Just a little detail:
My iPad syncs fine. Everything that I want to copy over does so without problem. I get "waiting for changes to be applied" or "waiting for files to copy" for a few seconds before the process begins.
My iPhone does not sync and has this problem. (both devices are syncing the same files, the same "convert to 128kbps" option selected)
I just tried using iExplorer to copy the iTunes_Control folder from my iPad to my iPhone. I knew it might be destructive but I have a recent backup just incase things do go wrong. And it did, I needed to format. So I'm currently waiting for that to restore. So all those kooky, strange playlists that my iPhone doesn't like will sync just happily to my iPad.
I think it might have something to do with apps. I just did a complete restore-no backup, before I copied over any apps I tried to send over my entire music library and failed. I selected 3 small 100-song playlists and it worked.
I restored my main backup and before it managed to send any apps over I told it to sync just music (not even tones). And I believe it's doing it. Initially it has to sync the apps but at least there's a progress bar now. Possibly unrelated but a giant OTHER section on my iPhone's usage graph has shrunk down too. It initially showed up again just after the restore but once the sync began it shrunk down.
Tl;dr: my current theory is that there's an app(s?) corrupting/slowing down/halting the transfer.
Entirely possible... I recently updated all the apps as they got updates (seems like one a day) and I got a sync that lasted hours. That could very well be the only thing I did differently. I stopped updating the apps.
The only other thing I did was updated id3 tags related to album sort order. It's something I'll do from time to time but that normally doesn't get stuck.
I just got a notification from developer support - they say that they have addressed this bug and it will be fixed in an update.
Whether or not it's a fix for everyone, as we all seem to have different faults with patchy "it works for me!" fixes. I'm hopeful and the next update cannot come soon enough. Imagine a world where your phone plays music.
Hmm, latest iTunes update hasn't fixed it for me. The updating process was different though. It flashed up a "waiting for changes to be applied" then "waiting for items to sync" (I believe). It appeared to be doing stuff but now it's stuck on "waiting for items to copy" instead. Fingers crossed it eventually works. On my iPhone it says "Syncing data (step 6 of 6)".
Edit: iTunes crashed. Now stuck on "waiting for changes to be applied". Poo.
Apologies for replying to this thread a lot. It seems you can't edit past a certain elapsed time. Anywho more details:
There appears to be a new progress display on iTunes. "Syncing artwork to "[device]" (Step 5 of 5)" and it's taking ages. The music was completely sent over. I tracked it on the progress display on iTunes, it listed all the songs going over and the speed was as it used to be. On the device itself it stalled. When, for example, iTunes was sending over song 1,000 of 12,000 my phone would only be on song 80 of 12,000.
This used to happen before the recent update but without the song progress indicator on iTunes. As the display on my iPhone would have that same "slow sync". Except this time on iTunes it says "syncing artwork".
I left it running overnight and now I have around 999 songs on my phone. It's not my 12,000 but it's a start, yeah? I worked out it would take another 6 days to transfer everything across completely.
How has the new iTunes update been for everyone else with this problem?
This is the most annoying problem on the planet. I have had it since I bought my iPod touch a few months ago. I have tried absolutely every troubleshooting step that has been listed under this thread and I have found different ones work on different days. I have days where it takes 2 hours to get my iPod to sync and days where it takes 5 minutes. Super frustrating. I will say disabling auto sync has made the long waits less frequent. Presently I am on one of the long wait days.
I had to completely disable iCloud which is annoying since I like the backup feature. I was hoping this would be fixed by now with updates. I would like to see Apple actually acknowledge the issue and say they are at least working on it. This is making me consider going to Google Play and a non-Apple music player. The only reason I have not yet is because their music store is much less impressive. Grrr. Fix your **** Apple!
Absolutely. I've switched now. I keep an old iPhone 4S around just for curiosities sake. My phone gets used for 2 things: music and phone stuff. Not videos, games, emails or anything like that. Why would I pay £600-800 for a phone that is just a phone? Since copying music to it is an exhausting, impossible experience.
It's funny what one event like this can do. A bug is a problem and to leave it well over a year before fixing it shows a huge ineptitude. Something is wrong at Apple, be it the programmers, the managers, the systems in place to report bugs. And here we are in a 33-page forum thread with many people having the same problem. They've lost one in me now, I no longer buy an Apple product with that gleeful excitement. I buy it and wonder what has been broke to get this product to market. I've switched my phone and once my iPad goes I'll be done with tablet computing. My iMac is 3 years old, once it goes I'll just build a PC. All because it took a year for the worlds biggest computing company to fix a major problem. I know that shouldn't be such a big problem but Apple play up the experience so much that when that's gone you're not left with much.
I suggest you raise holy **** if you bought a new device. If you bought it from an Apple Store contact them repeatedly, make a case of it. Report it here https://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html and here https://bugreport.apple.com/ you've currently got a broken device, let them know it.
Hello, like so many of you, I've had this problem for ages. The solutions offered by Apple didn't help, nor did the other solutions that I tried from this and other forums.
Finally, I may (fingers crossed) have found the best solutions for me. So far the problem hasn't returned for nearly ten syncs, which is the longest run of success I've had in quite a while.
I have no clue what causes this syncing error, but it seems to relate at least in part to some sort of problem in the itunes library. Two different programs I found online deal with errors in music files in the itunes library. I don't have any connection to these programs, and can't vouch for their safety for your computer, etc. All I can tell is you is my individual experience.
One is called SuperSync. The free version of this was able to identify a number of songs that seemed to be problematic for itunes. I was able to fix some of these errors and in a few cases just deleted songs I didn't care too much about.
Unfortunately, even after getting rid of these problems, I still had the syncing issue.
That's when I found another program called MP3 Scan+Repair. This program is also free to try. It seems to analyze songs to see if there's a problem with individual songs, and then repairs them. It seemed to find a number of problems with songs that had strange bit rates -- perhaps that's part of what's causing itunes issues. Anyway, it then repaired these.
The outcome seems mostly positive. The sync still takes far too long compared to the number of songs added/removed, but it is able to successfully complete a sync, and I haven't gotten the "waiting for changes to be applied" message once. Note that the area at the top of the screen sometimes doesn't seem to show that the phone is syncing for extended periods of time, but the smaller icons and the phone itself show that it is still syncing. Eventually the top shows syncing again. Don't unplug until there is no sign of syncing anywhere, including the phone, or else you may be interrupt the syncing.
Of course, now that I've put this on here, the problem will probably return.
Hopefully this helps somebody.
Sometimes, I'm fairly sure it has nothing to do with the media. What pooches on me is that I have a handful of smart playlists that add and remove songs from the phone (64gb is only 1/2 the capacity I would need for music), and when enough songs have to be added/removed, it can take several hours... like today... I'm on vacation and haven't synced all week, weather was uncooperative, and now I want to go enjoy the sun instead of staying home, but I'm stuck here waiting for my phone to finish syncing so I can go out.... It's been 1 1/2 hours now.. it's nominally done in about 5 minutes.