Tag 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.

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

Brighten Your iPhone’s Screen

adjustiphonebrightness-main_Full

On your iPhone main page click Settings>Brightness and then slide the button all the way to the right. You can also turn off “Auto Brightness” when you lay down to surf or read, to stop it from doing that annoying dimming when you’re trying to see things clearly.

O.K., before you say I am insulting your intelligence, let me explain. For one, I’ve had an iPhone for a few months and I didn’t know how to do this, and I generally think of myself as half techno-geeky. I’ve also been a computer enthusiast for years and that didn’t stop me from letting a hard drive crash a few years ago with no back up, loosing a lot of valuable stuff. I call these “blind spots” in one’s psychology. So maybe its just me, or maybe some of you out there have them too. I don’t know. We write in order to learn and to remind ourselves and to improve.

Also, I blog about what interests me at the moment. A couple nights ago, I fell asleep at around 6pm and woke up at 9. I looked over at the digital clock to see what time it was, and it wasn’t on. Didn’t take me long to figure out that the electricity was off in the whole house. First reaction? Did I forget to pay the bill? No, I knew I had.  But anyway it was pitch black. I had no way to see. Except for my iPhone.

Then I thought about the Flashlight App I had gotten and dismissed as being stupid and somewhat of a scam. But anyway I turned it on. OK, at least I could tip toe around. Around enough to look out the window and see that the whole neighborhood was pitch black too. Whoo, rubbing the sweat off, relieved it wasn’t just me, and that I had somehow forgot the bill. Anyway, it occurred to me, “Can I brighten this thing?” So that brought me Settings and Brightness, and Wahlaa! a flashlight that wasn’t so bad after all. And another benefit of it is that it keeps the screen on, from going into sleep mode so that you don’t constantly have to worry about swiping the unlock button.

I walked outside, saw a few people wondering the same thing and then a couple of Entergy trucks heading down the main thourough fare.

The electricity was out for a good three hours. So I came back in sat down in a comfortable chair (that I could find now!) and surfed the web on my iPhone. You know before I almost never surfed the web on the iPhone. Felt the screen was too small, but in this situation I didn’t. And now I am more comfortable and almost enjoy surfing with it, even now that the lights are back on.

Funny how an electrical outage can ironically turn a few psychological lights on.

P.S. See even here CNET calls the Flashlight App “Absurd” and I would have heartily agreed, until that night I needed it. One doesn’t always have a flashlight or candle (that’s lit) by one’s bed, but one always has one’s phone. For this particular occasion the $.99 was worth it.