What in the **** is iTunes "backing up".

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by duelingdragons, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. duelingdragons macrumors 65816

    May 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Nothing has changed between the last time I synced my phone and this time (except I added an album of photos to be synced).

    Now iTunes has been "backing up" my phone for a while now (at least 5 minutes)

  2. craigverse macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2006
    Reno, NV
  3. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    Yeah... the whole procedure is horrendously slow, and probably 99,9% redundant. iTunes on Mac is bad enough, but on Windows it's just pathetic. And it's not the PC's fault, I mean no other application is that slow. Even the mother of all slow launchers, Photoshop, starts up faster than iTunes. You can click the icon and go out to lunch, and with a little luck iTunes will appear on the screen by the time you return. It's just a damn media player, how hard can it be? Windows Media Player launches in like 2 seconds no matter how big your library is. iTunes takes like 30 seconds and once it finally appears, it syncs forever with the iPhone and/or any attached iPods, even when no data has changed. And it hogs more CPU cycles than a frickin' 3D game. To keep iTunes reasonably responsive is an artform of its own, one wrong turn and it's frozen for XX seconds, for no apparent reason. Is this how they want to attract business users with PCs? "Oh yeah, our smartphone works perfectly with Windows. Just install this big ass, slow-as-molasses media player (yes, we consider a media player the perfect platform for handling mail, contacts and calendars) and watch it grind your system to a halt everytime you want to recharge your phone". FFS...
  4. paj macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel Anuba. :p
  5. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    1st thing pretty much is sync those crash and error reports. If you have your firewall set up to watch it, you'll see it happen pretty sharpish after it's been seen by iTunes. But then users do have the chance to turn the reporting off...
  6. iViet macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2007
    i always click the "X" icon on the right side of the window on iTunes to bypass the back up.
  7. angasreid macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    Here's a fix: (for Macs at least)
    This edits a config file for itunes that bypasses the "backup" portion of the sync. So it only syncs.

    1) Quit iTunes.
    2) Open Terminal.app.
    3) Type (or copy and paste) the following command, and then hit Return:
    defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
    4) Open and run iTunes.

    It worked for me, no reason it shouldn't work for all.

  8. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    except if you go to do a restore of your phone it is likely that you would have to start over from scratch...
  9. angasreid macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    True. But if you want to enable backups again, do the same process but change true to false.

    So type this in the terminal instead:
    defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
  10. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    Nah, that's exactly how I feel. Nothing added, nothing withheld. :p
  11. icewing macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2008
    St Louis
    I think M$ has special code in the OS to slow down and crash software from competitors... :D
  12. daihard macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    You can manually back up your iPhone by right-clicking the device (iPhone) icone and selecting "Back up."
  13. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    Which will still take just as long as any other backup.
    Why not just hit the little x next to the backup progress bar during the backup to stop it...
  14. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    Thank you, thank you!

    I learn new stuff on this board all the time! Why don't they make all this stuff just a checkbox somewhere??
  15. DreamPod macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2008
    Because then someone would uncheck it and call and complain when they lose all their important data because they didn't back up. Like the title of this thread, people don't realize what it's backing up, so of course tons of people wouldn't allow it. Then their iPhone would have a bad error that requires resetting the entire thing, and the user hasn't backed up their old data at all, so would lose it all.

    What it's backing up is the data within each app - like say, you add some entries to your to-do list, you play a game and make it to the next section, you jot some important notes down. It's that data that is being backed up. The problem is, Apple didn't create some special way for developers to save their data, so developers can save their data any way they want, by creating one or more files of any filename or even changing one of the files already in the app. So the iPhone has no way to tell what it needs to back up, so it backs up the entire thing - all apps. And note, once they are installed apps are way huger than the download size - they are downloaded as compressed files, but installed on the iPhone uncompressed. So that could be a lot of data to back up.
  16. Excellerator macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2008
    Doesn't Apple know that back in the 80's a company called PKWARE invented a file format called a ZIP file? All they need to do is ZIP up the data on the phone and then download it. It would save lots of time.
  17. razorianfly macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    Me being the conspiracy theorist I am, I think it's sending all your Youtube, Google and Map search data to Apple.. but that's just me. :rolleyes:

  18. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    It's probably doing something useful, that much is clear. I think the question we really want an answer to is why the procedure is so primitive and inefficient. It's not particularly flattering of the smartest of smartphones to have this kind of neanderthal interaction with the computer. If nothing has changed on the phone, there's no point in backing up *the entire phone* again. If something has changed, then back up whatever is relevant to those changes, and ignore the rest.

    Words like 'dynamic' and 'incremental' don't appear to be part of Apple's vocabulary. iPhone sync reminds me of the ooga-booga attitude they have with iTunes updates. Rather than release a patch, they make you download XX megabytes and perform a complete reinstall of iTunes and QuickTime every goddamn time they've changed a couple of bytes between version X.X.1 and X.X.2. And every time you do this, on the PC anyway, certain aspects of the configuration are reset to default and you have to go in and put things back the way you want them, and every time it has to chew through the entire library.

    To put a long story short, they love making it easy for themselves and cumbersome for users.
  19. otis123 macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2006
    itunes has become really bloated, i think itunes 8 will overhaul it.
  20. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    I hope so too. It is called iTunes, after all, not iTunesVideoStoreMovieTVPhoneCalendarAppPhotoSyncRingtoneCentral. Hopefully they'll find some way to clean it up before it becomes an operating system all of its own.
  21. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    The back-up feature has been worthless for me.

    Well, I just spent the Labor Day weekend doing 3 separate restores of my phone and the back-ups were of no use at all. After waiting hours for the backup to restore itself, I synced it the first time and it asked to restore the backup AGAIN! That's when I just said screw it and did a "new phone" rather than a restore. This is the second occurrence when the backup did me no good.

    Thank goodness more and more applications either keep data copied to my mac or to the cloud. I don't trust that any app that keeps the data solely on the iPhone will still be there after a crash.

    Also, it seems that every time I let the phone update applications over the air it screws up the entire phone. This time I let it go one app at a time and I did not touch the phone while it did it's installs. Still screwed the phone up. Never again for me. I should start a new thread on it.
  22. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Nov 9, 2007
    Troy, MT

    Welcome to my old world...I had to do it 3 times before I learned my lesson and posted my advice here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=554980

    Do NOT USE the App Store on the iPhone for downloads/updates!!!

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