I am continuing to experience this issue and have read the posts on this issue fairly thoroughly. A lot of people experiencing this have widely ranging ways in which they have setup their devices, and supposed solutions likewise range widely. I've encountered the issue when connecting both iPad and iPod touch devices via USB cable to my computer multiple times, devices ranging from iOS 4 to iOS 6. This seems to be a serious flaw in iTunes, not necessarily iOS.
I minimize my sync settings on all devices: all automatic syncing turned off except for Apps, with devices set to manually manage music and videos.
The main problem for me is that soon after this problem occurs, all of the music on the device is erased. This exhibits as a broken link icon for every single music file. I then have to individually remove each file from the device and add it back to the proper playlist, setting metadata for the file. This process takes about four days. Today is the sixth time in the last two months this problem has occurred. Dealing with music on my iPod touch is a huge chore and no longer fun. I hesitate to use it.
All my files are backed up elsewhere, so I really never lose the files, but I do lose listening metadata. I consider this a severe data loss bug that continues to plague iOS/iTunes, and I can no longer trust my iOS devices as my main music player.
Does anyone else encountering this issue have their device set to manually manage music and experience loss of files?
I wonder if iTunes 11 fixes this issue. There are many reports of many bugs in iTunes 11, but if it fixes this bug then it's worth it for me.
I am fairly confident I know what causes this. I had the same problem after I updated my iPhone 3GS to iOS 5 in January 2012. Certain media files would not sync and remain greyed out in the drop down list under the device, regardless of whether I synced my entire library or manually managed it. The problem remained even when I bought a new MacBook Air, a new iPhone 4S, updated my iOS software, and updated iTunes. The only constant that remained was the library database itself. Therein lies the problem.
If you read these threads, a lot of people will talk about voice memos, photos, e-books, etc. They'll say "I got rid of an old voice memo and the problem went away!" Someone else will say "I got rid of an old e-book and problem solved!" The corruption is occuring in the library itself or in how iOS is communicating with the library files. I think it's probably the later, as I rebuilt my .itl library file after exporting my library to an .xml file and that didn't fix it. What did resolve the problem was removing from my iPhone all the older music I had added to my itunes library prior to the upgrade to iOS 5. Once I did that, the sync completed without problem. I accomplished this by only syncing checked songs and then removing the check mark from everything that was over a year old.
Much like others with their voice memos and e-books, I believe the problem relates to media files added to your itunes library prior to the upgrade to iOS 5. Which media files are causing the problem varies from user to user. For myself, it was music and not simply one file. Many of my music files seemed to create the error. Thus, I removed them all from my iphone.
The problem will reoccur if u simply delete the media file from the library and then add it back. The library, or how iOS manages the library, seems to retain memory of whatever is corrupting the process. I am content with leaving out my older music at this time, since i've played out most of those songs anyway.
I suspect a permanent solution would be to set up a completely new itunes library. I haven't done that yet, as i'm still hoping Apple will come through with a fix eventually.
But don't bother restoring your phone. It's time consuming and won't fix it.
One caveat -- I never tried an iOS restore and then set up the phone as new, as that was an unacceptable option to me. I didn't want to lose all my previous text, call, and app history. However, deleting old backups, creating new, and restoring from them -- which I did do -- has no effect.
I hope this helps.
These problems seem to occur so frequently that I don't back up / sync very often.
Yet again it is stuck. Took 3 attempts to start the sync.
Apple products are supposed to be user friendly. However, based on my experiences syncing iPhone 4s and iPad 2 I am unlikely to buy Apple next time. When it is time to upgrade I will probably go for Samsung Galaxy / Android.
Sorry Apple, I like your products but life is too short to spend so much time trying to resolve problems.
Thanks erikdc - that pointed me in the right direction. I had this on a Vista PC, but lived with it because I was upgrading to a new Win7 PC. Problem was, I got the same issue on a fresh install of iTunes. If anything, it was worse, as a sync never finished, even after leaving it for 24 hours once. iTunes would then show "Cancelling Sync" until I rebooted the PC.
So I reset the phone, restored from a backup and turned off syncing of everything except Outlook and Apps: the problem has now gone. All I need to do is turn syncing back on one piece at a time and see what causes the issue...
I recently started getting this problem and was baffled. On my phone, I went into Settings, selected General information and selected "iTunes Wi-Fi Sync". That's when I found that it was my ring tones that were hanging up the sync. My sync worked fine once I deselected all things under the Tones tab and hit "apply".
Additionally, I re-selected my Tones and re-synced to test if the problem reoccured. It did not. Sync worked fine, and my phone kept the ringtones assigned to selected contacts.
At this point, I don't know if the problem will reoccur over time, but the solution worked in the meantime.
OSX 10.7.5 (OS current as of time of writing)
iTunes 11.0.4 (4)
iPad III 64GB (42GB free)
iOS 6.1.3 (current as of time of writing)
I do NOT synch
Synch hangs at "waiting for changes to be applied",
if I cancel using small 'x'
I have left this for 4 days (96hrs untouched) with no change at eithe stage.
IF I change an option, e.g. turn on book sync, turn ot off, then I can restart sync - with the same results as aobve
So....... that knock the delete tones, music etc osuggestions
I was almost at the point of restoring to factory settings, and my PC told me to turn off the Find my IPad / IPhone.
You do this by:
1. Go to Settings on your device.
2. Go to iCloud
3. Go to Find my IPad / IPhone
4. Choose turn off.
At this point I tried one last time to sync. As I was fed up of it going through the motions and then getting stuck on the last step I clicked off the IPad and left it to it, and thought I'd go to the ITunes store tab, and download anything I'd bought from the IPad on to the computer that way, before restoring to factory settings. As I looked up the screen, I suddenly saw my IPad syncing. (This is 5 hours after I first started trying...). I can only assume turning the Find My IPad / IPhone thing was what was needed.
Thanks all for posting their experiences - it is good to pool ideas here. It's just a pity Apple don't comment on their own forum threads. Quick enough to take our money though...
I'll post in all discussions I previously posted in or read about this matter as no solution have worked for me.
Even though iTunes and iPod music and video syncing are the essence of having both, it's obvious since iOS 5 that Apple has no intention of fixing this bug (well, lets be optimistic and just think it' just taking lots of time like some previous posts say). So in the mean time, or maybe forever:
I think I have a temporary "alternate solution" which many people probably already do, but which I just thought of. Here goes.
-Forget about "Syncing" music and videos and use "Manually manage music and videos" in the Summary Tab in iTunes when your iPod is connected to your computer.
-Uncheck "Sync Music" in the music tab.
-Uncheck "Sync Films" in the film tab.
-Now sync the iPod.
-When you hit the iPods triangle (drop down) in iTunes side pane, you can click on "Music" and see if it has all been erases. I my case, some of the music was still there (since syncing doesn't work) and I had to take song by song and hit "Command - Delete". Same for videos.
-Then, drag and drop either the music you want directly from iTunes to the iPod icon in the left pane of iTunes or even playlists. I think this works with genres too. The additions will immediatly start to transfer without syncing and you'll see them adding to the iPod. Same for videos.
-Resyncing then worked without any latency with messages like "Waiting for changes to be applied" or "Waiting for items to copy".
Of course, if you make changes in iTunes (add music, delete, change genres, stars, etc.), you'll have to make them manually in the iPod or manually delete the old content in iPod et drag again back in from iTunes.
Hope this helps a few people.
I'm going this way for a while.
As for Podcasts that were also not syncing, I also found a workaround although a bit different.