Problems syncing iPhone with 2 Macs

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by acousticbiker, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. acousticbiker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #1
    I want to sync my music and photos at home (iMac) and everything else from work (MBP). This seems to work OK except for music and apps:

    1. Music: after I sync with my playlist at home...even though I have 'Sync Music' unchecked at work, iTunes seems to automatically change the preference to 'Sync Music' on when I plug my iPhone in. At this point, I have two undesirable options: uncheck 'Sync Music' again (but this results in the music on my iPhone being deleted) or let it sync (but I don't have any music on my work MBP, so the music on my iPhone is again deleted). The weird thing is, this behavior doesn't happen for syncing Photos (can have sync checked on my iMac but not on my MBP without any problem).

    2. Apps: I'd like to be able to sync apps on both computers. I've been syncing apps primarily with my MBP (work), but a few weeks ago synced with my iMac (home). So my iMac thinks I've got a very different set of apps than what I currently have (and what my MBP knows I have), so when I try to sync with my iMac it removes the apps that I've added since my last sync with the iMac.

    Sorry this is so confusing but it seems like it should be easier to keep the iPhone synced between two computers. Any input/help would be appreciated.
     
  2. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #2
    can't do it.

    it sucks, but you can only sync an iphone to one computer at a time.
    :mad:


    i'm in a somewhat similar situation as i'd like to get video from my desktop and day to day stuff (podcasts and the like) from my laptop, but as it is now, i have to copy video over to my laptop first, then put it on my phone.
     
  3. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    if you could export your addressbook data and calendars from your work computer and import them to your other computer you can sync it all from your iMac.
     
  4. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #4
    Thanks. It sounds like the best thing to do would be to just sync on my iMac but I can't get over the Apps thing (the iMac wants to delete apps that I've added since I last synced to it).
     
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #5
    First, make sure both computers are authorized to use the same iTunes account.

    Then, when you connect, right-click the iPhone icon, and one of the options should be "Transfer Purchases." Click that, and all the apps on your iPhone that's not on that computer should transfer.

    Also in the right-click menu is an option called "Reset Warnings." Click that, and iTunes should start asking you if you want to transfer your apps every time you connect.

    As for iTunes automatically trying to sync your music even though you don't want to sync music with that computer, try unchecking "Open iTunes when this iPod/iPhone is connected."
     
  6. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #6
    My advice would to use a service like MobileMe to keep your two macs address book and calendar in sync and then sync your iphone only at home.

    That way when you make changes to your work Mac they get pushed to your iphone and home and you can continue to sync your music from your home machine.

    Or if you don't care about having your work contacts at home just disable which parts you don't want. The service will continue to update your iphone regardless of what you don't have synced to your home mac.
     
  7. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #7
    Thanks. Your advice for the Apps part of my problem is very helpful. Regarding iTunes, however, I originally wanted to be able to sync things other than music so I did want iTunes open eventually (whether it opened right when I connected my iPhone or not).
     
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #8
    So just open iTunes manually, or have it open before you connect your Phone. :D
     
  9. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #9
    Thanks, but that really wasn't the issue. The issue is that when syncing music to one computer (and syncing to another computer without music), iTunes would essentially force me to delete my music (as described above, takes too long to repeat here). I appreciate your help.
     
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #10
    Huh, really? I'm sure I've seen other people talking about syncing music with one computer and calendar/contact with another one w/o losing their music... Not that I've ever tried it myself!
     
  11. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #11
    Yup...if you know of anyone who's actually pulled it off, I'd appreciate any tips they might have.
     
  12. SmartIndianKid macrumors regular

    SmartIndianKid

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #12
    If you jailbreak your iPhone, there's a program in the Installer.app called "SwapTunes" that basically allows your iPhone to sync with two computers.
     
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    Well, I had access to a friend's computer this afternoon, so I played around a bit. This is on two PCs and a Touch, but I don't know any reason why it shouldn't work the same for two Macs and an iPhone.

    So my Touch originally synced everything with my computer. I then hooked it up to my friend's computer and tried syncing various items, one by one. Here's what happened.

    Apps -- offers to transfer when any of the other sync commands are issued
    Contacts -- offers to merge or replace, does not disturb music/video
    Photo -- replaces photo w/o disturbing music/video
    Podcasts -- did not try, as my friend's computer did not have any podcasts, but remained undisturbed throughout
    TV Show/Movie -- syncing either of these erases music
    Music -- I left this to last, but I assume syncing music would probably erase video, but not podcast?

