How to Sync iMac with both iPhone and AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rittchard, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I thought I read a description of this somewhere here but couldn't find it again. I'm running iTunes from an iMac.

    My problem is I (clearly) don't want the same content on both the phone and the AppleTV. The phone I had first so I presently have selected only the things for the phone as a default when I open iTunes. When I hooked up the AppleTV, I guess it defaulted to automatic sync, but it seemed to want to do its own thing. I'm not sure exactly what criteria it was using to choose what to sync, so eventually I shut down the autosync - but then for some reason it just wiped everything off the AppleTV.

    Now I'm afraid to try sync-ing again without having a better understanding how best to do this.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
  2. neven macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Not sure what exactly you're trying to accomplish...

    iPhone syncing and AppleTV syncing have nothing to do with each other. You can set up what movies, TV shows, music, etc. to sync to each.

    As for not wanting the same data synced to both, I'm not really sure if you mean

    a) You don't want the same exact data synced to both, or
    b) You don't want any overlap; if it's on AppleTV, it shouldn't be on iPhone

    a) doesn't make sense, because you sync each separately. b) might be possible if you arrange your playlists correctly, but I don't see why you'd want it.

    I guess we could use some more info about what you're trying to do...
  3. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    OK, sorry if it wasn't clear, I have to say for the first time with an Apple product I'm a little confused myself. I was under the impression that as you said, the syncing for each device would be completely separate and isolated. Maybe I'm still doing something wrong.

    The way it currently is, when I open iTunes everything by default seems to be exactly the way I left it for the iPhone. So I have certain songs, TV shows, videos, etc. set to sync and nothing else.

    When I got the Apple TV involved, I allowed it to auto-Sync, and it seemed to pick and choose items to sync. I'm not 100% sure what logic it was using, but it clearly wasn't syncing everything, and it also wasn't syncing only what was selected for the iPhone. So I de-selected the auto-Sync, hoping I could manually tell it exactly what I want to sync. At that point it seemed to wipe everything off the Apple TV and I stopped the process.

    So now I'm not sure exactly what to do. If I start manually selecting and de-selecting items to sync when iTunes starts up, how does it know this is what I want for the Apple TV and NOT for the iPhone? Do I need to make sure the Apple TV is on first? If I turn on the Apple TV does it automatically bring up a different/unique set of selections in iTunes (independent of the iPhone settings which seem to be selected by default)?
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    AppleTV will show up in iTunes on the left side of the window just like an iPod. Click on it. At this point, there will be tabs in the main iTunes window. Clicking on a tab will let you set the preferences for that category (movies, music, photos, etc.). You can tell it to sync only the items you're interested in.
  5. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    You have not setup ATV as a syncing device, but a streaming device. I am at work right now, but I am pretty sure you need to delete the ATV (from prefrences) and re-add it to iTunes. When doing this select Sync vs. Stream. Someone else that is fresh with this jump in, you either do it via ATV or iTunes.

    When you have it setup correctly you will clearly see ATV on the left side.
  6. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Thx for the responses. I've definitely seen the ATV on the left before, though sometimes it's been problematic and disappears sporadically.

    The last time I had it selected was when I told it I wanted to manually sync things... not sure this is the right way to do it though. That's when I guess it decided to delete everything it had previously copied over :(

    I guess I'm still confused though. Just because it shows up on the left, it doesn't change what I have in the base iTunes in terms of items I've selected to sync. AFAIK, that stays constant, and those are all the selections I made for the iPhone. Sorry if I'm making this more complicated than it should be. I'm starting to think I should just bite the bullet and sync the iPhone on a different computer and keep everything separate.
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    That shouldn't be necessary. Sync settings for each device (phone & TV) are - or should be - completely independent. Something isn't right with your setup.

    Are you unchecking each individual song/video in iTunes? If you are, that's not the way to do it. That may be why you're getting the same content on both devices.

    I independenly sync two iPhones, 3 shuffles, an AppleTV, a nano and a 5G iPod all off the same Mac - each with their own content.
  8. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Did you read my post above? I explain what you need to do, but it sounds like you didn't try that.
  9. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I did do this and it was the start of all the problems...

    I'm fairly convinced now that I have either a borked unit or a borked sync/software issue on the iMac. Something is seriously borked lol.

    Last night I went through the process again. Linked the unit to the computer with the number code, then selected "Choose what to sync". I picked a couple specific movies and TV shows and for songs a few playlists. Syncing then proceeds but I get an error popup. Eventually it lists 100 issues because of something having to do with iTunes account. I click on that and it then proceeds to start over from scratch!!
    After a couple times doing this, I finally decide I'm not going to touch it.

    After many hours it's finished syncing and I check the Apple TV to see what has transpired. 1 of 2 movies is there, but the movie I purchased recently on the unit is GONE. Not a single TV show is there. A few songs (chosen seemingly at random) are there. At first I thought it was only things I hadn't bought from the iTunes store - but that's not the case at all, it was a complete mix of things I had purchased directly from iTunes and things I hadn't.

    Pretty much a mess at this point. Again, I am unsure if it is the Apple TV unit itself screwing things up, or something messed up with iTunes on the iMac. FWIW, syncing with my iPhone I'd had slight problems in the past, but nothing even close to this.

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