How to pull iTunes out of saved “Time Machine” Backups.

8 06 2011

iTunes almost beat me recently, as you may know, and I told everyone that I had given up all hope of getting anything back which I’d lost after a recent iPhone crash.

Although iTunes had failed to save my photos, videos and voice memos which were of far greater importance to me than apps or music, I should in theory have a way to get my paid apps back at the very least.

What I found most annoying was that I had been used to the PC version of iTunes which pretty much saves everything by default, but the mac version was different, and wasn’t saving much more than music, notes, apps and I think that was it… So I was very annoyed when I discovered my self made stuff was gone.

Pigs to the apps and music, I can always buy it again, even though it’s a pain, however, I’ve decided to tinker, and I know some of you should appreciate my findings.

Right, You currently have itunes and it’s blank, you can’t see any apps or anything in it, iTunes may just be enough of an arse to be telling you that you can’t sync because of a library issue, maybe it’s the squeaky shoes, heck knows, and frankly I don’t care.

Let’s rip the throat out of iTunes, shall we?

Connect external drive containing “Time Machine” backups.

Disconnect iPhone if it’s plugged in.

Start iTunes, Go to the iTunes menu in the top right of the screen, the one to the left of the Apple logo, go to Preferences, Click “Devices” at the top, and tick the box next to “Prevent ipods from syncing”

Exit iTunes

Now you should run “Time Machine” go to the date which is the last sync before your crash, and navigate to: /Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

What this means is when you see the list of what’s on your computer, you should see the name of your computer under “places” on the panel to the left, there will be an icon of a grey house next to it… if you’re an advanced user, stop your griping 😉

Click that, then click Library… application support… and so on. (as above)

Highlight all the files in the last folder and click Restore in the bottom right.

Now plug your phone in and run iTunes, click “apps” on the left panel, are your apps back?

Now I haven’t done this yet, but I think that after you right click your iphone in the left panel of itunes, and select “transfer purchases” that everything should work.

If it’s not happening, let me know.

I’m not a mega-geek, no matter what you may have heard, even though I do own a mac *feels shame* so it may or may not work, and I have a funny feeling I left something out, maybe, maybe not.

Oh yes, and apparently you can back up onto a dvd, I would do this, it will suck less if it happens again later.

Photos and Videos on the iPhone can be saved manually using preview, do that… backing up photos on PC is a lot easier… back up your photos, do it manually, do it NOW.

Once everything is restored, give iTunes the finger and find some other software that does something similar like DeTune.

Wolfie! (Up yours Apple)

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Rotten Apples

3 06 2011

You may have read about my data loss on my iphone, Not only did I lose photos and videos over a month, but also a lot of voice memos, which had been important thoughts, and a few silly ones, from recent times… I really did want to keep these because they were the kinds of things I would one day wish to look back on, and were the kind of thing I’d like to pass onto others.

In general, when we see family trees, we see names and when these people were born, if they married and how many kids they had, and when they died. But a lot of the important stuff, such as what they loved and despised, how they felt, and what made them tick as a person, is lost.

I had been foolishly trusting iTunes to back this data up for me, while having no idea that it was just backing up basics, such as apps, music and phone numbers.

To me, the art I produce myself is of more importance than product I can simply buy again, (though understandably that is a pain too) because our own media is unique, and often the only copy is on the phone or computer.

I have had computers for decades now, and I know full well that backing up is the very best thing to do, and have several backups for my PC in the form of external drives.

When my phone went down, and I found iTunes had only saved rudimentary items, I was shocked and angry, frankly I wanted to beat both my Mac and iPhone to a pulp with a hammer, and to be honest I am considering wiping both and putting them on e-bay.

Apples backup system “Time Machine” failed to help too.

Although I found that I could indeed take a former iTunes from the past and use it’s contents… I could reload my bought apps, but of course there were no voice memos, photos or videos.

I noticed that some of my notes were from the much older PC sync, with iTunes (iTunes on PC appears to be the safer bet), so I thought I’d re-sync with the Mac version.

However, none of the backups worked anymore, each time I tried to run iTunes, I was greeted with an Apple Agreement and a fresh program… completely empty, no apps or anything.

I completely erased iTunes from my Mac and went back into Time Machine, dug out the old iTunes and ran it again, only to be greeted by the same Apple Agreement again, and a fresh, apparently unused iTunes.

Where was my stuff?

I’m feeling really burned by this, and really just want to leave this stuff in the corner to rot.

I will never buy another Apple product ever again, I’ve had enough. For all the sparkly glamour of the company, what has happened over the last week is far worse than anything the PC has ever done to me in over twenty years of use.

If anything has gone wrong on the pc, nine times out of ten I have managed to recover most of my files with relative ease, but with the Mac it’s just complete frustration.

Wolfie!





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!