it really be that technically difficult to complete a simple sync process that has worked for years? I’m tired of having to finally give up and then FORCE CLOSE iTunes just to get out of the program. For those of you that think that I haven’t waited long enough to complete the backup – How does 2.5 hours sound? Long enough? I could re-burn the CD’s in that time…

  11. It’s quite frustrating to me, the time that I have spent researching how to fix apple’s mistakes, as well as the fact that I still can’t quite simply sync all of my music to my highly expensive phone. Also what angers me is that I have to spend my time ranting about these issues on a post that I’m not even sure will do any good. I’ve had many issues getting my phone to back up because it “disconnected”, when clearly, the phone is still connected to my computer. Also, after trying the plethora of presumably possible fixes to get music to actually play from my phone, and it not working, I just feel like throwing my hands in the air and crying. Apple, please make your products work properly. Why should I have to list all the problems I’ve had, as well as when I’ve had them, as well as what has worked and now doesn’t. Apple, don’t put out a product that doesn’t work right.

    • I don’t even bother to sync anymore. The worst is, my stupidity. I just bought an iPad Air 2 to be delivered tomorrow,,, I hope I wont have the same problem. I should stop buying Apple products. I am surprised no one started a class action suit yet.

  12. It’s quite frustrating to me, the time that I have spent researching how to fix apple’s mistakes, as well as the fact that I still can’t quite simply sync all of my music to my highly expensive phone. Also what angers me is that I have to spend my time ranting about these issues on a post that I’m not even sure will do any good. I’ve had many issues getting my phone to back up because it “disconnected”, when clearly, the phone is still connected to my computer. Also, after trying the plethora of presumably possible fixes to get music to actually play from my phone, and it not working, I just feel like throwing my hands in the air and crying. Apple, please make your products work properly. Why should I have to list all the problems I’ve had, as well as when I’ve had them, as well as what has worked and now doesn’t. Apple, don’t put out a product that doesn’t work right.

    • I don’t even bother to sync anymore. The worst is, my stupidity. I just bought an iPad Air 2 to be delivered tomorrow,,, I hope I wont have the same problem. I should stop buying Apple products. I am surprised no one started a class action suit yet.

  13. My syncing is seriously hot and cold. Sometimes it works great, other times it’s so frustrating I’m tempted to throw both my MacBook Air and my iPhone out the window.

  14. My syncing is seriously hot and cold. Sometimes it works great, other times it’s so frustrating I’m tempted to throw both my MacBook Air and my iPhone out the window.

  15. I think iTunes will go away from syncing devices. I can not see any other reasons why they don’t fix it. They no longer sync apps, they don’t sync pictures anyway, so its just the music left. I buy all my music on my devices now and if it uploads to the PC – ok, if not – ok too. Its just a shame that one buys a 1000$ phone and Apple does not find it worthwhile to release some guidance or information. This will be my last iPhone and iPad and iPod. and Apple TV. Have the latest but same problem. Good bye Apple!!!!

    You may show this to the Apple CEOs Kirk!

    • You can still sync apps, but only from iTunes to an iOS device. And you can still sync photos, if you don’t use iCloud Photo Library.

      • Yes but pics actually transfer from the PC I WAS told. As long as I can back up my devices and it appears does – I am not syncing anymore. Too frustrating

  16. I think iTunes will go away from syncing devices. I can not see any other reasons why they don’t fix it. They no longer sync apps, they don’t sync pictures anyway, so its just the music left. I buy all my music on my devices now and if it uploads to the PC – ok, if not – ok too. Its just a shame that one buys a 1000$ phone and Apple does not find it worthwhile to release some guidance or information. This will be my last iPhone and iPad and iPod. and Apple TV. Have the latest but same problem. Good bye Apple!!!!

    You may show this to the Apple CEOs Kirk!

    • You can still sync apps, but only from iTunes to an iOS device. And you can still sync photos, if you don’t use iCloud Photo Library.

