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iPhone Disaster: All music vanishes, then iTunes 9 deletes apps, data!

Zero stars for iTunes 9

January, 2010


I’m ready to give my iPhone back because I’m so annoyed at the time and data I’ve lost.

I spent three days getting my music organized on a new iPhone G3S  using “CopyTrans” under Windows.  I ripped thousands of songs from my CD collection then threw away the CDs.

Worked great, but it was a lot of work. A day later, I discovered after briefly plugging in to someone else’s Mac to charge up that their version of iTunes hosed all of my songs. Zero songs. WHAT THE?!

I’m away from home on vacation, so I could not back up in my own version of iTunes. No backup. The songs are only on the iPhone.

Plan: Get a program that can view the file system of the iPhone, copy my songs from the iPhone to a PC, then install another version of iTunes, on this other computer and rebuild the songlist database.

First part worked. I copied GB’s of my files to the PC (with messed up file names) using a program called iPhone Explorer, then added that folder on the PC to iTunes 9 and it started building the song names again. The work I’d done fixing all the broken file names was lost forever. I spent a few more hours in the “Info” tab of my songs renaming the albums and authors. Then things got worse.  When synchronizing the PC with the iPhone, I was told that I’m not authorized to “play” the free applications I own. What the?!?

I was given this choice: If you don’t sync, all apps will be removed. If you do sych, all apps will be removed.


No thanks! Tried this: Reboot phone. Uninstall and re-install iTunes 9, the latest version, several computer reboots… iTunes still won’t recognize my phone on a 2nd computer.


Options seem to be: 1) Delete all data (two weeks of new contacts and data entry on the road) on my iPhone by restoring to factory defaults.  2) avoid iTunes completely and have no music on my iPhone.

And no, my iPhone is not “jailbroken” (hacked as some people do to be able to customize it).  I don’t want to void the warranty. Perhaps that is what I need to do to get it to work? Absurd.

Guess I’ll wait until I get home and see if my phone is still recognized on the original computer. I doubt now that it will be. I think I’m going to have to delete and re-install my hundreds of free apps and just accept the loss of my data. Zero stars for iTunes.

Follow up:  Same problem on the original computer with iTunes at home. iTunes doesn’t recognize iPhone now. Reinstalled iTunes, which now insists I wipe out all of my data without being able to back anything up first.

I give up. I’m ready to take my lumps…. followed recommended restore procedure “Apple Recovery” which downloaded 306.2 MB of iPhone Software Updates, then destroyed every bit of data on the phone.

Wow. Exciting. My iPhone is now seen by iTunes.

My applications: Gone. My contacts: Gone.  My trip photos: Gone. My trip videos: Gone.  Calendar items: Gone. Music: Gone.

Trying now to restore what I can from the backup I made before going on a two week vacation. A worthless progress bar moves from left to right over and over showing no overall progress.  How many years will this take? No way to know.  iTunes is completely unresponsive while “Restoring iPhone from backup…” goes on and on… ah, about 15 minutes into it a real progress bar appeared. Finally the phone reboots.  Got some contacts back and calendar items, but lost everything else. No apps installed. All data in them gone.

Now iTunes is locked up, frozen at a screen that says “… Please leave your iPhone connected… This message will be dismissed in 1 second.” Force quit iTunes after about 15 minutes of waiting for that one second. Restart iTunes. Plug in iPhone. Not recognized. iTunes freezes. New error message:


Reboot everything and the iPhone appears.  I eye it suspiciously. The progress bar freezes while “Syncing contacts with iPhone…” Entire computer starts to lock up.  Eventually throws up 2 sync conflicts for calendar events from three months ago. Now finally it seems to be working.

I’m going to give my iPhone one more chance. 3 AM, a good deal restored now. 12 GB of music, 2 GB of apps.

Despite the headache, my sense is that if you use only one copy of iTunes and back up frequently, it works fairly well. Just don’t go on vacation without that computer! Don’t plug your iPhone in to anyone else’s computer, even if you have a family plan with them.

Thanks for this article go to Xeno – Xenophilia is a “love of strange things.” Check out Xeno’s website  at Xenophilia.com

iPhone makes Phone Numbers “Clickable”

The iPhone is an “Internet Communicator.”
An Innovation Most People Probably Missed
 It’s a click, only betterThere are quite probably a number of people who use the Internet and have no idea what a URL is. Everyone who uses the Internet uses URLs every day. URL is an acronym (as we all know, acronyms are the fuel that runs the engine of technology). URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It’s a fancy name for a unique pointer to something. Of course, we had URLs for decades before the Internet, but they were known by a far less technological name which didn’t even form an acronym: the phone number.
Ever since the Internet came to be used in everyday business, phone numbers have wanted to become URLs. First, many began to drop the dashes, seperating prefixes and area codes with dots to make the numbers look more advanced. In other words, to make them look more like domain names.

The only problem was that computers and phones were different devices. Computers had no use for phone numbers, since they were capable of using real URLs and e-mail addresses to communicate. Phones had no use for URLs or e-mail addresses, because they had the old reliable tried-and-true phone number.

In the recent Apple Keynote address, a massive tectonic shift in communications technology took place, and it happened without much attention being brought to it at all. The Apple iPhone highlights and makes phone numbers clickable, just like URLs.

Now it seems like a simple, even unremarkable feature of a device that at first seems far more concerned with music playlists, Johnny Depp and aerial views of the Colosseum in Rome. But as we’ve often seen, the most remarkable technologies and innovations are often overlooked, literally, when first introduced.

Clicking on a phone number just like an e-mail address is a feature which almost requires a timpani roll. Oh sure, other mobile phones may or may not have had this feature before, but until Steve Jobs clicked on a phone number in an e-mail and the sound of a phone ringing was heard in the Moscone Auditorium, the real ramifications of the phone number as URL were scarcely understood beyond speculation.

What is the ultimate difference between e-mail and voice mail? What’s the difference between text messaging and e-mail? What’s the difference between e-mail and a blog? Phone numbers as URLs don’t just blur the differences between these various communications technologies, they remove the differences. At some point in the future, by leveraging this lack of difference, it may be possible to truly unify communications so that there is no longer any such thing as a “phone number” or “e-mail address.” There may be a point where people communicate with each other via one “URL” which adapts based on the type of message: voice or text.

Then again, with the iPhone there’s very little difference between computers and phones now, so it stands to reason the distinction between communications technologies would begin to diminish. The iPhone was introduced as a “Internet Communicator.”

Internet Communicator indeed.