iOS 8.2 Still Hasn’t Fixed iTunes Syncing

iOS 8.2 claimed to fix some problems with iTunes syncing. It doesn’t seem to have done much. I asked readers in this article to post comments if they saw any improvements, and, so far, many have not seen any change. One commenter even has new problems that didn’t exist before the iOS 8.2 update.

As for me, it’s a mixed bag. My iPhone 5s – my everyday iOS device – syncs a lot more quickly than before. I don’t see the “Waiting for changes to be applied” in iTunes any more, other than for a brief time. And I haven’t had a massive sync failure, yet.

However, there are still a dozen tracks that simply won’t sync. Interestingly, they are all purchased tracks, and all by U2.

Still wont sync

Lots of people still have issues. This article about iTunes 12 sync issues currently has 89 comments, with new ones added almost daily. For many people, one of the biggest problems is not just that syncing doesn’t work, but that Apple is pretending that this problem doesn’t exist. I’ve heard from people who had Apple tell them to get a new computer, changed their iPhones, anything but give them a valid answer to the syncing problem.

I feel like I’m flogging a dead horse, publishing yet another article about iTunes syncing issues. But I keep getting comments and emails from readers, showing that Apple simply isn’t willing to admit there is a problem, and to fix this problem. They can release a $17,000 Apple Watch, but they still pretend that there’s nothing wrong with iTunes syncing. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

Let’s hope the Apple Watch syncs correctly. If not, maybe Apple will be motivated to fix these issues.

50 thoughts on “iOS 8.2 Still Hasn’t Fixed iTunes Syncing

  1. Kirk,

    The iOS 8.2 seem to have fixed the problem of syncing. However, in order to fully capture the sense of it working, you will need to do a few steps. Try them and let me know.

    1) Download and install iOS 8.2 on your iOS device.
    2) Restore your device. Doing this will present a factory-fresh iOS 8.2 device capable of syncing content properly.
    3) Begin to gradually add items onto your device. Try a genre at a time or playlist.
    4) Try to add items everyday or every other day to see the performance.

    One thing you can do is make sure that the Music app is not running on the iOS device when you are syncing as this can complicate the syncing process.

    Thoughts about this would be welcome.

    • If you have to gradually add items, then it’s not fixed. It may not be as broken, but that’s a workaround, assuming it does work. (And from reports and comments I’m getting, even that isn’t working for everyone.)

  2. Kirk,

    The iOS 8.2 seem to have fixed the problem of syncing. However, in order to fully capture the sense of it working, you will need to do a few steps. Try them and let me know.

    1) Download and install iOS 8.2 on your iOS device.
    2) Restore your device. Doing this will present a factory-fresh iOS 8.2 device capable of syncing content properly.
    3) Begin to gradually add items onto your device. Try a genre at a time or playlist.
    4) Try to add items everyday or every other day to see the performance.

    One thing you can do is make sure that the Music app is not running on the iOS device when you are syncing as this can complicate the syncing process.

    Thoughts about this would be welcome.

    • If you have to gradually add items, then it’s not fixed. It may not be as broken, but that’s a workaround, assuming it does work. (And from reports and comments I’m getting, even that isn’t working for everyone.)

  3. I was just about to update my previous post thread. I actually did find significant improvement! I had noticed that the playlists were finally there before the 8.2 update but didn’t use them. Once the update took place all the TRUNCATED songs I had in the mobile devices I have tested so far are working!!

    I had iMatched 2 new albums through my new desktop only to be disappointed with interrupted songs. But AFTER the update all of those play normally now including a bunch of old tunes I had just given up on. The playlists work totally fine.

    So, for me this update has made a tremendous difference for the better.

    JG

  4. I was just about to update my previous post thread. I actually did find significant improvement! I had noticed that the playlists were finally there before the 8.2 update but didn’t use them. Once the update took place all the TRUNCATED songs I had in the mobile devices I have tested so far are working!!

    I had iMatched 2 new albums through my new desktop only to be disappointed with interrupted songs. But AFTER the update all of those play normally now including a bunch of old tunes I had just given up on. The playlists work totally fine.

    So, for me this update has made a tremendous difference for the better.