      • Yes but pics actually transfer from the PC I WAS told. As long as I can back up my devices and it appears does – I am not syncing anymore. Too frustrating

  17. I have the same issues and I’m running 9.2.1 Half of my songs are showing up and now it’s saying Over Capacity and it freezes telling me to wait to copy files… I want to buy the iPhone 6s but I don’t know it seems like a lot of trouble I can listen to music

  18. I have the same issues and I’m running 9.2.1 Half of my songs are showing up and now it’s saying Over Capacity and it freezes telling me to wait to copy files… I want to buy the iPhone 6s but I don’t know it seems like a lot of trouble I can listen to music

  19. I have the same problem with my iPhone 6s. I rip CDs that I own, and they play fine in iTunes on my Mac mini, but on my phone they are “grayed” out and iTunes tells me they are unavailable. Very frustrating.

  20. I have the same problem with my iPhone 6s. I rip CDs that I own, and they play fine in iTunes on my Mac mini, but on my phone they are “grayed” out and iTunes tells me they are unavailable. Very frustrating.

  21. If I need to use iTunes, then it means I will be spending several hours syncing and re-syncing and restarting, and rebooting, and every other God-damned thing, while iTunes just says “preparing to sync” for 20 minutes, or “waiting for items to copy”, of course those items never copy, even if I wait hours. I’m so frustrated, and I don’t think Apple gives a shit about the terrible software experience that they’ve become.

  22. If I need to use iTunes, then it means I will be spending several hours syncing and re-syncing and restarting, and rebooting, and every other God-damned thing, while iTunes just says “preparing to sync” for 20 minutes, or “waiting for items to copy”, of course those items never copy, even if I wait hours. I’m so frustrated, and I don’t think Apple gives a shit about the terrible software experience that they’ve become.

  23. Here we are in 2016 and is it just me, or has nothing been resolved at all? Do I need to invent a device that works myself? Every single flipping time I go in to add music to my iPhone, more often than not they just appear greyed out and don’t sync. My iPhone is *plugged into* my computer. I reboot the phone and sometimes that makes it work, but not this time. The music should be syncing up. Literally, if this was any other company, it would be unacceptable but because it’s Apple, nothing is being done. What the hell? I’m just done. Anyone know of another product that actually, I don’t know, does what it’s supposed to do?

  24. Here we are in 2016 and is it just me, or has nothing been resolved at all? Do I need to invent a device that works myself? Every single flipping time I go in to add music to my iPhone, more often than not they just appear greyed out and don’t sync. My iPhone is *plugged into* my computer. I reboot the phone and sometimes that makes it work, but not this time. The music should be syncing up. Literally, if this was any other company, it would be unacceptable but because it’s Apple, nothing is being done. What the hell? I’m just done. Anyone know of another product that actually, I don’t know, does what it’s supposed to do?

  25. wow! i didnt realize this was such a big problem. thought it was just my technological knowledge or lack there of. but i am having this exact problem on all my devices and my hubby’s and my kids’. i was about to call the wifi supplier … u would think that apple would use some of all that money we pay for these hi tech “gotta have it or ill die!” PIECES OF ELECTRICAL TOILET PAPER , and fix, i mean REALLY FIX the freakin problem. but they dont bc they want us to upgrade to the newer, better, improved apple product. and the people never learn either. ok, if i buy a jeep, and im driving along and the tire flies off, and i crash… then i report to jeep and they give me a “newer, better, more improved” jeep, and the same thing happens and i report it to them, and again they upgrade me {all at my own expense} and it happens again, next time they tried to upgrade me, i would tell them to drive that piece of crap metal death trap up where the sun doesn’t shine. that’s what we need to do with apple. i love the idea of apple but i have never been completely happy with an apple product for more than 6 months, that being said, i have never had am apple product that worked 100% properly for at least 6 months. come on apple, we pay u guys enough! pick up the slack and get with the program! {a program that works, that is}

