I have been playing with the iTunes in the Cloud beta and have experienced several issues. Wondering if anyone else has experienced this or if this is just an issue with the beta.
The main reason these problems occur is that I continue to sync my iPhone/iPod Touch with iTunes. Why? Because right now, the only way for my song play counts and my smart playlists to update on the devices is to re-sync with iTunes. As an example, I have a smart playlist that only contains songs that have not been listened to in the last 90 days, to ensure I'm listenting to music I haven't heard in some time. However, when I play songs in this playlist, they do not automatically update on the iPhone or the iPod Touch (as opposed to the original iPods). So no matter what else I may do, if I go back and restart that playlist, the songs I've just listened to will still be listed in that playlist. To update this, I sync with iTunes which then updates my play count, refreshes the playlist and syncs the update with my iPhone and iPod Touch. Enough with the background, now on to the problems being encountered.
I have the settings on both my iPhone and iPod Touch set to automatically download Apps and Music, and my iTunes is set up as well (using 10.3.1). I have purchased several applications from my iPhone for my son on his iPod Touch. Once I dowload them and ensure the app auto-downloaded to his iPod Touch and iTunes, I delete the application from my iPhone as I don't need it on my device. However, when I later sync my iPhone to update my play count/playlists, iTunes will reload the deleted applications back onto my iPhone. I'm assuming that iTunes sees it as a brand new application that I don't have and doesn't recognize that I deleted it off my device and so it reloads it. The work-around here is to remove the check under the Applications tab to automatically add new applications, but I shouldn't have to disable that. I wonder if by disabling that what will happen if my phone is off or out of range when a new app is purchased via iTunes that I do want to add. Then I would have to manually add it later via iTunes, rather than it automatically adding when I sync.
The other issue is in regards to music. Using the new Purchased link in iTunes, I reviewed all the purhcases I have made over the years from iTunes. There were several songs I found that I couldn't remember why I deleted them, so I re-downloaded them in iTunes. Since I have the check mark on both my iPhone and iPod Touch for Music downloads, these songs were downloaded to both devices as well. Excellent! However, as I perused these songs via iTunes, I recalled why I removed some of them and so I deleted them again. Once again, an issue popped up when I synced my iPhone - all of the newly auto-downloaded songs on my iPhone were synced with iTunes and those I had just deleted again were added back into iTunes. So I had to go in and delete them a second time in iTunes and then re-sync my iPhone. However, when I next synced my iPod Touch, the exact same thing happened and all the deleted songs were again added back from the iPod Touch. I had to then delete these songs for a third time out of iTunes and re-sync the iPod Touch. This makes me hesitant to have the auto-download on, as it takes more clean-up work in the event I download a song and then decide I don't like it. Of course, that might also make me more picky on my selection of music to download, which probably isn't a bad thing. But still, it shouldn't work like this. I reset all my warnings in iTunes (there should be a warning that there are purchased items on the iPhone and do I want to add them back to iTunes), but this didn't resolve the issue. I may try this again just to make sure I tested that out properly. I may have reset the warnings after the downloads, so I will update this after I try again.
Let me know if you have encountered or can recreate this issue and if there are other work-arounds to use or something different I can try.