    JG

  5. Enjoy your blog. I hear your pain but sync is dead. It’s problematic in so many ways where MULTIPLE little issues, alone or together, can cause problems. When I was a programmer doing some sync work I wanted to pull my hair out at the roots. NO ONE does sync perfectly and the future is the cloud. Sorry!

    • The cloud is still a type of sync. And we’re still many years away from everyone having the bandwidth to have everything in the cloud.

  6. Enjoy your blog. I hear your pain but sync is dead. It’s problematic in so many ways where MULTIPLE little issues, alone or together, can cause problems. When I was a programmer doing some sync work I wanted to pull my hair out at the roots. NO ONE does sync perfectly and the future is the cloud. Sorry!

    • The cloud is still a type of sync. And we’re still many years away from everyone having the bandwidth to have everything in the cloud.

  7. Who’s wearing a watch these days in the western world? Visited this weekend Brussels with other musicians and the people who had fun with their phones were the ‘androids’ (htc seems to be popular). Iphones 5 just: ‘if it works’. But the money is always right.

  8. Who’s wearing a watch these days in the western world? Visited this weekend Brussels with other musicians and the people who had fun with their phones were the ‘androids’ (htc seems to be popular). Iphones 5 just: ‘if it works’. But the money is always right.

  9. Absolutely no improvement on my iPhone 6. Syncing is, at best, a lethargic process, at worst (which is most of the time) it stalls out on “Waiting for changes” for anything involving more than a couple of dozen tracks and has to be completely restored. I’ve tried all the fixes from restoring as a “new phone” to “genre at a time” (pul-leze!) and nothing works.

  10. Absolutely no improvement on my iPhone 6. Syncing is, at best, a lethargic process, at worst (which is most of the time) it stalls out on “Waiting for changes” for anything involving more than a couple of dozen tracks and has to be completely restored. I’ve tried all the fixes from restoring as a “new phone” to “genre at a time” (pul-leze!) and nothing works.

  11. I echo Scott’s comments above and have given up and reverted to using my iPod classic in order to quickly sync and get my most recently added songs, albums, and playlists onto an iPod I can take with me. Sync on the iPod classic takes about a minute (longer only if you have more than a hundred songs to add).

    I needed a new phone and wanted a touch screen iPod to upgrade from my 2009 iPod classic, so I bought the new iPhone 6. I’m back to carrying a phone and an iPod now and the only selling point for an iPhone 6 over a good Android phone is the camera and battery life, both of which are significantly better than my previous Samsung Galaxy 3, though I can’t speak for newer Android devices, but that is for another thread or blog post.

    I think Kirk has hit the nail right on the head with this statement, “For many people, one of the biggest problems is not just that syncing doesn’t work, but that Apple is pretending that this problem doesn’t exist.” Apple has definitely rubbed me the wrong way with its sync problems, which I had already noticed with my iPad (even before the iPhone 6 had been released). So for me this is a problem that has been going for at least a year, possibly 2 now. And it irritates me that Apple seems to be willfully choosing not to address the issue. I suppose the reason Apple has not fixed the issue is that not enough iPhone or iPad users use the sync option and Apple can ignore this bug for now. And that mentality is deeply disturbing, particularly when Apple’s devices are often twice as much as competitors’ products and Apple’s motto has in the past been, “It just works.” Not any more.

  12. I echo Scott’s comments above and have given up and reverted to using my iPod classic in order to quickly sync and get my most recently added songs, albums, and playlists onto an iPod I can take with me. Sync on the iPod classic takes about a minute (longer only if you have more than a hundred songs to add).

    I needed a new phone and wanted a touch screen iPod to upgrade from my 2009 iPod classic, so I bought the new iPhone 6. I’m back to carrying a phone and an iPod now and the only selling point for an iPhone 6 over a good Android phone is the camera and battery life, both of which are significantly better than my previous Samsung Galaxy 3, though I can’t speak for newer Android devices, but that is for another thread or blog post.