  26. wow! i didnt realize this was such a big problem. thought it was just my technological knowledge or lack there of. but i am having this exact problem on all my devices and my hubby’s and my kids’. i was about to call the wifi supplier … u would think that apple would use some of all that money we pay for these hi tech “gotta have it or ill die!” PIECES OF ELECTRICAL TOILET PAPER , and fix, i mean REALLY FIX the freakin problem. but they dont bc they want us to upgrade to the newer, better, improved apple product. and the people never learn either. ok, if i buy a jeep, and im driving along and the tire flies off, and i crash… then i report to jeep and they give me a “newer, better, more improved” jeep, and the same thing happens and i report it to them, and again they upgrade me {all at my own expense} and it happens again, next time they tried to upgrade me, i would tell them to drive that piece of crap metal death trap up where the sun doesn’t shine. that’s what we need to do with apple. i love the idea of apple but i have never been completely happy with an apple product for more than 6 months, that being said, i have never had am apple product that worked 100% properly for at least 6 months. come on apple, we pay u guys enough! pick up the slack and get with the program! {a program that works, that is}

  27. My iPhone keeps syncing an audiobook that I don’t have selected to sync. It’s the same audiobook, and it’s been going on for a year now. I delete it from my iPhone, and make certain it’s not checked on my Mac; but after the phone syncs, there it is again! Currently using iOS 9.3 and the problem continues to exists.

  28. My iPhone keeps syncing an audiobook that I don’t have selected to sync. It’s the same audiobook, and it’s been going on for a year now. I delete it from my iPhone, and make certain it’s not checked on my Mac; but after the phone syncs, there it is again! Currently using iOS 9.3 and the problem continues to exists.

  29. I have a 128gb iPhone 6s and ios9.3. Last night I was in an area with no phone signal, or wifi, and couldn’t play any song on my iPhone, or any podcast either (all grayed out).
    I checked and realised that all ripped CD’s were no longer on my phone.
    I checked iTunes and they were all there, just no longer sync.
    I have never subscribed to Apple Music, and never will. I got a 128gb phone so that I could keep all my music in one place, but it now seems Apple don’t want me to do that!
    I have no intention of getting another Apple product until this is fixed.
    I am not looking forward to my 11 hour flight to LA now either.
    Fix it Apple!!!!

  30. I have a 128gb iPhone 6s and ios9.3. Last night I was in an area with no phone signal, or wifi, and couldn’t play any song on my iPhone, or any podcast either (all grayed out).
    I checked and realised that all ripped CD’s were no longer on my phone.
    I checked iTunes and they were all there, just no longer sync.
    I have never subscribed to Apple Music, and never will. I got a 128gb phone so that I could keep all my music in one place, but it now seems Apple don’t want me to do that!
    I have no intention of getting another Apple product until this is fixed.
    I am not looking forward to my 11 hour flight to LA now either.
    Fix it Apple!!!!

  31. Tried to put some music from my laptop onto my boyfriends iphone, when I dragged the music from iTunes over to the iPhone icon and a little box with a cross inside came up instead of the mouse and wouldn’t even go on. Put the files on a disc and put onto his computer then dragged the playlist over once again and this time the blue line around the device box come up as though the songs were successfully going through. However nothing on his iPhone. When we click on music on his iPhone it shows the playlist so we clicked on it but all of the songs are greyed out and nothing is happening. He has plenty of space on iPhone 6 so shouldn’t be a problem really. I tried putting them onto my ipod and worked perfectly fine.
    Using pc by the way :(.

  32. Tried to put some music from my laptop onto my boyfriends iphone, when I dragged the music from iTunes over to the iPhone icon and a little box with a cross inside came up instead of the mouse and wouldn’t even go on. Put the files on a disc and put onto his computer then dragged the playlist over once again and this time the blue line around the device box come up as though the songs were successfully going through. However nothing on his iPhone. When we click on music on his iPhone it shows the playlist so we clicked on it but all of the songs are greyed out and nothing is happening. He has plenty of space on iPhone 6 so shouldn’t be a problem really. I tried putting them onto my ipod and worked perfectly fine.
    Using pc by the way :(.

  33. I have had sync problems over the last year, mostly with Windows 8. I finally switched to Windows 10, and this week especially sync has been terrible. Exactly as you’ve described with the grayed out songs. If there were ANY other viable music player, I’d be there.

  34. I have had sync problems over the last year, mostly with Windows 8. I finally switched to Windows 10, and this week especially sync has been terrible. Exactly as you’ve described with the grayed out songs. If there were ANY other viable music player, I’d be there.

