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Adding music to my iPhone from a new computer

4085 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2010 4:26 PM by Daiya RSS
eugeneyk Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 13, 2010 7:48 AM
I'd like to add music to my iPhone from a new computer without erasing my entire iPhone music library.

This computer does not necessarily have all the music my iPhone has.
I did "Transfer Purchases" but there are music that I have burned from my CD collection that are not iTunes purchases, so have not been copied to my new computer.

Whenever I hit "Manually manage music and videos" like it mentions in numerous posts, it STILL says it will ERASE and re-sync my iPhone to the new computer, which I DO NOT WANT.

Is there ANY way to do this without resorting to 3rd party hacks?

Sorry if I sound frustrated but I am. I have 64GB of space on my iPhone but I seemingly can't take out music or put in music as freely as they advertise.
iPhone 3GS, iPhone OS 3.1.2
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,150 points)
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    May 13, 2010 7:58 AM (in response to eugeneyk)
    The iPhone does not support disk mode, which means you can sync or manually manage music and videos or sync iTunes content with an iTunes library on a single computer only, and transfer photos from a single computer only. You can sync contacts, calendar events, and Safari bookmarks with the supported applications on multiple computers.

    With an iPhone, you can sync all iTunes content, or manually manage music and videos with an iTunes library on a single computer only. You can do one or the other with an iTunes library on a single computer only, not both at the same time. If you have Sync Music selected and want to switch to manually manage music and videos or vice-versa, all iTunes content on the iPhone will be erased first.

    Transfer your iTunes library from your old computer to your new computer along with all other important data that you need or want to access on your new computer.

    Please provide a link to an iPhone advertisement - television or print that advertises anything of the kind? Anyone that has used an iPod is familiar with this, but most iPods support disk mode. The iPhone does not likely for security reasons which isn't important or a concern with an iPod.
     MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo/2.53GHz/4GB RAM/500GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.3),  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 3G 16GB
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (91,410 points)
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    May 13, 2010 9:22 AM (in response to eugeneyk)
    This is what I do: I have three computers, one of which I travel with. The itunes libraries are identical on all three computers. That way, I can sync new content will traveling. Does my phone get erased? Yes, but it's no big deal since the libraries are identical, the same content gets put back on. Perfect? No, but it works for me. When I get back home, again the libraries are made identical.
    MacBook Pro
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,950 points)
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    May 13, 2010 1:25 PM (in response to eugeneyk)
    eugeneyk wrote:
    Thanks for the clarification. I guess I assumed that the sync content articles were both for iPod and the iPhone but now I realize they are not.

    Still, am I the only one that feels frustrated by this choice?
    So basically for the 3 or 4 months I am out of the country and away from my desktop where my iPhone is synced to, I am completely unable to add music to my iPhone unless it is via the iPhone iTunes app?

    If I pickup a CD from Germany not listed on the US iTunes, like it, and wish to listen to it on my iPhone, basically I can't unless 1) I completely erase my entire iPhone music library to listen to this one CD, or 2) I get back to my desktop at home in 3 or 4 months.

    It really isn't as hard as the nay-sayers would have it.

    *Step 1: Purchase a portable USB drive big enough to hold your entire library with some room to spare.*
    *Step 2: Make sure all your media is within the standard iTunes Music or iTunes Media folder and this in turn is inside the iTunes folder containing your library database.*
    *Step 3: Copy the entire iTunes folder to the portable drive.*

    You can now take your library with you when you go away. You can connect the external drive and open the library on any computer running the same operating system and version of iTunes using the SHIFT-launch iTunes method. (I believe it's even possible to switch from PC to Mac & vice versa but that's another story).

    When you get back from your travels you could just copy your updated library and the files you bought/added while you were away back to your desktop computer. This however is easier said than done because then you need to know just which files need to be copied. You can start at the outset by cloning the two sets of folders using SyncToy 2.1 on a PC or something equivalent for the Mac. This replaces Step 3 above. Yes, I could have started with this version but I wanted to establish that all you need to do is copy everything to something portable. You don't even have to go back to using your desktop's copy of your library. Oh, by the way, whichever way you do it, you'll now have a complete backup of your library - a wise move if I may say so.

