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Why doesn't iTunes tell me WHICH purchased items are on my iPhone but not in my iTunes library?

284 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2013 4:48 PM by turingtest2 RSS
dittoheadadt Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 11, 2013 11:18 AM



I can't be the only one who sees the virtual uselessness of that warning message, can I?  Shouldn't iTunes be able to give me a list??!!  I mean, how can I possibly know how to answer the question if I don't know WHICH items the message is talking about?  Furthermore, even if I did have a list, maybe I want to transfer some and not transfer others (maybe I deleted some items deliberately, and maybe I purchased some items that haven't yet been added to my library).


Seriously, am I missing something here? Wouldn't be the first time, for sure.  But as best I can tell, that warning message is for the birds.  Almost totally worthless.

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  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,485 points)

    After syncing, the apps that you downloaded to the iPhone directly are in the Itunes app listing after syncing.

    After syncing music and so on your iPhone is listed in iTunes under "purchased" when and only when you purchased it via iTunes in your mac or in your iPhone (with the same Apple ID), other songs etc are not there because iTunes cannot see if you bought it but not in iTunes but Amazon for example, ripped it, or got it in another way on your phone. It does not have to be in your iTunes library, to appear in "purchased". Very logical.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,485 points)

    And what was the message you talked about? What were you doing to get this message?

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,485 points)

    Can you tell what the message was?

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,860 points)

    With the exception of Audiobooks and a limited selection of movies it is now almost immaterial if you fail to transfer a purchase from the device to the library since other content can be redownloaded on demand. That said I agree that a summary of the items to be transferred with (optional checkboxes if you fancy) would be nice. This however isn't the place to ask for it. Drop a line to iTunes Feedback with any suggestions.



  • Brian Phillips2 Calculating status...

    Wow. I don't know why there aren't thousands of replies here agreeing with you. That has annoyed me for years. Especially as I'm trying to clear up space on my iPhone. There's no way to know if you're permanently deleting something you didn't want to delete. The message needs to provide a list of items that you wish to transfer or not. Hard to believe more people aren't frustrated with this.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,860 points)

    Connect device to iTunes, right-click on it, click Transfer Purchases.

    Anything on the device, and not in your library, will be transferred.

    Delete anything you like from the device.


    If your local library doesn't have enough room to hold all of your media then you're doing it wrong. Get a bigger drive and move the library to it. Much as it would be nice to be able to check what wasn't there, so you could be satisfied that the transfers are reasonable and half your library hasn't gone missing unexpectedly, there really isn't any need to selectively transfer purchases.



  • Brian Phillips2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We must not be communicating this issue very well. It's not disk space on the local library that's the issue.


    Let's say you want to remove a TV show or a movie, and you delete it from iTunes. Then, close out. At a later date you delete some more TV shows and movies. When you sync to your device, you get a message asking if you want to transfer items purchased on the device to iTunes, or not (esentially deleting them from both iTunes and the device)? But, it doesn't tell you what they are. So, you have no confidence that when you choose delete, you've deleted the ones you intended to, or may be deleting something you accidentily deleted in iTunes and don't want to permanently lose. Once again, you should be given a list that you can select which ones to transfer and which ones not to transfer (i.e. delete). That's the issue.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,860 points)

    Why delete anything from iTunes? You've paid money for it, look after it. Currently you can redownload most of your purchases on demand, but the small print states that the owner of the copyright can remove any content from the store, at any time, without notice, at which point you can no longer redownload. As I see it your iTunes library should always have all the media that you've purchased, and at the very least anything that is on the device. And the entire library should be backed up. There are simply too many tales of woe from those who manually mange their devices, don't keep local copies, and then find their device lost, stolen, damaged or crashed and in need of a restore. And even when you can redownload everything it is a waste of bandwith.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,860 points)

    You can submit feedback in the hope that Apple will make a change such as you want. I too would like it. But past experience suggests that you're unlikely to get what you want instantly, even if it is considered a good idea.


    In the meantime I could probably cook up a script that could list the artists/titles of content on the device and not in the library if either of you would find that useful.


    FWIW I'm not really questioning the desire to do things "your way", in fact I'm all for it, but sometimes understanding why someone is taking one approach may mean that others can make useful suggestions, such as a change in the workflow, that could eliminate or reduce the inconvenience of the current behaviour of the software.


    As to the 3rd gen. iPod touch issue iTunes really shouldn't attempt to sync any incompatible app in the first place, though if you have the "Automatically sync new apps" option selected I can see that a similar mechanism might be needed if there is no room to add newly downloaded apps to the device in question.



  • Brian Phillips2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for understanding. I submitted the suggestion this morning after my post (along with the suggestion that they allow us to change our usernames and not associate this community forum sign-in with our Apple ID! I can't even delete my forum account to create a new one, without deleting the Apple ID).

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,860 points)

    Yes, changing user names is another long standing bug bear. In principle you can't delete the account at all once created. Any content you've made might be useful to others. You could create a different Apple ID attached to a different email address if you desired and abandon any threads made with this one. They normally fade into obscurity pretty quickly. In rare cases the hosts may be able to change the user name, but typically only do so if the user name is objectionable or there are legitimate security concerns. I could ask them to contact you if you really wish it.




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