What triggers an AppleTV sync?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Macwick, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Macwick macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #1
    I posted a similar question recently, but didn't get any responses so let me try to ask it this way: After you update your iTunes library (i.e. add videos, music, playlists) what triggers AppleTV to sync up these new items? In my case I'm streaming all my content to the AppleTV, but it still needs to sync up the library.

    Surely I don't have to manually sync the AppleTV every time. But after I add content to my iTunes library I don't see AppleTV sync automatically, so eventually (hours later) I give up and manually sync.

    What am I missing? Thanks!!
     
  2. Unverrich macrumors regular

    Unverrich

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
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    USA
    #2
    I agree with this. Is there an option or a Script you can add that will automatically sync itunes to Apple TV every so often? Instead of having to manually sync when you add new content to iTunes?
     
  3. dmm219 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 25, 2008
    #3
    I asked this a while back too, never got a response. The ATV seems to sync when ever the heck it wants to. Sometimes, i'll find new podcasts on the ATV before I manually sync, most times, I have to sync myself.

    What is certain is that the ATV always syncs when itunes is started, and after something has been downloaded by itunes, that has been selected to be sycned to the ATV. In other words, if you use manual sync, and you have chosen that all episodes of "House" be synced to your ATV, the ATV will always automatically sync after it downloads the latest version of "House".

    Unfortunately, if you don't sync much stuff, and only use streaming, the ATV will not automatically sync. Also, the ATV will not sync if is is "busy" (you are watching something).

    No idea if a script is available...would be a great idea tho...
     
  4. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #4
    Thanks everyone, at least I know I'm not missing anything. Wow, that is just unbelievable to me! There is no way to sync when the library is updated or on some predefined schedule. Does Apple really think users will manually sync the AppleTV every time we add content? That is bizarre.

    I'll look around for any solutions and update this thread if I find anything. Hopefully there is an AppleScript out there.....
     
  5. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    Orlando, FL
    #5
    Is it really that big of a deal to click on the AppleTV icon, then on Sync?
     
  6. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    Whitehouse, OH
    #6
    Yes, when you have a very large library (1.5TB+) and initiating a manual sync to update the available content database takes a good 5 minutes or so to finish. I have no idea why it takes so long, but it does in my environment.
     
  7. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    Orlando, FL
    #7
    Congrats on the sheer size of your library, but I still don't get it. You buy/add your new stuff, then hit Sync, and merrily go about whatever else you're doing at the time. So it takes 5 minutes (which doesn't sound that long for 1.5 TB worth of data), do you need to listen/watch whatever is new IMMEDIATELY on your ATV?

    Sorry for being crass, I'm just not sure why this is SUCH a big deal.
     
  8. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Sigh. I wasn't trying to be boastful.

    The problem is when you have iTunes download your season passes before you go to work so you can watch them when you get home. You finally get home and sit down on the couch, only to realize that for whatever reason, the AppleTV didn't receive notification of the addition of the show you really want to watch. So, back off the couch to the iMac to hit the sync button. Instead of taking 15-30 seconds for it to update the library listing, it takes 5-10 minutes.

    I never said it was the end of the world, it is just inconvenient... especially when it sometimes works as it should, and sometimes doesn't.
     
  9. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2008
    #9
    The '5 minutes to sync' raises one of my eyebrows. I've got well over 2TB of media, and, while everything except photos is streamed, my syncs take about 10 seconds. Interresting. Are you running any plug-ins (Boxee, Plex, etc)? What are your settings for your sync preference? Just curious.
     
  10. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Stock 2.3.1 install (never hacked), everything is streamed (except a small selection of photos from my Aperture library). AppleTV connected to network via 802.11n (Airport Extreme v1).
     
  11. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Sorry, should have made that first line a paragraph on its own. I'm actually semi-jealous. ;)

    And the whole 'season pass' thing DOES make a lot of sense. The way you described it, I can see it becoming frustrating. As you alluded to, Apple stuff is supposed to 'just work' and, you're right, when it doesn't, it kinda sorta sucks.
     
  12. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #12
    What gives you the idea that it is SUCH a big deal? I still love my Apple TV. But don't you think if you can remove a manual, pointless step from a process you should? I too have added items to my library (such as home videos) but then made the cardinal mistake of not hitting sync, only to go upstairs to the TV and find the files aren't there. How hard would it be for iTunes to allow you to 'sync when changes made to library' or 'sync every x minutes'. It is particularly irritating if you have configured the Apple TV to 'stream' all your content. Streaming really shouldn't require manual syncing.

    I suspect I could go to almost every post in this forum and ask the OP if their concern was 'such a big deal', but that would just be irritating and wouldn't contribute anything to the conversation.
     
  13. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Wireless G or N? Any chance of hardwiring as a speed test?
     