  35. 12.3.3.1 version and Apple Support via Verizon doesn’t even know what the gray dashed circles are, or that they exist? One Tier 1 rep speculated they were staged for sync, and the Tier 2 and 3 had no clue at all. Thank you Verizon, it is about the Network, but all those people in the old ads must have been zombies. In any event, it’s sill a mess in April 2016. And Apple has apparently decided to uncheck 2/3s of my music for sync despite the fact that I have the summary check box marked, and have 41GB left of open drive space.

  36. 12.3.3.1 version and Apple Support via Verizon doesn’t even know what the gray dashed circles are, or that they exist? One Tier 1 rep speculated they were staged for sync, and the Tier 2 and 3 had no clue at all. Thank you Verizon, it is about the Network, but all those people in the old ads must have been zombies. In any event, it’s sill a mess in April 2016. And Apple has apparently decided to uncheck 2/3s of my music for sync despite the fact that I have the summary check box marked, and have 41GB left of open drive space.

  37. I have a 128gb ipad mini 4 (2015), iphone 6, and macbook pro (2013). I have ordered and pd for downloads of several pdf’s for the express purpose of reading them on the ipad when traveling w/out the mac. I’ve been able to finally make my way thru the maze of getting some of them transferred, but the rest of them have the dreaded grey circles sitting in front. Crap. So does that mean I can only read SOME of the material on the ipad and the rest, I have to read on my mac? Ridiculous! I have been an Apple fan for many, many years, but never liked iTunes much. At this point, my Apple hero-worship is fading a bit and I REALLY hate iTunes.

  38. I have a 128gb ipad mini 4 (2015), iphone 6, and macbook pro (2013). I have ordered and pd for downloads of several pdf’s for the express purpose of reading them on the ipad when traveling w/out the mac. I’ve been able to finally make my way thru the maze of getting some of them transferred, but the rest of them have the dreaded grey circles sitting in front. Crap. So does that mean I can only read SOME of the material on the ipad and the rest, I have to read on my mac? Ridiculous! I have been an Apple fan for many, many years, but never liked iTunes much. At this point, my Apple hero-worship is fading a bit and I REALLY hate iTunes.

  39. Syncing is just one of many problems I’ve encountered with iTunes, however like a lot of you here I cannot simply abandon my iTunes music library thus I am forced to troubleshoot. The biggest challenge I’ve overcome with iTunes to date was actually correcting a problem where the iTunes Music Library.xml file began failing to write it’s .til file counterpart, which is something that is meant to happen every time you make any change in iTunes, and which for me was a problem seemingly unrelated to syncing devices. I have noticed however that since I resolved the .xml/.itl file issue that syncing my devices has been a much smoother process. Admittedly there is still a little something going on with my iPad 2, but my iPhone 6 Plus and my iPod Touch (originally bought in 2009) consistently sync on the first try without issue. Here are two things I did within iTunes that actually made a difference and resolved the .xml/.itl file problem I was having, and that probably helped with syncing problems as well as a third thing that I believe to have helped with syncing:

    1. I standardized all of my music files to .m4a format, which meant converting a lot of my files. When you purchase music from the iTunes Store, it will always be either .m4a or in some cases .m4p format. m4a files are compressed differently and more efficiently than other audio file formats to achieve higher fidelity audio than other file types of the same sample rate, which is probably why Apple sells them to everyone in the first place. m4p files are just share and permission protected m4a files. If you are like most people, then you have a variety of different audio file types such as .mp3, .aiff, etc. from all of the various places you’ve collected your music from over the years. The fact that iTunes plays most of the various audio file formats still commonly used today may simply just be hiding the fact that Apple is actually working persistently to ultimately phase out all older file formats. Or are they? Who knows.

    2. I deleted or converted all non-Latin based text characters from all id3 tag fields from files not originally purchased from the iTunes store. For me, this was the step that ultimately fixed my iTunes Music Library.xml and .itl file problem. When you pull up a file’s id3 tag info by highlighting it in iTunes and hitting command+i, you can edit that file’s name, artist, album, etc. The truth about unlicensed audio files is that a lot of them were created by kids or people who just had a lot of time on their hands for some reason, like back in the good old free downloading days of Napster and Limewire, and nearly every single one of them were generated by people who felt the need to hide little non-Latin based character signatures in the comments section of that file’s id3 tag, such as “ı◊◊ı” or something meaningless. In iTunes, sort your library by clicking the song tab, artist tab, album tab and so on, and scroll to the ends where the files might have fields left blank, which is an effective way to find your odd and/or unlicensed files. Look through those id3 tags and delete any meaningless characters you find. If you find info written in Korean, Russian, Hebrew and so on, you might also just try translating that foreign text to English through google or something to eliminate the non-Latin characters while still retaining possibly relevant information.