    I think Kirk has hit the nail right on the head with this statement, “For many people, one of the biggest problems is not just that syncing doesn’t work, but that Apple is pretending that this problem doesn’t exist.” Apple has definitely rubbed me the wrong way with its sync problems, which I had already noticed with my iPad (even before the iPhone 6 had been released). So for me this is a problem that has been going for at least a year, possibly 2 now. And it irritates me that Apple seems to be willfully choosing not to address the issue. I suppose the reason Apple has not fixed the issue is that not enough iPhone or iPad users use the sync option and Apple can ignore this bug for now. And that mentality is deeply disturbing, particularly when Apple’s devices are often twice as much as competitors’ products and Apple’s motto has in the past been, “It just works.” Not any more.

  13. Kirk, with you as our “head”, could we deliver any kind of mass response to Apple HQ? If Robservatory can get a (very soapy) response directly, could you + us make a stronger case for getting this looked at? Heck, invite Robservatory too.

    And here’s an alternative, perhaps you, or some clever collators within your readership, construct a multi-answer poll that some how finds a common thread through the failing syncs?

  14. Kirk, with you as our “head”, could we deliver any kind of mass response to Apple HQ? If Robservatory can get a (very soapy) response directly, could you + us make a stronger case for getting this looked at? Heck, invite Robservatory too.

    And here’s an alternative, perhaps you, or some clever collators within your readership, construct a multi-answer poll that some how finds a common thread through the failing syncs?

  15. I still regularly get the “waiting for sync to start” message when trying to sync an iPad Mini to iTunes via USB cable. I do not see any improvement with iOS 8.2 If I wait about 15 minutes, sometimes the sync starts. More often though, I have to cancel the sync, restart it and hope for the best …

  16. I still regularly get the “waiting for sync to start” message when trying to sync an iPad Mini to iTunes via USB cable. I do not see any improvement with iOS 8.2 If I wait about 15 minutes, sometimes the sync starts. More often though, I have to cancel the sync, restart it and hope for the best …

  17. i just putted some music on my device today and all those were on the phone got deleted and i left with items purchased only .. it is getting so annoying , im using iphone 6 ios 8.2 , latest itunes

  18. i just putted some music on my device today and all those were on the phone got deleted and i left with items purchased only .. it is getting so annoying , im using iphone 6 ios 8.2 , latest itunes

  19. Sync bug is like the wifi bug.. apple is never going to admit the error or fix it..

    I had the issue with my iphone 5 just upgraded to iphone 6 and have the same issue.. Can sync by only deleting all music and resyncing.. and with 4000 songs, i’ll just sit back and wait for a few hours.. ridiculous!

  20. Sync bug is like the wifi bug.. apple is never going to admit the error or fix it..

    I had the issue with my iphone 5 just upgraded to iphone 6 and have the same issue.. Can sync by only deleting all music and resyncing.. and with 4000 songs, i’ll just sit back and wait for a few hours.. ridiculous!

  21. 8.2 broke the album cover art of music on my iPhone 6.

    All my music has embedded cover art (done manually in the metadata tags). I sync via iTunes 12 to iPhone 6+. Until now, the cover art all displayed as expected on the iPhone.

    Since updating to iOS 8.2 and syncing, now most albums and songs have lost their cover art on the iPhone. Resyncing does not fix it. There are many similar reports on other forums.

    iTunes still properly displays the embedded cover art, but since iOS 8.2 the iPhone 6+ does not display most cover art.

    • Me too, Alan. This is exactly why I started searching for a solution this morning. Taking a few precious minutes out of my day to find out WTH is going on with the album art on my iPhone 6. Anyone? Right now, I realistically might as well wait for the next update and deal with it. At least the songs are still there.

  22. 8.2 broke the album cover art of music on my iPhone 6.

    All my music has embedded cover art (done manually in the metadata tags). I sync via iTunes 12 to iPhone 6+. Until now, the cover art all displayed as expected on the iPhone.

    Since updating to iOS 8.2 and syncing, now most albums and songs have lost their cover art on the iPhone. Resyncing does not fix it. There are many similar reports on other forums.

    iTunes still properly displays the embedded cover art, but since iOS 8.2 the iPhone 6+ does not display most cover art.

    • Me too, Alan. This is exactly why I started searching for a solution this morning. Taking a few precious minutes out of my day to find out WTH is going on with the album art on my iPhone 6. Anyone? Right now, I realistically might as well wait for the next update and deal with it. At least the songs are still there.