  14. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Wireless N (5GHz only). I've tested with it hardwired and found things to be even slower (and some playback issues with HD content). Really wish Apple would have included a gigabit ethernet port... Anyways, I think I'm going to do a factory restore tonight and see if things improve... I'll report back tonight.
     
  15. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    Orlando, FL
    #15
    Read my above post first.

    Second, I guess it just becomes habit for me. We've got the AppleTV, my iPhone, 60GB 5G iPod, 2GB 1G Nano, and an 8GB 4G Nano. Syncing manually is habit at this point.

    Third, agreed, 'sync every x minutes' would be a great setting to have, as well as 'handle missed events within x minutes/hours'

    Not trying to be irritating, just trying to fish out the details!
     
  16. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #16
    To me it's no different than a mail client. Why should it possibly be configurable to check for new mail every x minutes? Just click the 'check for new mail' button whenever you send an email or sit down in front of your computer. Is that such a huge deal?

    Sorry, not trying to be argumentative about this. It's just that Apple did so much right with the AppleTV, I'm confused about this (easily correctable) design flaw.
     
  17. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    Orlando, FL
    #17
    And I agree with you, to an extent. The option should be there, and, as stated before, syncing a library that is set to stream only shouldn't take up to 5 minutes. That just doesn't make sense.

    That being said, I'm not sure I'd classify this as a "design flaw." It's a setting that maybe should be there, but, and especially on a Mac, there are lots of settings I'd love to see but don't. And that's ok with me. The whole Mac concept is to be easy. Precisely why copy/paste was left of the iPhone for 2 versions of the OS; they couldn't find an easy way to do it. Adding an option to 'sync every x minutes' sounds like an easy thing to figure out and add to the software. But it's certainly not as easy as choosing between 'automatically sync' and 'manually sync'.

    We could argue about this all day long, but I think it comes down to a simple ease of use question. YES, I AGREE, I ALSO THINK it should be a no brainer to have this setting included in the ATV software, BUT it would complicate the environment to have a third option. That means you have to stop and think, and Apple doesn't want you to have to do that. They just want it to work. Unfortunately for you, me, and everyone else in that post, sometimes making it 'just work' is at the expense of some power-users.
     
  18. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2008
    #18
    My next question for Nightstorm was going to be if it was wired or wireless, but his next post answered that. I'm currently wired and couldn't agree more that the exclusion of Gigabit ethernet is a large oversight. I assume it will be on the next revision, whenever that may be... Oh, well. Nightstorm, let us know if, after a reset, things improved. I do have an N network running at home. I should switch to that and see what the difference is.

    I did purchase 'quantum of solace' over the weekend from iTunes (great movie, by the way, but didn't feel like a Bond movie) and I only had one playback issue at the very beginning where it froze, showed the blue download bar at half-way, but it never grew. I aborted the movie, restarted playing it, and all was well.

    The one thing I dislike about this product is the lack of an ability to peek behind the scenes to see what is going on. It is frustrating the few times it doesn't work.
     
  19. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #19
    First of all, the two options are 'automatic sync' and 'custom sync' (not manual sync). It was not clear to me at all that this meant I would have to manually hit sync every time I add content in order to stream that content to the Apple TV. In fact it appeared to me that the difference between 'automatic sync' and 'custom sync' is simply whether you are sync ALL your content to the Apple TV or just sync certain items and stream everything else.

    Second, I don't consider this a 'power user' feature. I add content to my iTunes library, I look for it on my Apple TV and it's not there. NOWHERE in Apple's documentation or the UI does it tell you that you must manually sync after adding content.

    Third, adding an 'automatically sync' option is not confusing. For example, MobileMe has it (you can sync manually, every x minutes, or 'automatically'). For syncing between 'always connected' devices/services like MobileMe or AppleTV, a 'sync automatically' option is very intuitive and makes perfect sense.</rant>
     
  20. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    #20
    ... Wow... Easy, tiger. Remember, I agreed with you. Hope you feel better :)

    (I mean that in the nicest way possible :))
     
  21. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #21
    You don't actually agree with me, because you think automatic syncing to Apple TV is a power-user feature that would be complicated and confusing.

    Anyway, to get this thread back on track - if anyone knows of a hack/script to enable automatic or scheduled syncing of Apple TV, we'd love to hear about it! I'll dig around and see what I can find.
     
  22. Steve Jobs=God macrumors 6502

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    Apr 13, 2007
    #22
    Personally i think a good solution for this problem would be to have the option to select to sync with the computer from within the :apple:TV menu itself, have a sync option in the 'computers' menu for example
     
  23. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I couldn't agree more. Simply have it sync with whatever library it is currently attached to.
     
  24. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Oh good grief...
     
  25. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Guys, come on now. This is starting to feel like dinner I had Saturday night with my in-laws.
     

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