    3. I checked for available and unfinished downloads on my computer and all of my devices, and when I found them I completed them. At some point I had purchased an album from the iTunes Store that was still in the middle of downloading when I closed my computer and left home. Having forgotten about it, I simply left the unfinished and remaining downloads in a state of limbo for some time until I started having sync problems, then once I read somewhere that this is a common oversight which also tends to cause problems, I looked into it right away. To do this on your computer, roll your cursor over the ‘Store’ tab in the iTunes menu bar at the very top of your screen, then click on the ‘Check for Available Downloads’ option at the bottom of the drop-down list. On your devices, you have to open your iTunes Store app, then at the bottom of your screen touch the ‘Purchased’ button. From there you’ll see two rows at the top of the new window, the first row being three buttons reading ‘Music | Movies | TV Shows’, and the second row being two buttons reading ‘All | Not on This iPad’. Touch the ‘Not on This iPad’ button to reveal any music you’ve purchased that hasn’t been downloaded to your device yet, then hit the ‘Download All’ button.

    From other articles and posts I gathered that some people had luck logging out and back into their accounts on their computers and various devices, checking the ‘Manually Manage Music’ box within the sync window of iTunes, restoring devices and libraries from backups, and perhaps other things that I tried that just didn’t seem to make a difference for me in my situation. Chances are that if you have a big iTunes Music Library like me, then these three things will help you. Regardless, I agree that Apple shouldn’t be forcing us to become f*cking computer wizards… After all, that’s why we bought their shit in the first place.

    • First, a clarification. The .itl file is the canonical file, the .xml file is written from that. You don’t have to have the .xml file; in fact, by default, it’s not written any more. You have to set a preference to have it created.

      Non-Latin characters shouldn’t affect anything. There are millions of people with music and other media that uses such characters.

      Downloads have been known to cause problems, but not with syncing. You can check Always check for available downloads in the Store preferences to make sure that iTunes always queries the iTunes Store on launch.

      • We should not NOT have to go all that. Syncing should be working!!!! Maybe that’s why Apple shares are going down. Too many people unhappy. They should fix syncing once and for all! ridiculous.

  40. Syncing is just one of many problems I’ve encountered with iTunes, however like a lot of you here I cannot simply abandon my iTunes music library thus I am forced to troubleshoot. The biggest challenge I’ve overcome with iTunes to date was actually correcting a problem where the iTunes Music Library.xml file began failing to write it’s .til file counterpart, which is something that is meant to happen every time you make any change in iTunes, and which for me was a problem seemingly unrelated to syncing devices. I have noticed however that since I resolved the .xml/.itl file issue that syncing my devices has been a much smoother process. Admittedly there is still a little something going on with my iPad 2, but my iPhone 6 Plus and my iPod Touch (originally bought in 2009) consistently sync on the first try without issue. Here are two things I did within iTunes that actually made a difference and resolved the .xml/.itl file problem I was having, and that probably helped with syncing problems as well as a third thing that I believe to have helped with syncing:

    1. I standardized all of my music files to .m4a format, which meant converting a lot of my files. When you purchase music from the iTunes Store, it will always be either .m4a or in some cases .m4p format. m4a files are compressed differently and more efficiently than other audio file formats to achieve higher fidelity audio than other file types of the same sample rate, which is probably why Apple sells them to everyone in the first place. m4p files are just share and permission protected m4a files. If you are like most people, then you have a variety of different audio file types such as .mp3, .aiff, etc. from all of the various places you’ve collected your music from over the years. The fact that iTunes plays most of the various audio file formats still commonly used today may simply just be hiding the fact that Apple is actually working persistently to ultimately phase out all older file formats. Or are they? Who knows.

