iTunes Syncing is Broken: Apple, Please Fix It

I remember the days when I’d get a new CD, rip it to my iTunes library, connect my click-wheel iPod, and have the music sync in less than a minute. Ah, the good old days were so much better…

Now, syncing an iOS device–iPhone, iPad, or iPod–is too often an ordeal. And it is because it’s become untrustworthy. Will the sync work at all or will your content disappear and be transformed into something that fills the amorphous “Other” category in iTunes’ capacity bar. Will all of your content sync or just your music, or music, or apps?

other-100537200-large.png

Sync problems between iTunes and iOS devices are all too common. (See the last thirty days of posts in Apple’s support forums about iTunes sync issues.) In a way, this may be a predictable side effect of Apple’s push to online services. The company wants everything to be in the cloud, and it would prefer that you buy all your music and movies from there as well. Local syncing isn’t really a part of that plan and so may be treated as an afterthought. The difficulty is that not all users are right for the cloud model. For those with large iTunes libraries, or with limited broadband bandwidth, cloud storage simply isn’t usable.

Given that, it’s time to revisit local syncing. In its current state, iTunes syncing is broken and it can only be fixed by Apple. Here are some of the most common sync problems, and, in some cases, solutions or workarounds to get media files onto your iOS device.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

8 thoughts on “iTunes Syncing is Broken: Apple, Please Fix It

  1. Thank you for writing that article. I’ve been shrieking about iTunes sync for years. It does some things that are totally unconscionable, like replacing good contacts files with old ones and losing all your bookmarks.

    I see you’re a musician, and you look like you were around when everyone used Kurzweils. Well, remember Object Mover? They had sync figured out in the ’80s: two columns with lists of files – one on the left for the Kurzweil, one on the right for the Mac. You simply dragged files between them in either direction.

    iTunes sync is what happens when companies cross the line between user-friendly and user-patronizing.

  2. Thank you for writing that article. I’ve been shrieking about iTunes sync for years. It does some things that are totally unconscionable, like replacing good contacts files with old ones and losing all your bookmarks.

    I see you’re a musician, and you look like you were around when everyone used Kurzweils. Well, remember Object Mover? They had sync figured out in the ’80s: two columns with lists of files – one on the left for the Kurzweil, one on the right for the Mac. You simply dragged files between them in either direction.

    iTunes sync is what happens when companies cross the line between user-friendly and user-patronizing.

  3. Have worked around it by uninstalling current version and downloading previous version of iTunes, still available from Apple. It still only synced half my music but at least it didn”t wipe my whole iPod. Then I dragged my collection from iTunes to the iPod one or two hundred songs at a time. Repeat more than once. Eventually it all got there. Don’t be fazed if it says some song can’t be synced, just start again from there.
    And never update iTunes again until someone other than Apple says it works.

  4. Have worked around it by uninstalling current version and downloading previous version of iTunes, still available from Apple. It still only synced half my music but at least it didn”t wipe my whole iPod. Then I dragged my collection from iTunes to the iPod one or two hundred songs at a time. Repeat more than once. Eventually it all got there. Don’t be fazed if it says some song can’t be synced, just start again from there.
    And never update iTunes again until someone other than Apple says it works.

  5. Hey guys,

    I have been battling this for DAYS AND DAYS. This is what I did and it works without a reboot, you don’t lose your files and it is super fast. This is what I did and I was synching within 10 minutes.

    Download and Install appzapper.com
    Close iTunes 12
    Open App Zapper (you do not need to purchase or register it)
    Open App Zapper preferences and UNCHECK the box to protect Apple applications
    Drag iTunes Application to the App Zapper window and zap away
    Run software update and iTunes 12 will reinstall

    Apparently apple has released a fix for this issue but it does not “fix” until you uninstall and reinstall iTunes 12

    As for the “other” issue with the space where iTunes basically thinks you have no music on your device and tries to sync it all twice. Well once you get iTunes fixed you can either make a backup of your phone or use an existing backup and just reset your phone. This all worked for me perfectly.

    Hope this helps.

    • I’ve seen lots of suggestions for fixes, and none of them really fix the problem. There are lots of things that can temporarily unblock the issue, but I haven’t yet found one that works. I’d be very surprised if the actual iTunes app has something wrong that you can fix by reinstalling it.

  6. Hey guys,

    I have been battling this for DAYS AND DAYS. This is what I did and it works without a reboot, you don’t lose your files and it is super fast. This is what I did and I was synching within 10 minutes.

    Download and Install appzapper.com
    Close iTunes 12
    Open App Zapper (you do not need to purchase or register it)
    Open App Zapper preferences and UNCHECK the box to protect Apple applications
    Drag iTunes Application to the App Zapper window and zap away
    Run software update and iTunes 12 will reinstall

    Apparently apple has released a fix for this issue but it does not “fix” until you uninstall and reinstall iTunes 12

    As for the “other” issue with the space where iTunes basically thinks you have no music on your device and tries to sync it all twice. Well once you get iTunes fixed you can either make a backup of your phone or use an existing backup and just reset your phone. This all worked for me perfectly.

    Hope this helps.

    • I’ve seen lots of suggestions for fixes, and none of them really fix the problem. There are lots of things that can temporarily unblock the issue, but I haven’t yet found one that works. I’d be very surprised if the actual iTunes app has something wrong that you can fix by reinstalling it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.