  23. A couple of days ago I followed your advice from a post last month and rebuilt my iTunes library. It resulted in iTunes not syncing any of the tracks that I’d purchased from iTunes. It synced all the music I’d ripped from CDs and had purchased from other sources, but nothing that I’d bought from iTunes! I tried signing out of iCloud and then in again, signing out of iTunes and then in again (on my Mac and my iPhone); nothing worked.
    I have an Applecare support plan and have scheduled a call for Monday; supposedly, because I have Applecare, Apple support needs to stay with me until there’s a solution. I’ll let you know what happens!

    • Good luck. I spent nearly five months trying to work out my iPhone’s syncing problems with Apple — all to no avail. Hours on the phone with Apple support, seven different visits to the Genius Bar, all for a problem they are fully aware of and in complete denial over. Thinking it would shut me up they finally replaced my phone only for me to have the exact same problems. I’ve just come to accept that my 128gb iPhone 6 can’t sync more than about 1,000 songs from my library. Will be exploring other options than an iPhone when the time to replace this one comes.

    • Well, I’m a little surprised to be writing this, but… my call to Apple support actually seems to have fixed the problem. For about 40 minutes the Apple support person got me to do a whole lot of stuff to try to fix/isolate the problem … then he told me to try going into my iPhone settings and “Reset all settings”. (Settings/General/Reset/Reset All Settings). I then synced again and … it worked! No more greyed-out tracks and tracks that wouldn’t copy from iTunes to my iPhone.
      Resetting the settings meant that I lost some of my preferences, but none of my apps or content. It was a small price to pay! I’ll let you know if anything changes but if this happens again, the first thing I’ll do is a “Reset All Settings”.

      • This is the equivalent of “reformat your hard drive” for Windows. It will work, just as restoring the device will work. But, in most cases, it only fixes the problem temporarily. Just read the many comments here and on my other posts about syncing to see how many people have repeatedly restored their devices, and continued to have the same issues.

        • Kirk, I take your point. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the issue came up again with my iTunes/iPhone. I suppose I was dreading the Apple support person telling me that I had to go the “Erase all content and settings” route. With “Reset All Settings” I had to re-enter my wi-fi password and some of my app preferences, but considering what many of your other readers have been through, I got off lightly!
          Thanks, by the way, for your posts both on Mac/iOS stuff and on music — all of what you write makes a lot of sense and has been really helpful for me.

          • They didn’t ask you to put your iPhone in a paper bag and swing it over your head while clucking like a chicken? In my last hour long phone call to Apple Support about this issue they told me that would fix it for sure.

            Four complete restores this weekend just to keep the 1,200 songs on my iPhone that I’ve managed to sync in my previous 150+ restores.

  24. A couple of days ago I followed your advice from a post last month and rebuilt my iTunes library. It resulted in iTunes not syncing any of the tracks that I’d purchased from iTunes. It synced all the music I’d ripped from CDs and had purchased from other sources, but nothing that I’d bought from iTunes! I tried signing out of iCloud and then in again, signing out of iTunes and then in again (on my Mac and my iPhone); nothing worked.
    I have an Applecare support plan and have scheduled a call for Monday; supposedly, because I have Applecare, Apple support needs to stay with me until there’s a solution. I’ll let you know what happens!

    • Good luck. I spent nearly five months trying to work out my iPhone’s syncing problems with Apple — all to no avail. Hours on the phone with Apple support, seven different visits to the Genius Bar, all for a problem they are fully aware of and in complete denial over. Thinking it would shut me up they finally replaced my phone only for me to have the exact same problems. I’ve just come to accept that my 128gb iPhone 6 can’t sync more than about 1,000 songs from my library. Will be exploring other options than an iPhone when the time to replace this one comes.

    • Well, I’m a little surprised to be writing this, but… my call to Apple support actually seems to have fixed the problem. For about 40 minutes the Apple support person got me to do a whole lot of stuff to try to fix/isolate the problem … then he told me to try going into my iPhone settings and “Reset all settings”. (Settings/General/Reset/Reset All Settings). I then synced again and … it worked! No more greyed-out tracks and tracks that wouldn’t copy from iTunes to my iPhone.
      Resetting the settings meant that I lost some of my preferences, but none of my apps or content. It was a small price to pay! I’ll let you know if anything changes but if this happens again, the first thing I’ll do is a “Reset All Settings”.

