Transferring apps and songs from iPhone to new MacBook Air

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by yuenglinggolfer, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. yuenglinggolfer macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hi there,

    My '07 Macbook recently crashed on me and I didn't have a back up (shame on me). I have certain apps on my iPhone and my iPad that aren't available in the App store anymore (specifically VLC player) that I don't want to lose. If I sync with iTunes on my new MacBook Air, will I lose everything since my entire library of apps, music, etc. is empty? And as for the songs, I've been trying to find a program that will let me do it. A few people have recommended iExplorer. I'm preferably looking for one that is free if anyone knows of one. I've been debating on this method or just purchasing an optical drive and doing it the long way and I would be able to get my Office for Mac installed as well.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
  2. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    First thing, get an external, and a backup plan.
    I had 3 hardrive failures last year and lost it all.
    Re-ripping and re-downloading stuff is a major PITA. Not to say the things like pictures, that are gone forever.

    And yes, you will have to re-create your iTunes library, since it will be "fresh" and will recognize the iDevice as something it's never synched with before.

    For the non-available though AppStore apps, you can simply use iFunBox (free) to copy the "" folder to your computer, then drag it to iTunes and it should re-generate the IPA file and a add it to your library, voila!
    For the other apps, well, you already know iTunes has a "Purchased apps" options somewhere and you just have to re-download.
    I don't know if any of the non-jailbroken device explorers can write to the filesystem? I'm almost 99% positive they can't (hence the jailbreak opens the filesystem to be messed with, which is different from read-only), so if you wanna copy back the data from applications, you need to backup the /var/mobile/Applications folder basically and then afterwards copy the data folders back, which is another PITA since apps have this structure:

    So the folder each app is in, is totally random. I still have no idea to look into the apps catalog (many jailbroken apps do so it's probably fairly easy, but I haven't looked into it), and you basically need to backup each "Documents" and copy back when jailbroken, to retain data.
    UNLESS of course the app has iCloud enabled (very few) or any sort of online sync (dropbox, et. al.).

    For music, only a friend of mine has had success copying back ratings and stuff via a companion app for DiskAid (commercial, not free), so there you have an option in case you can't recover your music form any other means AND you require ratings and play counts. This companion app basically reads the music catalog on iOS so it's able to bring back all of this info.
    Otherwise you can just copy the MP3s via, for instance, iFunBox, but I'm not sure if they will have proper ID3 tags (in case you use MP3s), so you could try copying a few and checking with a ID3 viewer or MP3 editor (MP3Tag is my recommended tagger of all times btw) if they are there, then export the randomly-named files back on iTunes, where they should be ordered again (but ratings and play counts lost).
    OR, if the ID3 is not present I guess you could use something like musicbrainz piccard to try and find the correct tags via their audio fingerprint functionality.

    Oh and by the way, I just checked iFunBox and it can apparently do a lot of stuff even writing to the filesystem without a jailbreak? I don't know how they do it but that is what it says.
    And they have a lot of more options now so probably most of the geek talk I shared up there can be easily replaced with two clicks on iFunBox.

    Anyway, good luck with that and remember to always backup :)

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