Songs won't sync from iTunes to my 4S?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thomamon, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. thomamon macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Flemington, NJ
    Not sure what is happening, but I realized a bunch of my songs won't sync to my phone. I notice a discrepancy between what my phone says and what iTunes says.

    In iTunes it says my phone has 4721 songs, but synced on my phone it says there are only 4245... So we are missing over 500 songs that aren't even as listed on my phone.

    Any idea what could be wrong?
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    In iTunes when you select the 4S, go to the Music tab - is "Entire music library" selected? If so, go to Music (in your iTunes library), click on the check mark next to the "Name" column header (to sort by checked music) and scroll to the bottom. Any unchecked music won't sync.
  3. thomamon, Nov 13, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011

    thomamon thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Flemington, NJ
    Yes, Entire music library is selected...

    On the main menu I have it set sync only checked songs.

    I have a total of 6318 songs in my collection, 4721 of which are checked to sync. My phone only has 4245 on them.

    I just went to purchased songs in iTunes on my iPhone and they won't come up there either.


    Same thing happened on my wifes iPhone, same songs... It seems like it is most of my songs I purchased in iTunes?

    I removed a few of the songs that were not there and went into purchased in iTunes on my phone. Went to look at songs not on this phone, and they weren't coming up even tho I just removed them. So I went to All purchased songs found them and told them to download them again.

    Now they are showing up on my phone. But I still have a bunch of songs missing.

    Is there anyway to tell the phone to download all the previously purchased songs? I am about to go test a sync again and see what happens.
  4. Ozzygt macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    You may want to double check if the songs on your itunes library have same folder location as before. Sometimes itunes does not indicate which songs it cannot find until you select them. Songs in your library that itunes can't locate, won't be synced to your iphone.
    Just check that all the songs play correctly.
  5. thomamon thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Flemington, NJ
    They are all in iTunes and have no problem playing them in there. Should of stated that. That is what makes this so odd.
  6. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    I recently got a refurb replacement 32GB 3GS via applecare and have got the same problem when added music manually - I think it's an iOS5 thing.

    I can see on the iphone's music list that some items are greyed out and have a circular 'sync' symbol next to them. deleting this off the iphone and then adding the track again seems to solve it, but when trying to put 15GB of music back it's very annoying!
  7. thomamon thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Flemington, NJ
    How did you delete it? I tried removing it from the phone and then adding it back, it didn't work. I had to remove it and download from iCloud.
  8. thomamon thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Flemington, NJ
    After more discovering I have definitely confirmed this is some sort of a bug.

    Today I discovered if I actually do a search from the search screen the song comes up. So apparently it is on the phone, just not coming up in Music.

    Who do you report a bug like this to?
  9. Jordan921 macrumors 601


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
    Apple support forums.
  10. retep1515 macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2012
    Fixed it very easily.

    I had this very same problem and diagnosed it as a glitch with iTunes. You're not doing anything wrong. After much trial and error I have resolved an extremely simple and non file-altering fix. What I did firstly is instead of selecting "Entire Music Library", under sync music on your device's tab on iTunes I chose "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres". I then went in and selected all of my music by hand (yes, your hand will be sore after this, but you need to do this). I then realized that when I sync everything but the playlists my music library syncs fine. That means iTunes has a problem with playlists. I then noticed that for each album I was having trouble with there was a playlist with that title! To sum it up, If you sync up a playlist with the same title as an album it will confuse iTunes. Unfortunately, this means you may only be able to use playlists that are built into iTunes (the ones with the gear icons). select only those under the genre section along with everything in all other sections and your device should be complete.


    1. Select "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres" instead of "Entire Music Library" on your device's music tab in iTunes.
    2. Select Every artist, album, genre, and playlist except the playlists not marked with a gear.
    3. Press apply and your device should have all of it's music.

