Author Topic: iPod & iPhone Driver Plugin 2.0  (Read 18531 times)

da_viking

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Im here on the forum as a newbie, still loading songs into music bee basicly, BUT i figured I tell you the reason im here is because I was forced off itunes to use Apple Music ( itunes stopped working) and this will happen for all users I guess. They disscontinued Itunes on Mac 2019 and just recently released a full PC version of Apple Music which is the replacement. They also released a new syncing app for iphones to replace Itunes to sync playlists and pictures and so on.

I dont like apple music and teh transfer from Itunes was a mess, thousands of links to songs where broken and only way to fix them is by manually replace and delete each duplicate, so i was recommended Music Bee to start over with.

ericvulpi

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First off, many thanks to boroda and BoringName for this plugin.
The impossibility of cleanly transfering my Mac Music App library to my new Linux / Windows computer and iTunes has pushed me into the arms of MusicBee, which has very nice features. Some I knew I missed, a lot I didn't think of, but are very nice.

Unfortunately, I still have an iPhone and I would like to make it last a bit longer before switching to something like a fairphone or anything more compatible with MusicBee.
In the meantime, if have been fidling with your plugin for a few weeks (on and off), trying to get my MusicBee and its playlist on my iPhone and I've finaly managed to get it all synced, and getting back ratings, play counts, last played date back into MusicBee.

I haven't worked out all the kinks from my process : currently I need to manually remove all playlist from iTunes for the playlist update to work (and even then it's a bit of a dice roll) => does anyone have the same issue ?

Also, one improvement to the plugin that seems easy to implement is the sync order between tracks, playlists and tags.
Currently, I believe it is tracks, then playlists, then tags. This means any automatic playlist that relies on tags needs 2 synchronisations to get updated on the iPhone : the first one to get the latest tags from iTunes, the second to put the updated playlists back in iTunes.

Could we switch the sync order to :  tracks, then tags, then playlists ? And would it work, meaning would MusicBee be able to update the playlists between the tags sync and the playlist sync ?

Alternatively, could we get an option to only update the playlists (without going through the full library update) ?

iTunes version : Version 12.13.1.3 (latest version as of today)
MusicBee : Version 3.5.8698 (same)

BoringName

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I haven't worked out all the kinks from my process : currently I need to manually remove all playlist from iTunes for the playlist update to work (and even then it's a bit of a dice roll) => does anyone have the same issue ?

It's because you're using a version newer than 12.5.3.16

That's the latest version that works properly. Every version after that has some kind of issue.

Granted you probably have to for it to work with whatever version of iPhone you are using.

Also, one improvement to the plugin that seems easy to implement is the sync order between tracks, playlists and tags.

What gives you the idea it would be easy?

From memory, this is what it does (if you're using the right version).
- MB provides a list of tracks/playlists that match the sync criteria.
- The plugin adds them to iTunes while syncing ratings from MB to iTunes(if option selected)
- If the track is a playlist, it deletes it first in iTunes and recreates it. (has to be done to work around a bug)
- depending on settings it will remove anything in iTunes that wasn't included in the sync. (just realized this could result in lost play counts).
- Playlists in iTunes are populated with songs.
- Syncs Play Count and ratings back to MB.
- Resets play count to zero in iTunes.

Could we switch the sync order to :  tracks, then tags, then playlists ? And would it work

It wouldn't work. MB parses tracks to the plugin based on the options you choose when the sync is initialized. There is no way to alter that list once the sync process has started.

Alternatively, could we get an option to only update the playlists (without going through the full library update) ?

You can choose to only sync certain playlists. It will still sync back all ratings and play counts of everything in iTunes. It will probably delete playlists from iTunes though....
Honestly can't remember if this will work but if you uncheck the following setting it should leave everything previously synced in iTunes.
Hamburger button (top left in MB) -> Edit Preferences -> Devices -> iPod & iPhone Driver -> Configure -> Settings -> Delete files that are not on the auto-sync list from the device.

So if you untick that option and do a full sync of all songs/playlists. Then perform another sync with just one playlist selected, it should leave all the songs in iTunes. But it will probably delete all the playlist except for the one you selected. The songs of all the deleted playlist will still be in iTunes, they just won't be part of a playlist.

The other issue with this is it will only sync ratings from MB to iTunes (if option selected) based on the selected playlist.
But it will sync all ratings and play counts back to MB (if option selected) regardless of what songs/playlists are selected to sync.

Just to be clear, there is no way to update MB with playcounts/ratings from your device and sync updated auto-playlists back to your device in one pass.

ericvulpi

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Thanks for the feedback, it works.

In case someone else is also trying to sync his iphone with MusicBee (which does require the latest iTunes version), here is the workflow that works for me :
- sync your iphone with iTunes
- unplug your iPhone
- delete all your playlists from iTunes library
- close and reopen iTunes and MusicBee
- launch the plugin
- sync MusicBee to iTunes via the plugin
- If you have automatic playlists that needs updating with synced tags :
    - close and reopen iTunes and MusicBee
    - launch the plugin
    - sync MusicBee to iTunes, you can tick "synchronise playlist" only and select the playlist that need updating
- sync your iphone with iTunes

Victory :)

iTunes version : 12.13.1.3 (latest version as of today)
MusicBee version : 3.5.8698 (same)

BoringName

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Victory :)

iTunes version : 12.13.1.3 (latest version as of today)

Well done. I actually didn't know they were still updating the non store version of iTunes for windows. Looks like most of it is to add support for new iPads. I'd be surprised if they have fixed any of the API bugs.

The next time you need a new phone, consider that syncing an Android device to Musicbee can be done over wifi through an app. It's basically just a click and it's done. Works fast too.

I only use this plugin to keep my partners iPod up to date and I don't know how long she will bother with that as she keeps her entire music library on her mobile these days. It works for what I need it for and I don't think there is much demand for it to do anything else. There is too many bugs in the API to keep it working with up to date versions of iTunes and there is nothing I can do about that. So I probably won't be updating it any further. I might give it a look over once I've finished playing around with my other plugin but that won't be anytime soon.

ericvulpi

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The next time you need a new phone, consider that syncing an Android device to Musicbee can be done over wifi through an app. It's basically just a click and it's done. Works fast too.

Well, I wouldn't phrase it so optimistically considering this thread
But it looks definitely easier than for the iPhone :)

BoringName

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Well, I wouldn't phrase it so optimistically considering this thread
But it looks definitely easier than for the iPhone :)

There are a couple of links in that thread for custom compiled versions of the app. One of them is mine. It's worked without issue for my partner. And I'll make sure to keep it working for as long as she is using it. She is syncing a library of 40,000+ songs to her phone and it just works.

But you do have to mess around a little allowing permissions to install apps outside of the play store. And the security concerns of installing an app from a link on a forum from someone you don't know :)

The main problem is it needs a significant rewrite to handle the way google changed storage permissions in android 12 (I think) otherwise it will get rejected from the play store. So for now we are stuck with installing it outside of the play store. I'm at the tail end of fixing up my other plugin. I might have a look at trying to get the mobile app on the play store after that, or at least getting it up to speed for someone else to manage. I'm not really a programmer and the android stuff goes over my head a bit so not really sure I want to take that on.... depends how bored I get.

ericvulpi

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