    I don't sync Calendar, Email or Web Bookmarks, so I couldn't test those, but I would assume they work the same as Contacts.

    I then came back to my computer and synced back my stuff, confirming the process.

    Therefore, it would seem that music/videos have to be synced to the same computer, but the other stuff you should be able to pick and choose which computer to sync with.

    I think the key is to make sure you reset messages each time you sync with a different machine, so you don't miss any of the questions/warnings about what you want iTunes to do.
     
  14. APainInTheApple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14
    I found a successful hack which allows me to use two different iTunes libraries to sync to my iPhone.

    As opposed to my iPod touch (and my older iPod Classic) I'd always been able to manually sync music from one computer and also manually sync videos from another computer. This functionality is missing from the iPhone.

    Here is the workaround:
    http://www.andrewgrant.org/2008/03/30/how-to-sync-an-iphone-with-two-or-more-computers.html

    In short, it involves locating a Unique identifier from the iTunes library your iPhone is already paired with, and then replacing the Unique ID in the other iTunes library you also want to sync with.

    For both iTunes libraries, I have them set to Manually Sync Music and Videos, which allows me to manually drag over music from one computer, and then videos from another computer, or vice-versa.
     
  15. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #15
    Well, I tried this and it still didn't work. The apps appear to have been transferring according to the progress bar, but they never appeared in the 'Applications' section in iTunes. Then when I tried to sync, iTunes removed the apps from my iPhone. Frustrating.

    I wouldn't mind just simply re-downloading everything from my home iMac, but I've got SplashID and don't want to lose my data (when iTunes removes the app on my iPhone). Also, I was fortunate enough to get Netshare before it was pulled and I can't re-download that one.
     
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #16
    Just copy the app! Right clicking on the App in iTunes should bring up a menu, with an option like "Show in Finder." This should take you to the app file -- in this case probably named something like NetShare.ipa. Copy that file and take it to your other computer, make sure the other computer is authorized with the iTunes account you used when you bought NetShare, and drag it into iTunes.
     
  17. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #17
    the reason is that it's different for the iphone. you can only sync it to one computer at a time. i've tried it. it's not like an ipod that can be used to transfer content back and forth between more then one computer.
     
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #18
    But the Touch is more like an iPhone than an iPod. Like the iPhone, it doesn't have disk mode, so you can't really use it to "transfer content back and forth between more than one computer." Unless you jailbreak it, or you install a 3rd party app like DataCase.

    Since I don't have an iPhone to test this on, if you say it works differently than a Touch in this respect, I have no choice but to believe you, but I have to say I'm really puzzled why Apple would make them behave differently in terms of syncing stuff to computers -- I can't think of a rational reason why they'll make that different, when most everything else is the same! But then Apple doesn't always make the most rational decisions, I suppose... ;)
     
  19. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #19
    yeah, if somebodies been able to do it, i'd sure like to hear about it.

    i don't have any idea why, either. i am kinda curious though.....
     
  20. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    On one of my Macs of course
    #20
    Aloha acousticbiker,

    Here's a solution that will work, although it may not be what you want to do. OWC, or Other World Computing sells 2.5" SATA HDD DIY kits with capacities up to 500GB. The beauty of it is the small form factor. All you need to do is insert the HDD into the enclosure and you're set. Then copy your iTunes folder onto the external HDD and you're set. Simply connect the external, point your Macs to the iTunes library there, and you can sync with up to five different computers. Don't forget to authorize all of them if your synced media includes purchased items.

    :apple:HawaiiMacAddict
     
  21. APainInTheApple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #21
    The workaround I linked to in my post above pretty much works seamlessly once you set it up.

    At the very minimum it allows me to manually manage my music and videos from more than one computer -- and without the iPhone prompting me to erase all of the data in order to do so.
     
  22. APainInTheApple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #22
    I remember reading an article which explained their official reasoning for this limitation iPhone was related to keeping calendar and contact information consistent during synching... which really did not make much sense to me to be honest, since on my iPod touch, I can specify which iTunes library or computer I would like to contacts and calendar synched to. Nowadays I'm synching over the air via MobileMe so that statement in particular doesn't apply either.
     
  23. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #23
    Thanks for this tip! Does anyone know whether app-specific data (like passwords, etc that I've entered into SplashID) would be transferred by the method described above? Or is that data stored in a file separate from the app file?
     
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    The ipa files never change, so I'd say that the data is stored elsewhere.
     

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