    A further complication than can arise when you have multiple instances of your library is that it is possible to update each version independently of the other. To make sure that your active library is up-to-date with any additons or removals made in another instance it pays to scan your library folders occasionaly with something like iTunes Folder Watch.

    Provided your library is properly organised (Step 2) it can be at different drives/locations on different machines - iTunes will use relative paths from the library to access each file. If yours isn't already like this then you'll need to consolidate your library. Since you'll be using the library your iPhone already syncs with you won't get any dire warnings and only new/updated files will need to be copied to the device. Things don't work this way for wjosten as he has created his libraries independently, each therefore has a different *Library Persistent ID* and is thus seen as different from the library the iPhone/iPod was previously synced to. I suspect he also has to do more work keeping his playlists and selections the same on different machines - cloning the one library gets rid of the hassle.

    The one bit of media that doesn't follow this computer-neutral pattern is the selection of a folder to sync photos from as this is mapped to a specific computer. However it is easy enough to change this path as required and, unless you change the path, any pictures already on the device will remain in place when you sync at a different computer. I use a folder at ...\iTunes\iTunes Media\Photos so the folder is cloned along with my other media.

    I sync my contacts & calendars with Exchange but, as far as I'm aware, Contacts, Calendars, Notes, etc. also work in a machine specific way so you can safely sync your iPhone with your mobile copy of the library at a different computer without affecting these items.

    Obviously you will also need to authorise any computer you use to your iTunes account before you can update your iPhone otherwise protected content, media & apps, would be removed.

    tt2
    Various PCs, Windows XP Pro, iPhone3GS 3.1.3, 160Gb 1.1.2/2.0.4, 30Gb 1.3, Nano 1.4 - iTunes 9.1.1.11
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2010 2:33 PM (in response to eugeneyk)
    Oh I agree it should be easier than it is, though your iPhone/iPod should never hold the only copy of your media. On my old iRiver I simply cloned my media files to the device, folder structure et al, and it just worked. However iTunes has only ever been able to sync iPods & iPhones with a single library and then only in one direction, from iTunes to the iPod/iPhone. Manual management on multiple machines, which some models of iPod support, has other drawbacks. The workaround I have given obviates the need for manual management and is simple enough in practice.

    In the second version of Step 3 I forgot to mention that you can then mirror any two copies of your library whenever you have you exteral drive connected to another machine that has a local clone. I do this both at home and work so there are three identical copies of the library, each of which is fully functional.

    It takes about 10 mins for SyncToy to compare the local & external versions of my largish library when I plug it in at home or work. Only new or updated files need adding or overwriting so that doesn't usually take long. Occasionaly I do some housekeeping with iTunes Folder Watch or other scripts I have to check everything has artwork or arranged the way I want it. If I get the urge to buy some music at work or just download a podcast I can update my iPhone for the cycle journey home. My library is always ready to work with and I always have up-to-date backups into the bargin.

    tt2

    Anyway, time to cycle home. I'll try to keep an eye on this thread in case you need any more info. on putting it into practice
    Various PCs, Windows XP Pro, iPhone3GS 3.1.3, 160Gb 1.1.2/2.0.4, 30Gb 1.3, Nano 1.4 - iTunes 9.1.1.11
  • edgard25 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2010 3:47 AM (in response to Allan Sampson)
    I am new with Itunes and my Iphone 3GS.
    My two basic questions are:
    How can I trnasfer music that I have in my ITunes to my IPhone?
    How can I have in my Iphone several radio stations that I listen often from Itunes? I have Vita Microsoft
    3GS, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2010 5:31 AM (in response to edgard25)
    With your iPhone connected to iTunes and available in the iTunes source list, select your iPhone under Devices in the iTunes source list to make the various tabs for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes available in the main iTunes window.

    Select the Music tab for your iPhone sync preferences and select Sync Music. Options below are all music and playlists, or selected playlists, artists, genres. Make your selections followed by a sync.

    You can't have radio stations you listen to in iTunes on your computer transferred to your iPhone. The music via the radio stations in iTunes on your computer is streamed over the internet.