    2. I deleted or converted all non-Latin based text characters from all id3 tag fields from files not originally purchased from the iTunes store. For me, this was the step that ultimately fixed my iTunes Music Library.xml and .itl file problem. When you pull up a file’s id3 tag info by highlighting it in iTunes and hitting command+i, you can edit that file’s name, artist, album, etc. The truth about unlicensed audio files is that a lot of them were created by kids or people who just had a lot of time on their hands for some reason, like back in the good old free downloading days of Napster and Limewire, and nearly every single one of them were generated by people who felt the need to hide little non-Latin based character signatures in the comments section of that file’s id3 tag, such as “ı◊◊ı” or something meaningless. In iTunes, sort your library by clicking the song tab, artist tab, album tab and so on, and scroll to the ends where the files might have fields left blank, which is an effective way to find your odd and/or unlicensed files. Look through those id3 tags and delete any meaningless characters you find. If you find info written in Korean, Russian, Hebrew and so on, you might also just try translating that foreign text to English through google or something to eliminate the non-Latin characters while still retaining possibly relevant information.

    3. I checked for available and unfinished downloads on my computer and all of my devices, and when I found them I completed them. At some point I had purchased an album from the iTunes Store that was still in the middle of downloading when I closed my computer and left home. Having forgotten about it, I simply left the unfinished and remaining downloads in a state of limbo for some time until I started having sync problems, then once I read somewhere that this is a common oversight which also tends to cause problems, I looked into it right away. To do this on your computer, roll your cursor over the ‘Store’ tab in the iTunes menu bar at the very top of your screen, then click on the ‘Check for Available Downloads’ option at the bottom of the drop-down list. On your devices, you have to open your iTunes Store app, then at the bottom of your screen touch the ‘Purchased’ button. From there you’ll see two rows at the top of the new window, the first row being three buttons reading ‘Music | Movies | TV Shows’, and the second row being two buttons reading ‘All | Not on This iPad’. Touch the ‘Not on This iPad’ button to reveal any music you’ve purchased that hasn’t been downloaded to your device yet, then hit the ‘Download All’ button.

    From other articles and posts I gathered that some people had luck logging out and back into their accounts on their computers and various devices, checking the ‘Manually Manage Music’ box within the sync window of iTunes, restoring devices and libraries from backups, and perhaps other things that I tried that just didn’t seem to make a difference for me in my situation. Chances are that if you have a big iTunes Music Library like me, then these three things will help you. Regardless, I agree that Apple shouldn’t be forcing us to become f*cking computer wizards… After all, that’s why we bought their shit in the first place.

    • First, a clarification. The .itl file is the canonical file, the .xml file is written from that. You don’t have to have the .xml file; in fact, by default, it’s not written any more. You have to set a preference to have it created.

      Non-Latin characters shouldn’t affect anything. There are millions of people with music and other media that uses such characters.

      Downloads have been known to cause problems, but not with syncing. You can check Always check for available downloads in the Store preferences to make sure that iTunes always queries the iTunes Store on launch.

      • We should not NOT have to go all that. Syncing should be working!!!! Maybe that’s why Apple shares are going down. Too many people unhappy. They should fix syncing once and for all! ridiculous.

  41. Just installed the most recent update on both my Mac and my iPod touch and now having the same problem with syncing my music. I have it set so that I manually sync everything I want on it but it just has those progress circles and never seem to progress.

  42. Just installed the most recent update on both my Mac and my iPod touch and now having the same problem with syncing my music. I have it set so that I manually sync everything I want on it but it just has those progress circles and never seem to progress.

  43. I’m on latest iTunes (12.4.1.6) and trying to sync to my 5th Generation iPod Touch (in the box until recently, took it out and brought firmware right up to date). I’m getting about 30% failure rate on transferring songs (manually) via iTunes. Can’t make any sense of it at all,very frustrating. If I reset the device and try again, statistics are about the same but with different songs! It’s also incredibly frustrating than any of the open source alternatives out there only support earlier iPod models ie. Apple have purposefully made it so you MUST use iTunes for 5th and 6th generation devices. Complete bullsh*t….