    Hope I helped! :)
  11. jessicahae macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2012
    I am having the same problem as the first person, i've tried all of your solutions and suggestions and so far no luck. i'm missing just over 250 songs and they just aren't showing up on my iphone. I have the 4S, and everything is up to date, i really don't understand what the problem could be. please help?
  12. retep1515 macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2012
    There's another way

    Sorry to hear you're still having problems with this. It is stressful, I know. Try this. After you manually select all of your albums and artist don't select any playlists or genres. See if that works. If it doesn't there is one last method that will almost definitely work but is a little annoying. If you select an album that isn't working and click get info you can change the name of it. Change the name of the artist in a subtle way; I added a period to the end of an artist. This will trick iTunes into thinking it's a different album and it will hopefully sync.
    Hope I helped, and good luck!:)
  13. Nashvillecsx, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012

    Nashvillecsx macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
    Here the fix

    I had the same problem and here is how I fixed it.

    1. Make a list of the song(s) that won't sync. Right click and choose "Get Info" or press Cmd + i on any song

    2. Be sure the Summary tab is selected and toward the bottom; right click on "Where" and choose "Show in Finder" - In Finder select all the songs that won't sync

    3. Create a folder on your desktop, drag and drop those songs that will not sync to this folder. TIP Opening another Finder window makes this easier.

    EDIT: you may want to try just 1 song to see if it will work for you

    4. Back in iTunes delete the songs that won't sync **WARNING** BE SURE YOU HAVE A COPY OF THAT SONG IN YOUR DESKTOP FOLDER BEFORE YOU DELETE!

    5. Now select all the songs from your desktop folder and drag and drop onto your iTunes icon on your dock to reimport those songs.

    6. Re-sync your device

    This worked for me, I hope it helps you!
  14. antdawe macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2010

    I know this is an old thread but was having same problem with the latest iTunes and iPhone 5.

    I just deleted the corresponding playlist and boom.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    EASY FIX!! >> "Album Artist" on iTunes

    Just came upon this same problem with my new iPhone 4S and although this is an old thread, thought I'd share my simple solution...

    Since I saw that the songs were in fact on the iPhone and just not showing up under the Artist > Album (even though the names all matched in descriptions!), I did some hunting on iTunes... looking into the info for each song--I tried changing the Artist, the Sort by fields, the grouping artist, etc. Nothing worked... I still had only 1 song (from an EP of 4) showing up under the album on my phone. Then I looked at that song alone to see what was different from the other 3, and I saw that it had an "Album Artist" listed, whereas the tracks NOT showing up didn't have one listed.

    All I had to do was select all all the tracks, change the Album Artist to match for them, re-sync, and everything was working just as it should :) Playlists are a great option too but it's a little too hard to manage when your music turns over a lot.

    Hope this helps!

  16. richlance macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2012
    Songs not appearing on iPhone

    I had the same problem. From another post, I discovered that the song was on the iPhone when I performed a search, but it did not appear under the artist section of the Music app. Long story short, I figured out if I deselect the "Part of a Compilation" checkbox for all my songs, then I could then see them on my iPhone. Hope this helps. It drove me crazy. The songs are actually on your phone, but you cant see them until you perform this step.
  17. Kiaura macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    another fix for iTunes and iphone not syncing

    I recently lost access to approx. 4500 songs after trying to establish Wi-Fi sync (which kept freezing my laptop) with 'unscucessful sync' the result :eek:. All 4700+ songs appeared in the 'Device' part of iTunes but only 167 actually appeared on the iPhone and no playlists would sync. I tried some of the fixes in this thread, even manually ticked every artist, albumn, genre, with and without playlists. I did not try some of the fiddlier fixes (e.g. Finder) because of the large number. Anyway, nothing worked :confused: so I deleted all music data from iPhone and the phantom list still appeared in iTunes-device, before and after syncing. So I restored a backup version of iTunes from a couple of weeks ago and then restored the backup version of the iPhone (no music data) then during the followup sync the music transferred correctly and everything seems to back to normal :).

Share This Page