    There are some 3rd party apps available via the iTunes app store that do the same for the iPhone.
     MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo/2.53GHz/4GB RAM/500GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.3),  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 3G 16GB
  • kflach Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2010 11:54 AM (in response to Allan Sampson)
    I'm in a similar situation except my problem was caused by losing hard drives. My daughter's iPhone was synced to my wife's iBook, which has recently gone through two hard drives. We're trying again to get it fixed but may have to get a new computer instead. She wanted to transfer some of my non-iTunes music from my computer to her iPhone yesterday. I couldn't select "Manually manage music..." without erasing the contents of her iPhone.

    I don't want her to permanently sync to my computer. When we finally get the old laptop working (or get a new one), that's the one she'll use permanently so we'll have to go through all of this all over again. She doesn't use any of the address book, calendar, or other features and only has a couple of free apps on her phone, so none of that is an issue. We just want to be able to add music to the iPhone (and manage it manually).

    I'm extremely frustrated that Apple hasn't allowed for the undeniable reality that computers sometimes crash or die and the contents of the hard drives get lost. Even the items that are backed up won't always be replaced from the same computer. Heck, even if we get the old computer running again it'll be like a different computer since the hard drive will be completely replaced. Apple seems to be saying "if your computer dies we're gonna kill your iPhone, too, unless you buy an automatic back up system that backs things up immediately after you put them onto your computer. Even then we're going to make you go through the trouble of wiping your iPhone and then having to reload everything back on to it"

    Obviously I'm frustrated. It's looking like I'm going to have to get an app that'll download the existing music off her iPhone (if such a thing exists for iPhones????), download what she's got onto my computer. Sync her iPhone to my computer. Select "manually manage music..." on my computer. And then do everything over when we get a repaired or new laptop.

    It would sure be nice if you could just log into iTunes from the same account used on the old computer (with your iPhone plugged in), get a dialog box that says "Do you want to sync to this computer?" Click a "No thank you I just want to manually manage my music" button and then temporarily use a different computer to add music to your iPhone (we've tried this and it doesn't work).

    p.s. If Apple uses that idea, I volunteer to be in the commercial. It's not anywhere as stupid as the "Duh, I want my computer to be easier to use" stuff used in those Windoze commercials." In fact, it's a lot more specific and useful. I can even do a fake French accent.
    Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2010 12:14 PM (in response to kflach)
    I'm extremely frustrated that Apple hasn't allowed for the undeniable reality that computers sometimes crash or die and the contents of the hard drives get lost.


    This is what maintaining a backup is for, which Apple allows with Time Machine along with a Time Capsule - a combination wireless router and internal hard drive for a cloned backup.

    Even the items that are backed up won't always be replaced from the same computer.


    Not sure what this means.

    Heck, even if we get the old computer running again it'll be like a different computer since the hard drive will be completely replaced.


    Makes no difference whatsoever in regards to maintaining a backup for the important data on your computer's backup.

    Apple seems to be saying "if your computer dies we're gonna kill your iPhone, too, unless you buy an automatic back up system that backs things up immediately after you put them onto your computer. Even then we're going to make you go through the trouble of wiping your iPhone and then having to reload everything back on to it"


    Baloney, but making use of an automatic backup system which Apple includes with Time Machine is smart - especially if the data on your computer's hard drive is important.

    My MBP's hard drive failed a couple of months ago, which remains under warranty. The hard drive was replaced at a local Apple store within a couple of hours and when I first turned my MBP on when arriving home, I was prompted to restore data from an existing backup, with my Time Machine backup provided as an option. I selected my Time Machine backup and without a couple of hours or so, my MBP was completely restored including all settings, data, and 3rd party apps. My iPhone was not erased of all iTunes content the first time I synced my iPhone with iTunes after my MBP was completely restored from my Time Machine Backup.

    When I purchased my MBP last summer, I used my external drive that I was using at the time for my backup to transfer my iTunes library - the iTunes named folder from my Power Book to my MBP. My iPhone was not erased of all iTunes content the first time I synced my iPhone with iTunes on my MBP, and the same for photos transferred from my computer since I transferred my iPhoto library from my backup drive.