    • Apple knows they can’t fix syncing. That’s why they now no longer sync apps and looks like music too apple went down in quality since Steve Jobs is gone. Shame on them. Their products are very expensive and too expensive to have all this problems. I will buy android next time.

      • Um, no. Apps still sync. You’re thinking that apps don’t sync back from iOS devices, perhaps. The reason for that is apps install on iOS devices in a form that only works on the specific device, whereas if you download an app to iTunes, you can sync it to any device, because it contains all the assets.

        • Well Kirk I can’t sync my iPhone 6 since o got it. It gives me an error message. I spend long time with Apple on the phone and they can’t fix it. Your website is aware of it and so are the apple forums.

  44. I’m on latest iTunes (12.4.1.6) and trying to sync to my 5th Generation iPod Touch (in the box until recently, took it out and brought firmware right up to date). I’m getting about 30% failure rate on transferring songs (manually) via iTunes. Can’t make any sense of it at all,very frustrating. If I reset the device and try again, statistics are about the same but with different songs! It’s also incredibly frustrating than any of the open source alternatives out there only support earlier iPod models ie. Apple have purposefully made it so you MUST use iTunes for 5th and 6th generation devices. Complete bullsh*t….

    • Apple knows they can’t fix syncing. That’s why they now no longer sync apps and looks like music too apple went down in quality since Steve Jobs is gone. Shame on them. Their products are very expensive and too expensive to have all this problems. I will buy android next time.

      • Um, no. Apps still sync. You’re thinking that apps don’t sync back from iOS devices, perhaps. The reason for that is apps install on iOS devices in a form that only works on the specific device, whereas if you download an app to iTunes, you can sync it to any device, because it contains all the assets.

        • Well Kirk I can’t sync my iPhone 6 since o got it. It gives me an error message. I spend long time with Apple on the phone and they can’t fix it. Your website is aware of it and so are the apple forums.

  45. i have only ever been able to transfer half of my itunes to my new phone, they appear on my play lists, but will not play, and then from time to time my list disapear entirely and i have to try to redownload, each time it picks and chooses what to install and its never the same songs Hate this. I have purchased so much music and can’t get more than half back on to my phone since purchasing my new phone. it’s like I have to purchase new music and keep my old phone just for the music on it if I want to hear it

    • iPhones are dropping in sales and I am sure this has to do with the frustrations we have in Apple not fixing it. I hope you read this Columns Mr. Cook.

  46. i have only ever been able to transfer half of my itunes to my new phone, they appear on my play lists, but will not play, and then from time to time my list disapear entirely and i have to try to redownload, each time it picks and chooses what to install and its never the same songs Hate this. I have purchased so much music and can’t get more than half back on to my phone since purchasing my new phone. it’s like I have to purchase new music and keep my old phone just for the music on it if I want to hear it

    • iPhones are dropping in sales and I am sure this has to do with the frustrations we have in Apple not fixing it. I hope you read this Columns Mr. Cook.

  47. I regret switching from android to iphone everything else works fine EXCEPT that when I want to put music on my phone thru the computer/itunes. I went to sync and its like it synced only 3 albums completely retarded I back up my phone I have googled to make sure I am doing the right thing and I am the system is just stupid its either just deal with it or it looks like I would have to pay for music.. not happening. It is quite aggravating .. I have to keep my old android just for the music because with android you hook it up to the computer and go straight to documents and copy/paste YOUR GOOD TO GO! Apple? not so simple I have tried all suggestions and nothing works im loosing patience with this phone/company. So is it Itunes or the Phone? Tired of using all my data just to listen to music it’s ridiculous!

  48. I regret switching from android to iphone everything else works fine EXCEPT that when I want to put music on my phone thru the computer/itunes. I went to sync and its like it synced only 3 albums completely retarded I back up my phone I have googled to make sure I am doing the right thing and I am the system is just stupid its either just deal with it or it looks like I would have to pay for music.. not happening. It is quite aggravating .. I have to keep my old android just for the music because with android you hook it up to the computer and go straight to documents and copy/paste YOUR GOOD TO GO! Apple? not so simple I have tried all suggestions and nothing works im loosing patience with this phone/company. So is it Itunes or the Phone? Tired of using all my data just to listen to music it’s ridiculous!

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