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"Ghost" Songs Create Sync Error in iTunes

19757 Views 36 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2014 10:25 PM by xoxoboi24 RSS
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rockmyplimsoul Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 13, 2012 1:51 PM
  • CDMA iPhone 4 w/ iOS 5.01 (since the day it was released)
  • Auto-sync to select playlists (either over wi-fi or USB)
  • Windows7, iTunes 10.5, only one iTunes account for this library
  • Backing up to iCloud (as of yesterday) but not using iTunes Match


Recent purchases I've made directly to my iPhone have been creating "ghost" entries on my iPhone -- they're not visible on the iPhone until connected to iTunes and I open the iPhone contents (see screen shot below).  Each one of these ghost entries are grayed out and have what looks like a sync wheel next to them which doesn't move.  Each time I sync to iTunes the iPhone displays an error message saying that "9 items failed to sync, see iTunes" (no error number).  These 9 items are the tracks of the album "Canyon" which are the ones that appear as ghost entries, although the number of errored songs sometimes includes two other iPhone purchases.


This started after purchasing this album and tried to transfer it to my library later that night.  I did not get an error message, but my library showed these same grayed out ghost entries, which are not playable.  I tried to re-sync and they still didn't transfer, nor did they go after selecting "Transfer Purchases" from the iTunes menu.  On iCloud they showed up as already downloaded to my computer and my iPhone.  So I manually deleted the entries in my library, and from my iPhone by swiping each song left to right.  I re-downloaded the album from iCloud to my computer.  Great, no ghosts.  I sync'd the songs to my iPhone, but now I have two entries for each song (as in the shot below) and I get this error message from iTunes on each sync.  On the iPhone itself there is only one copy of each song, I only see the ghost entries while connected to iTunes.


This isn't a show-stopper, but annoying since two other purchases are occasionally showing up as ghost entries.  So far I have done the following with no success:


  • Reset, Restored from Backup, Restored then installed backup
  • Changed sync settings to not sync music at all, then sync'd to remove all music, then reversed the process to put it back on
  • Went into Settings/ General/ Usage/ Music/ and swiped across "All Music" and selected Delete


The only thing I have not done, which I'm trying to avoid, is doing a restore as new iPhone ... I don't want to re-do all my settings, especially if the ghosts only come back.

Any suggestions?


Ghost Songs.jpg

iPod touch, Windows 7, "Cogito, ergo iPod." (I Think, Therefore iPod)
  • MED1975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 12:28 PM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I'm having the exact same issue, but logging out of iTunes and back in has not fixed it for me....

  • eJennifer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 3:32 PM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I have this problem as well, but, the recommended fixes above did not help.


    I have erased my Music from the iPhone via the Settings | Usage | Music slider and logged out of iTunes via Settings | Store.  I confirmed the music was deleted in Settings | General | About.  Then I resynchronized to my PC which contains 474 music files.  I completed these steps twice.  The first time, ~30 songs did not transfer to my phone.  The second time, ~70 songs did not transfer to my phone.  I ejected the phone from my PC/iTunes and manually downloaded the missing "Purchased" media from my iPhone.  Now my phone has 474 songs as displayed in Settings | General | About.  I see no "ghost" entries in my Songs list.


    When I reconnect my phone to my PC, iTunes shows under my Devices section that I have 553 songs on my phone which is the total of 474 actual songs + 79 "ghost" entries.  In iTunes, I navigate to Music and click "Sync".  I still have 474 songs on my iPhone, but, the list under "Devices" has not changed.


    As a sidenote, I have uninstalled/re-installed iTunes on my PC which is running Windows 7.


    Any suggestions are appreciated!

  • eJennifer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 4:20 PM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I do not have a "Manually Added Items" in my Music options.


    I was logged out of iTunes on both the PC and the iPhone when I synced.  After I deleted the music and logged out of iTunes, I powered the phone off/on.  I did not do a "Reset" - I will try that next.

  • eJennifer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 5:10 PM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I did the steps described above except with a Reset instead of powering off the phone and I'm closer, but, not quite there.


    I cleaned up my Music Library earlier and now have 465 music files/songs on my PC.  When I view my Devices | Music list, I now have 464 total songs.  385 are actually on my iPhone and there are 79 "ghost" entries.  I cannot see any consistency in the files which didn't sync other than they were all purchased via iTunes - some recently and others several years ago.  I checked "Get Info" on a few of the good entries versus ghost entries and I cannot find anything that would make them unique.  In some cases, the files are stored within the same folder on the PC.

  • robertfrombarnard castle Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2012 10:56 AM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    Same problem here, no luck with any of the above suggestions and i've got 1683 of them on my iPhone, not happy.

  • robertfrombarnard castle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2012 11:59 AM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I'm using 10.6.1 but it was like this one the previous version of iTunes too.


    I've been on with it all day and tried just about everything apart from a complete to new restore, I really don't want to have to do this but at the moment looks like the only way to get rid of them. There's a few puchased through iTunes but the majority are all imported to iTunes from CDs and such.


    I use iTunes match but have tried auto sync and just manual too. The most progress I have managed to get is to delete most but 35 songs (which are a mix of iTunes bought and CD) but then as soon as I sync the iphone again they all come stright back.

  • savage panda Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 10:37 AM (in response to rockmyplimsoul)

    I'm having problems with songs I downloaded on computer and tried to transfer to phone.  The "ghost" songs I'm seeing on my iPhone have a symbol on them that's a circle with a square in the middle, looking like a stop button.  they are a duplicate for working tracks.  Is this similar to what you saw?  I'm able to click on them, but the song doesn't play.  The time stays at 0:00.


    1.  I can't swipe to delete like other tracks.

    2.  I need to go into iTunes and check the manual load section.

    3.  In some cases, the original download of the track on my laptop had an error, and created the issue on my iPhone.  However, I don't think I've had a problem with all the tracks coming up with this icon.

    4.  I've tried deleting the working tracks, syncing and then reloading...but the working tracks don't delete.


    Any ideas?

  • savage panda Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 10:53 AM (in response to savage panda)

    Here's an image.



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