    The iPhone does not support disk mode as with most iPods, which is why transferring iTunes content from more than one computer is not supported. This is likely for security reasons which is not important with an iPod. Nothing can be installed on an iPhone from a received email, from a website, or from a received MMS except for a photo which can be done manually only, so no concern about malware or spyware. The only reports about malware have been with a hacked/jailbroken iPhone, which allows for downloading and installing unofficial software from unknown and untrusted sources.
     MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo/2.53GHz/4GB RAM/500GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.3),  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 3G 16GB
  • kflach Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2010 2:13 PM (in response to Allan Sampson)
    If I could afford new computers, OS's, Time Machine, etc the situation would be different, but I'm among the many people who can't. Some of us have not had the same increase in income over the last few years that Apple has had. I'm thrilled that they've been successful; I've been a die-hard Apple fanatic since the mid 80s (I still am a die-hard fanatic, even though this particular scenario frustrates the heck out of me). I guarantee if I could have I would have updated our computers a long time ago.

    I understand how apps might be a danger to the security of an iPhone, but photos and music formats aren't executable, and if they are transferred via iTunes onto an iPhone they shouldn't pose a security threat. iTunes identifies what things are before it adds them to it's library, so it should easily be able to say, "if mp3, then allow transfer to iPhone. Else don't transfer and show warning dialog box."

    I do back up the data on my computers regularly to an external hard drive. When we get the existing laptop fixed (or buy a new one) I'll transfer everything to it and provide a new home for my daughter's (and wife's) files. I'll be able to do exactly what you did, to a degree. Unfortunately my latest back up is just over a month old and my daughter has bought a bunch of music (and taken pictures) since then. I'm not griping about the things we've lost already. I'm not even griping about the songs she can't download again even though we can document that she paid for them at the iTunes store. I understand that that's just the nature of things (of course, so is the fact that not everyone can afford new OS's or hardware on a regular basis).

    I am, however, griping about the things we're probably going to lose off my daughter's iPhone and the extra work I'm going to have to do. Not because she did something wrong. Not because the iPhone was defective (we LOVE our iPhones). Not because the old laptop is dying. Not because we didn't pay for the items. It's because Apple programmed it that way. Once again, I must admit I find it extremely difficult to imagine that MP3s and JPGs pose a credible threat to the security of the iPhone, considering how fantastic the Apple Software engineers are.

    Many of us Apple fanatics have multiple computers. It seems senseless that we have to transfer images or music we legally create on one to another just to transfer it to our iPhones. That extra work is quite contrary to the simple elegance that's generally an integral part of Apple products.


    ----
    The second statement (you said "Not sure what this means") refers to situations where you have data that was backed up while you were using one computer ("Computer A"). You get rid of that particular computer and replace it with a new one ("Computer B"). You encounter a situation where you need to reload your iPod/iPhone so you transfer the files you backed up while they were being used on Computer A onto your new computer (Computer B) and then reload them from there (Computer B) onto your iPod/iPhone . In other words, you don't always reload your iPod/iPhone from Computer A. I hope that's clearer. It's just a minor point.

    ----
    I hope I don't come across as sarcastic or patronizing or anything like that. And I'm a proud native citizen of the Lone Star State!
    Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2010 2:33 PM (in response to kflach)
    Sorry, but way too long to read.

    At the end of the day - with or without an iPhone, it is YOUR responsibility and YOUR responsibility ONLY to maintain a regular backup for the important data stored on your computer's hard drive - a regular backup performed after any important data has changed - especially purchased data, not done once a month or once every 6 months since a hard drive can have a partial or complete failure at any time. This IS NOT Apple's responsibility - no way, no shape, no how, and the iPhone IS NOT designed or intended to be used as a backup storage device.

    The iPhone does not support disk mode, and this isn't likely to change. You should plan and act accordingly.
     MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo/2.53GHz/4GB RAM/500GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.3),  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 3G 16GB
  • Daiya Level 4 Level 4 (1,655 points)
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    May 17, 2010 4:26 PM (in response to kflach)
    It's looking like I'm going to have to get an app that'll download the existing music off her iPhone (if such a thing exists for iPhones????),


    Not supported by Apple, but you can google for third-party applications. PhoneView is one.

    It may be easier to set up a user account for her on your laptop if you want to keep the two separate, although iTunes will handle multiple phones/ipods fine.
    MacBook Pro 2ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.8), first-gen iPhone, MobileMe

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