Category Archives: Iphone

How to Delete All Songs from iPhone Quickly

“Connect your iPhone to iTunes, go to the Music tab and uncheck Sync Music and press Apply to resync.” – from “Randers4 on the Apple Support Forums. (This worked for me and took only a couple minutes, even with 2000 songs, to complete).

Man, iTunes is just crazy, and drives me crazy.  But anyway, the reason I needed to do this: My old iPhone 4 was filled up to where I couldn’t update anything, and in this age of Spotify, I’m not listening to any of the music on my phone’s library. Now my photos and videos are taking up as much space, but my trust in iPhoto is just as weak, so I’m afraid to delete all photos at once, because I’m just sure there’ll be some in there that I have only one copy of. Ugh!

At first when I googled it said to “Uncheck” the unwanted songs and then Re-Sync. But you have to do that one by one! I’m not going to sit there and uncheck 2000 songs! Well actually I started to, and then realized the insanity and futility. Then something weird happened. I Googled some more to see if there was a way to Uncheck all the songs at once. One guy said to, within iTunes, click Edit>Select All, as if that was a way to mass uncheck all the songs. But that didn’t work. It scared me because, after I did that, and again started “re-unchecking” songs, the songs would disappear as I unchecked them. I thought, “OMG, am I deleting them from my computer or phone or both!?!?!?!?!”
Turns out, luckily, I wasn’t. For whatever reason the “Unchecked” songs, as I unchecked them were being moved to the bottom of the page, automatically. Phew! But still crazy. Now, I just went back and clicked Edit>Select All, clicked around the left side of the iTunes window, to the left of the check boxes, and the display seems returned to normal, with the Unchecked and Checked songs together in their normal order.

OK, so finally I found the simple answer on how to delete all my songs at once. It’s the 8th response down, from “Randers4” on this page in the Apple Support Forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3593697?start=0&tstart=0

He simply states: “Connect your iPhone to iTunes, go to the Music tab and uncheck Sync Music and press Apply to resync.”

Boom! And that was it. Did the trick. They were all deleted in seconds, and I freed up space to do my iOS update as well as app updates.

Now, as to how to go in there and selectively add back songs, perhaps things I can’t get on Spotify, or for when I’m out of connectivity range, I don’t know what the best practice is. I saw somewhere that using Playlists was the best way, you add the things you want on the phone to a certain playlist, and when you connect your phone there’s an option to only Sync certain “selected” playlists.

But I’m not worried about that now. I just wanted to free up space so that I could update. And I really appreciate Randers4 plain English, one sentence response. Why can’t Apple explain things so that a human being can understand? I mean, do you know if you go into “Help” within iTunes that there is utterly no topic on deleting songs from your phone? The craziness stupefies me.

Why Instagram Worked: Limitations Are Freeing

There are many reasons why Instagram worked: timing, mobile centric, the ‘limitations’ (iOS only), the design and logo were/are retro, warm, and appealing.

But I think the primary reason Instagram worked were the filters. For the first time the masses like me, who’s only knowledge about photography is how to press the button, were able to see, without opening up some complicated program, what professional and creative effects could do to their photos.  And it was one click. When you snapped a photo with Instagram you could either post it as is, or there were a row of 9 or so “filters” at the bottom, “pre-sets” if you will, that you simply selected and it would automatically apply them. These filters were imitations of what the pros spend hours doing in Photoshop. And suddenly the masses had them at the click of the button. This is the same appeal that photo editing apps for the iPhone like Camera+, Best Camera, and Camera Awesome have: Simple, easy, and fun photo editing that is merely the click of a button to get a unique effect.

Limitations are Freeing

I was thinking about this as I’ve begun using Garageband for the iPad. It’s much more limiting than Logic Pro or even Garageband on OSX, but I’m being a lot more productive on it and having a lot more fun. The nature of mobile is intimacy and ease, which equals in a lot of cases increased productivity.

In Instagram’s case, it didn’t have as many filters or options as Camera+, but that limitation made it much more easy to use and much faster to use. To be fair, Camera+ wasn’t trying to be a Social Network, and the app was very successful in its own right simply selling on the App store. But in Camera+’s case and Camera Awesome, after you take a photo, the damn thing disappears! Then you have to go find the little thumb nail of it, re-open it, and then when you go choose the effects, and this is key, what you see are the pages of effects and not the photo. So then you have to apply the effect, wait while it generates, and then finally see if you like it. Whereas with Instagram the original photo is up on the screen at all times and the selections are at the bottom. You can breeze through sampling all the selections and see them immediately. It makes the whole process easy and fun. To be fair I love Camera+ and Camera Awesome and couldn’t recommend them more, but I’m just simply pointing out a couple frustrations with them, and why Instagram out paced them in use and adoption. (To be fair though, like I said, Camera+ wasn’t intending to build a Social Network.)