      • This is the equivalent of “reformat your hard drive” for Windows. It will work, just as restoring the device will work. But, in most cases, it only fixes the problem temporarily. Just read the many comments here and on my other posts about syncing to see how many people have repeatedly restored their devices, and continued to have the same issues.

        • Kirk, I take your point. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the issue came up again with my iTunes/iPhone. I suppose I was dreading the Apple support person telling me that I had to go the “Erase all content and settings” route. With “Reset All Settings” I had to re-enter my wi-fi password and some of my app preferences, but considering what many of your other readers have been through, I got off lightly!
          Thanks, by the way, for your posts both on Mac/iOS stuff and on music — all of what you write makes a lot of sense and has been really helpful for me.

          • They didn’t ask you to put your iPhone in a paper bag and swing it over your head while clucking like a chicken? In my last hour long phone call to Apple Support about this issue they told me that would fix it for sure.

            Four complete restores this weekend just to keep the 1,200 songs on my iPhone that I’ve managed to sync in my previous 150+ restores.

  25. The artists and record companies are the ones who need to apply pressure. I’m becoming hesitant about spending money on music I can’t listen to.

  26. The artists and record companies are the ones who need to apply pressure. I’m becoming hesitant about spending money on music I can’t listen to.

  27. I am experiencing the same iTunes syncing issues that others are describing in this thread. I know this is off topic, but I am having the same type of experience with iWork documents on iCloud. iCloud does not sync my Numbers and Pages documents between iOS and OS X. Calls to Apple have not solved the issue. I can reset all my devices and iCloud works for a week or two, but then documents get out of sync again. Just curious whether others are having this experience?

  28. I am experiencing the same iTunes syncing issues that others are describing in this thread. I know this is off topic, but I am having the same type of experience with iWork documents on iCloud. iCloud does not sync my Numbers and Pages documents between iOS and OS X. Calls to Apple have not solved the issue. I can reset all my devices and iCloud works for a week or two, but then documents get out of sync again. Just curious whether others are having this experience?

  29. I have spent too many hours on line with Apple support. I have done almost everything BUT the paper bag idea. I use Outlook and am very dependent on my calendars synching (iPhone 6, PC Windows 7). I can’t believe there is no good workaround for this. ARGGH!

  30. I have spent too many hours on line with Apple support. I have done almost everything BUT the paper bag idea. I use Outlook and am very dependent on my calendars synching (iPhone 6, PC Windows 7). I can’t believe there is no good workaround for this. ARGGH!

  31. Well, this seems as good a place as any to ask this question: at what point should one give up on “Waiting for sync to start”? I presume that after two hours it’s OK to cancel and try again, because after two hours nothing good is going to happen – but what’s the longest people have waited before something useful happens? Should I just give up after five minutes? After ten? After an hour?

    (Context today: all my music and audiobooks suddenly disappeared from my iPhone 5, and judging by memory allotment as indicated in iTunes, it’s somehow become “Other”. And I’ve been repeatedly syncing, unplugging, replugging the iPhone, with sometimes memory 20GB over, sometimes all “Other”, sometimes all allotted correctly, and never with the correct audio on my iPhone. I recognize that syncing everything back on is going to take time, but I’m not sure if this “Waiting for sync to start” stage is *useful* time, or a sign that it’s hung up and I should try again.)

  32. Well, this seems as good a place as any to ask this question: at what point should one give up on “Waiting for sync to start”? I presume that after two hours it’s OK to cancel and try again, because after two hours nothing good is going to happen – but what’s the longest people have waited before something useful happens? Should I just give up after five minutes? After ten? After an hour?

    (Context today: all my music and audiobooks suddenly disappeared from my iPhone 5, and judging by memory allotment as indicated in iTunes, it’s somehow become “Other”. And I’ve been repeatedly syncing, unplugging, replugging the iPhone, with sometimes memory 20GB over, sometimes all “Other”, sometimes all allotted correctly, and never with the correct audio on my iPhone. I recognize that syncing everything back on is going to take time, but I’m not sure if this “Waiting for sync to start” stage is *useful* time, or a sign that it’s hung up and I should try again.)

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