iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to iPods, iPhones, and the iPod Touch.
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JerryFreilich
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iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by JerryFreilich » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:37 pm

All is going well with my new iPhone 6 except that it will not sync my iTunes Library!!! There are hundreds... probably thousands.... of online posts from people with the same problem. The answers are all over the place... there is no clear answer, cure, or explanation for it. From the posts on Apple's own boards it is clear that Genius's at stores and Apple Phone Tech Support have not been able to fix these problems. Many people report getting partial sync to occur... others none at all... some report that content downloaded from the iTunes store will sync but not the many thousands of tunes folks have uploaded from their own CD's or other recording sources. This sounds like a real mess. I'm having the problem and am surprised more folks have not posted it on the SMUG Forum yet. Will spend time on the help line with Apple tomorrow.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:59 am

Jerry, are you having problems with syncing when plugged in with the USB cord? Or is it WiFi sync that's not working.
The WiFi sync problem is well known. I've been following a long Apple Support Communities discussion of that.

But USB sync is working for me. I don't, however, sync music, as I use iTunes Match.
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:55 am

I assume you've found this: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6541755

There are a couple of things to try that worked for others. One is to check Manually Manage Videos. I checked that, then unchecked and got this warning:
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by JerryFreilich » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:41 pm

I've looked at close to 100 posts on the subject of syncing iTunes and how iOS 8 has been scrambling up the lives of hundreds of people. It's really pretty shocking, unpleasant, and impossible to get a firm idea of what's causing it. I'm speaking of syncing using a USB wire to my Mac... that is the only way I do things. At first I was getting no music at all on the phone. Then I started getting some songs (5 or 6 out of 4,388). There are settings on the phone (Settings --> iTunes & App Store) where you will see buttons under the "Show All" heading for Music and Videos. The text below those buttons say that this will "Show all store purchases and iTunes Match uploads in your music and video libraries, even if they have not been downloaded to this iPhone." Playing with those buttons causes unexpected and curious changes to what is synced. Some but not all the songs started to play on the phone but had curious "grayed out" buttons. This also caused a few dozen songs downloaded by my son years ago (when we briefly shared an iTunes account) to suddenly reappear.

To quickly jump over a day or more of my fooling around... I was finally able to get a more or less complete transfer of my iTunes Library to the phone by turning OFF "Sync Music" in iTunes. Syncing the phone... which removed all the music. Then turning ON that button again and allowing it to resync again. To my astonishment (after having tried similar maneuvers four or five times previous)... it started showing the songs being loaded onto the phone in the little progress window. The full transfer took about 45 minutes.

As it stands right now, I have a basically functional iPhone with iTunes content. However... there are numerous MISSING tracks. I have identified the fact that some of the missing tracks (which play fine in iTunes and have played fine on my iPhone 4 and 5 for years) are cases where the music in question was MPEG-1 content and the new iPhone apparently doesn't like those. So as I discover these I am creating MP3 versions of them, deleting the "offending" track and adding the MP3 version back into the particular playlist. The only problem is that there is no easy way to discover which tracks are in iTunes but which are simply not "liked" by the iPhone and don't appear in the phone's playlists.

Just Google the terms iPhone iOS 8 and sync and you'll see what I mean. The problems people are having vary VERY widely. Just looking at the litany makes one's head spin. Something is clearly awry with the way the new phone handles its relationship with iTunes. I predict some sort of update to either iTunes, iOS 8, or both will be coming before too long. I cannot remember such a wide scale glitch in Apple updates for a very long time.

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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:53 am

I believe you can set a Kind column in iTunes and then sort on Kind to find older formats.
I saw some weird problems with songs my son left on my Mac from when he was in college, and people shared odd formats. It should be easy to convert all those formats. There are several utilities for that, and I'm sure I've seen some that advertise batch conversion.
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by JerryFreilich » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:20 am

Now (Tues AM) I've got a NEW state of affairs!! This is truly lovely. Now my iPhone 6 has gone completely berserk when it tries to play iTunes songs. Just completely insane. It shows my entire library of songs and playlists... all of them (I think). But when you try to play any particular song .... it plays something else completely different!!!! This is another fine mess you've gotten me into (as Stanley used to say to Ollie)!

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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:23 am

Are you sure you didn't turn on iTunes Match? Or did you copy all your songs to the iPhone?

I just tested and find no issues with streaming songs with iTunes Match or playing songs that are on my iPhone.

I know it sounds like a hassle, but you might want to consider backing up your iPhone and then restoring it from the backup.
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by JerryFreilich » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:57 am

Situation keeps evolving and changing. After turning OFF music syncing and syncing again (to remove all music). Then shutting off the phone and restarting it. Then syncing again turning music syncing back ON. Once again all the music was transferred back to the phone. BUT........ Now when I click on a tune on the phone, the screen flashes briefly, all the tunes on the album or playlist flash by on screen in about 1-2 seconds... and then all disappear. Once they disappear they are gone from the phone. Their images are gone from the playlists but the playlists and albums still show as present... but with no songs. This is truly lovely.

Restoring the entire phone from backup would be fine as a trial. Are there any issues with doing that?

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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:00 am

JerryFreilich wrote:This is truly lovely.

Restoring the entire phone from backup would be fine as a trial. Are there any issues with doing that?
Wow. Lovely indeed.

Did you happen to notice the storage bar at the bottom of the iTunes screen to see if it changed when the song names disappeared?

What happens if you search on a song name that you synced? Swipe down from the middle of any screen to get a search window. Or ask Siri to play a song or group or album for you.

Here's another idea. Maybe you have a bad music file that's at fault. What if you turn off music syncing and then sync just one album or set of songs that you know aren't corrupted?

If that works, then it's just a matter of divide and sync, like chasing down a bad system extension in days of yore.


Unless you're often listening a lot when your only connection is cellular data, I recommend iTunes Match. It's cheap. It takes care of any bad files for you automatically. It comes with ad-free iTunes Radio.
The only downside I see is that the whole Apple streaming music scene will probably change with the acquisition of Beats.
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If you have a good backup, restoring should not be risky. I've done it a couple of times over the years.
I suppose there's a slight chance that some errant file will get copied from the backup onto the phone and recreate the issue.

If a backup and restore doesn't work, I'd move to restore as a new iPhone, then sync from scratch.

AppleCare would probably request one or the other restore as a first step.

There's another restore option that requires a magical sequence of button pushes. I had to do that once with my iPhone 4. Normally, you only use that if the phone is bricked by a failed firmware install.
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Re: iPhone 6 iTunes Woes

Post by JerryFreilich » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:46 am

Update.

After nearly 2 hours on the phone with a very patient and careful Apple Tech Support rep, I was finally able to get all the music removed from the phone. This was more challenging than it would seem. Even with the "Sync Music" checkbox unchecked, it seems that certain music was still not being deleted despite repeated syncs. Then I was able to move one or two test songs over to the phone. And from that I think that the final conclusion is that there is at least one corrupted song file somewhere among the 4000 in my iTunes Library that may have been causing all this havoc. I have started re-adding playlists to the phone a few at a time, playing a song or two from each, and then adding more. The whole process will most likely take quite a long time.

The symptoms and odd behaviors in this case were sufficiently confusing that nothing was seeming to work. When at last all the music was removed and that whole matter cleared up, then things began making sense again. Stephen's comment (above) about a corrupted file is right on target. I had thought this was a distinct possibility all along, but until I could make the phone start responding in some logical way, it was impossible to truly start the trouble shooting.

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