Being Mobile Centric and only Mobile centric: You can’t look at photographs on the website. The only thing you can do on the website is sign up for an account, is another limitation. Some would say, frustrating, but actually that limitation, in the minds of many, was rather intriguing. If you wanted to see an old photograph, you had to search like an easter egg hunt for the link on Twitter or wherever you posted it. While the developers probably didn’t intend it, they merely were trying to save resources for their primary target, that limitation as well as the limitation of being iPhone only, created a sort of caché in the mind, especially in those of the hipsters, a lot of whom happen to be the biggest influencers on Twitter.

To be fair timing was a key too. At the time, Twitter didn’t have it’s own photo sharing service, and the third party ones that existed just really looked awful and contrived. They were so ugly they conditioned you almost to not want to click on a photo link. So when Instagram launched with it’s beautiful design and hipster appeal, Twitter adopted it as its de-facto photo sharing service, and Instagram rode that wave to mass adoption.

The iPhone Could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).

Update 10/07/10 – It definitely could be just a bad USB port causing it. That same port that was causing this error for me is also crapping out every few seconds when I plug in a mouse. So that’s definitely what it was for me. I don’t know why or how USB ports can go “bad” or what to do about them, but I see that it can happen.

Update 9/20/10: Well I just successfully updated to 4.1 without a hitch (But not without some fraying nerves, mind you!) so in this case it looks to be like solution 1 below, simply changing the USB port that the phones chord is connected to is the ticket. I learned this from Joseph Thornton @jtjdt on Twitter, so if you run into further problems you might try to contact him. Which begs the question: Why isn’t such a simple solution not mentioned on Apple’s website? And what’s the difference between one USB port and another that would cause this problem to begin with?

If this situation happens to you try:

  1. Simply hook your USB chord to another USB port. Simple as it sounds this solution worked for me for the 4.02 update, and I assume it would have worked for the 4.01 update a month ago, but I didn’t know about it.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try the solution mentioned in this MacRumor’s forum post. This is what I did when I initially had problems with my 4.01 update, and it did work.
  3. Before you Update your iPhone always make sure that copies of your photos, notes, videos etc. have been transferred over to your desktop. Because by the time you get this error message, although you will be able to fix it with one of the solutions above, all data is wiped out on your phone. You’ll have to restore from the most recent sync.

Days, after I got my iPhone 4 in July, Apple came out with an update 4.01. So, while the phones is tethered to iTunes on the Mac, I click the button to update. It goes through the process, everything’s looking fine. The little meters that show progress are humming along. The Apple Logo comes on the phones screen, then the white update meter on the phone is updating. Then when everything’s almost finished, it stops and in iTunes a pop up message says, “The iPhone “iPhone” could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).

So then your phone gives you an image like so:

Then it says that because of this error I needed to restore the phone from its last good backup. But trouble was, when I attempted this, the identical thing happened. It gets almost to the end and says the same thing, “Unknown Error (9).”

So there I was, first day I’ve got my iPhone and the thing is bricked with seemingly no way out.

Well, I googled and found a solution in a forum that worked for me. Ah, it was a MacRumors forum. Here’s the link to the solution that worked for me in unbricking and successfully installing 4.01 onto my new iPhone 4: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=969080

Now the only bummer is that I lost all the photos and videos I’d taken on the new phone because I hadn’t transfered them over to the desktop. It was only a few, because I literally had only had the phone a day, but still, just enough to get under your skin. So definitely lesson 1 is to never update your iPhone before you’ve transferred all your media to your desktop.

I think this also highlights a weakness Apple has around data. They’re just not good with data. They don’t treat your data with the kind of respect it needs to be treated. This is an advantage that Google/Android has.

So fast forward to last week. New 4.02 update after the Apple announcement. Every time I plugged my phone into my computer I became wary. There was a pain in my stomach. Didn’t want to do the update. Felt like something bad would happen.

Anyway, I felt like since I had downloaded the RecBoot to solve my first upgrade problem that that same program would keep me immune from another one. Still, I made sure that I copied all my phone’s photos and videos over to the desktop before I did.

Sure enough the same problem and error message happened again. And sure enough I wasn’t even able to restore it. AGAIN!. GRRRRRRR!

So I Google,  but I couldn’t find that same solution that I had found a month before.

I had tweeted the solution, feeling like I was being a good ‘netizen’ to all the other souls with the same problem who may be searching for it in ‘real time’ on twitter.

But here’s a good lesson when it comes to social media. I’d been better off blogging that information. Because with Twitter, I couldn’t find the tweet through a search. If I’d blogged it, inane as the post may have been for those who read blogs expecting original content, it would have been in my own repository of information that I could have easily retrieved (with the search function in WordPress and I assume that’s also in all the other blog platforms.)

Twitter doesn’t treat your data with much care either. Although they are coming on strong with new features, and I’ve heard that searching your data base of tweets is one of those features coming. Still, you can never completely trust a third party with your data. You need your own copy of your data at your fingertips at all times. And the blog is the best solution for that. Also the blog has two more salutary effects: Writing about something helps you learn more about the topic, expand on it, and so become more educated in general. Writing, in fact, ironically, is more important to learning than it is for teaching, for broadcasting a message of sorts.

