iTunes Sucks

28 05 2011

A few days ago while I was in the City, Melbourne, I was using my iPhone to keep in contact with a friend who had come to visit, She was here from Sydney, and a little lost.

Just as we were almost together, My phone locked up, it put itself into a state which I could not break out of, called a “Recovery Loop” in which all you see is a screen asking you to plug it into the computer and connect to iTunes.

So I thought this was OK, I could go home, connect to iTunes and everything would be fine since I backed up regularly.

Although I was annoyed because I almost missed making contact with my friend, and I couldn’t take photos to show friends who would have loved to see what Melbourne was about.

I came home and connected to iTunes, iTunes told me that all media (songs, videos and photos) would be lost and did I want to proceed, and I thought that would be ok, since the backup was there, and I have already been in a similar position where the phone was reset and to my relief everything was still there.

So if the phone went back to factory settings, I felt it was ok to assume that my backup would take care of everything, I could re-load all my stuff and life would go on as before… except for the loss of a couple of photos I’d taken before the iphone locked up.

Except it didn’t, I was horrified to find that my 3000 odd photos and videos had all been deleted, not just off the phone, but from the computer as well.

In fact, I was to discover later that unless a setting in the background of itunes is set, to send photos into iphoto, then you haven’t been backing up your media at all, which is what I thought iTunes had been doing the whole time.

I did NOT want to use iphoto, because… When I save photos or songs or whatever I have, I like to keep them in a folder where I can see them, and not allow a program to tamper with my stuff… the photos are mine and I want to manage them personally.

I was horrified to discover that all iTunes was doing was backing up any mp3s I had, (which aren’t important to me) my contacts, some notes, my apps and that was basically it.

I was annoyed that all my voice memos were gone as these were notes on my personal life and history, I am hoping they were backed up with other mp3s.

But mostly my photos which I take daily as a kind of personal diary of what I did each day, I upload the best ones daily to twitpic or flickr, but there are some which are basically notes to myself or general records of the day, these were gone.

What was fortunate though was about a month ago, I had decided to do a manual backup of my photos, which can certainly be done… these were all copied to a folder, in the way that I like… in a safe place where the hated iphoto can’t get to them and tamper with them.

So rather than losing a about two years worth of photos, I had lost most of a months worth… but managed to recover quite a few from “The Cloud”.

When the phone re-started, there were no apps on it, except for what a basic phone comes with. I see the apps on itunes, why didn’t they transfer to my phone?

I think iTunes should read the contents of the phone each time you sync, show you in a list what’s there and what needs to be backed up, and back up everything, as I wrongfully assumed it was doing.

There should also be an option to back up self-made content, to a separate folder.

I’m also concerned about apps which contain personal data, I have a security program with all my passwords on it, where do they go? or what about “time flies” an app which saved day-to-day notes? or even saved games, how are those… are those backed up?

I am left feeling that Syncing, which is something we’re advised to do on a regular basis, is really only a sugar pill… take this and everything will be fine, well my friends, it isn’t.

I had considered that if iTunes had wiped everything off, and that’s a big fault there, it shouldn’t have wiped ANYTHING off the computer regardless of the state of the iphone, that perhaps the backups of my Mac which I made with “Time Machine” may assist me, and I will have to do some more reading about that.

This has left me feeling quite sick, I have never had this experience with my old but reliable Palm T|X,

For those with photos on their iPhone, I strongly advise you to do this:

Plug your iPhone into your Mac and Launch Preview, You can find Preview in Spotlight (magnifying glass in the top right).
Preview does not appear as a program, but look at the top of your computer screen and you will see “Preview” listed in the top left of your screen. From the File menu navigate down and select “Import from iPhone”. Select “Import All” to get all the pictures, otherwise individually select pictures and click ‘Import’. I think you can save them wherever you like from there, this avoids iTunes and iPhoto completely. You can then copy a folder (and I would advise you do make a backup backup) and burn a dvd or send a copy to an external hard drive.

On a PC your phone should open and simply let you get to your photos, I remember doing this but can’t quite recall how, but Google it and you’ll find it.

This personal stuff, your photos, videos, voice notes and anything written or produced by YOU is critical data, I remember how the Beatles had written a song on a scrap of paper while flying somewhere, and it became one of their classics… what if they’d used a phone or tablet and it failed, it’s just not good enough. “Self produced work is critical data” You can always re-download a song if it’s on itunes, that’s no big deal… but if it’s your photo, your video, voice or written work that could be the only copy in existance,
anyone producing any sort of operating system today must take this into account and put the users work absolutely first, way ahead of backing up apps and songs. (Unless they’re yours of course)

As the phone is out of warranty now, I am beginning to research jail breaking, as I have read that I can use a program which is something like iTunes but a lot better, we shall see.

Wolfie!

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3 responses

28 05 2011
Dragonsally

Bloody hell! I haven’t got an iPhone, but I have been hankering for one. You have me wondering now…
I’m going to point this post out to a friend of mine who is travelling Wolfie, it would be awful if the same thing happened to her.

I’m also now going to back up a) my android and b) all the stuff I have in iTunes – just in case.

28 05 2011
Wolfie Rankin

I found this AFTER the fact: http://www.babarsays.com/iphone/iphone-hacks/795-how-to-recover-iphone-from-recovery-mode-loop.html#disqus_thread

I did try pressing buttons in a way that sounded much like this, but got nowhere, however it may help someone else.

If It had worked for me, I would have done an on the spot sync, though as I have already said, I doubt iTunes is much more than a big fat sugar pill.

28 05 2011
Dragonsally

Still not much help when you’re away from your computer though, is it. I really feel for you losing all that stuff -bloody heartbreaking.

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