Then of course, when you blog about a solution. Its searchable in Google to others looking for said solution and you also can create more links, images, meta information around it and also have a place where folks can comment and contribute to the conversation.

So I’d say, score one for the blog. Of course you can tweet it too, but make sure blogging it is your first priority.

After the post is done, then you can tweet the post itself. Remember Twitter, Social Media in general, are yesterdays newspapers, and your tweets are like ads in those papers.

Oh, anyway, back to my 4.02 adventure. How did I resolve it. I had seen in my initial searches that some had solved this problem simply by changing USB ports. At first I thought that sounded too simple, but then after I had tweeted about my problem using the hash tag #iphone an Apple employee reached out to me and advised that solution.

Turns out it worked. So I’d definitely try that first before downloading some software like BootRec. And I was pleasantly surprised that 4 or 5 knowledgeable people reached out to me on Twitter. I had almost gone into a phase, like Leo Laporte that Twitter had become a vast echo chamber and no one was listening, certainly not personally engaging.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised that not only an Apple employee reached out to me, concerned about my problem, but that an Apple employee was even on Twitter itself, seeing how the company seems to feel about Social Media in general.

Well my phone did get updated to 4.02, and I didn’t lose data because I took precautions, but the state of the phone was not the same. All kinds of apps weren’t on it that had previously been on it, etc. So it was still unnerving. Of course, I simply had to drag those apps over from iTunes onto the phone again. But still my folders structures that I had spent time setting up were gone. Stuff like that. Just a pain. And unnerving that your data can so easily, and quite often does, disappear, as well as “meta” data such as your folders, etc.

How to Use an iPhone as a flash drive

Easy, just use iPhone-Explorer from Mypod apps. It’s really cool and free, for Windows or Mac. It’s a little program that browses the files and folders of an iPhone like it were an external drive. Nice because iTunes keeps a lot of things hidden, for instance sound recordings and notes. But it’s also nice to have direct access to all your files on any machine, without always going through the cumbersome iTunes, which sort of locks it down to one machine.

I’m going to add it to my ‘Cool Apps and Sites’ page now.

You can go to their page and download it here; iPhone-explorer.com

How to Sync Any Phone to Itunes


Update 1/18/10 – There’s also another option. It’s called DoubleTwist. It was recommended by Leo Laporte on one of his podcasts and he’s the most trusted man on the internet. I think he was using it to sync his new Nexus One phone up with his iTunes Library.

Cross-platform Salling Media Sync updated, syncs Palm Pre and other devices with iTunes and photo applications

Stockholm, Sweden—July 16, 2009—Salling Software AB on Wednesday updated its application for syncing media from iTunes to mobile devices.The new version supports Palm’s popular Pre smartphone, and includes the ability to also sync photos, letting users to bring their favorite photo albums with them.

“I admit the timing of this release is no coincidence,” said Salling Software president Jonas Salling. “We’re betting there are a lot of Palm Pre owners who feel burned by the new iTunes, 8.2.1 update. But they can keep syncing with iTunes using Salling Media Sync! It’s totally free for basic use, with no track limit, no playlist limit, and no expiration—ever. And it syncs photos, too.”

In addition, the new version of Salling Media Sync brings compatibility with Blackberry Bold and Storm, as well as support for several new devices from other manufacturers.

Salling Media Sync couldn’t be easier to use. Once the phone is connected to a USB port, the users simply select the playlists, podcasts and photo albums they want on the device. Salling Media Sync not only uploads the music tracks and podcast episodes, but also replicates each actual playlist on the device and—on devices that support it—transfers play count metadata for each item to the device, reinforcing the sense of having a piece of iTunes in your pocket.

Pricing & Availability

Salling Media Sync 1.1 is available now through Salling Software’s web site (http://www.salling.com) at no cost for basic use.

At a price of $22/ €15 per user license, the application intelligently updates your phone, resulting in faster syncs. Windows and Mac licenses are sold separately, and the bundle can be bought at a 25% discount.

Salling Media Sync for Windows is compatible with Windows XP SP2 (with Windows Media Player 11) or better, iTunes 7.6.x – 8.2.1 (for music and podcasts), and Adobe Photoshop Album SE 3.2 or Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.x – 7.x (for photos).

Salling Media Sync for Mac is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.11 or better, iTunes 7.6.x – 8.2.1 (for music and podcasts), and iPhoto ’08 – ’09 or Aperture 2.x (for photos).

Please see http://www.salling.com/MediaSync/ for details.

Salling Software is a pioneer in mobile phone software for Macs and PCs and inventor of the award-winning Salling Clicker, turning a mobile phone into a two-way computer remote control. Salling Software is committed to bringing innovative, fun, and easy-to-use software applications to users worldwide.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Press images are available at: http://pr.salling.com/images.html

Press Contact:

Jonas Salling

Salling Software AB

+ 46 8 5250 5150

[email protected]

Salling Software and Salling Media Sync are trademarks of Salling Software AB. Other company and product names mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.