iTunes on PC backs up music files

Discussion in 'iPad Air Forum' started by Vagulus, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Vagulus

    Vagulus
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    Why does iTunes on PC backup (i.e. create copies of all files) my music files? I don't have music on my iPad Air (and I have a dumbfone) so the backups are never synced. It seems to be a huge waste of space.

    Can I avoid this?
     
  2. twerppoet

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    iTunes does not backup your music in a backup. Nor your apps, or iBooks, or any iStore content. This content only gets copied to the computer as synced files, or directly from the iTunes Store.

    It may sync those files between the computer and iPad, depending on your settings, but they are not part of the actual backup file.

    I used to have a nice Apple support link of what was in a backup, but it no longer appears to be valid. But basically, a backup contains your iPad's settings, the camera roll, contents of apps that have backups enabled, and a kind of list of apps are installed on your iPad, so that they will be automatically re-installed if you restore from a backup. The apps themselves will be pulled from your iTunes Apple library, or directly from the iTunes Store, depending on stuff.

    There are probably a few things that I am missing, but your actual apps, music, books, etc. are not in the backup file.

    iCloud backups are similar, which is why you can actually backup up a 64 GB iPad with only 5 GB of iCloud storage space.
     
  3. J. A.

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  4. twerppoet

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    Thanks. I have no idea how I lost this from my link notes.

    .
    .
    .


    And now that I go to add it back to my notes, there the link sits, sticking it tongue out and making rude gestures.
     
  5. Vagulus

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    Hmmmm ...
    What, then, did I delete from
    C:\Users\<me>\MyMusic\iTunes ?

    Several GB of music files, that's what!

    Reeeeeeallly! Did! :(
     
  6. twerppoet

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    If you saw them as music files, they were not part of the backup. The backup is highly compacted without any kind of user readable file system.

    So what you probably deleted was all or part of your iTunes music library. Though I'm not 100% sure. I don't remember where exactly the iTunes library is located in Windows. It could be a file or folder left by some other program on the computer that deals with iTunes, or an old import of music in to iTunes.

    Apple draws a sharp distinction between your backups and iTunes Store content. The store content is never part of the actual backup. There is no reason for it, since the content (with few exceptions) can always be downloaded again for free.

    iTunes Store content may be synced between your computer and device. This is separate from the backup. What does and does not sync is highly customizable. In some ways too customizable. It can cause a lot of confusion for people who new to both the iPad and iTunes on the computer, and the complexity can lead to annoying mistakes and unexpected results.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1296
     
  7. Vagulus

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    There is no music on my iPad.
    I do not want music on my iPad.
    There is not enough space on my iPad for my music (3.2GB).

    How did I recover 3.2GB disc space when I did the delete I mentioned?
     
  8. twerppoet

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    I don't know. But deleting stuff off the computer doesn't do anything unless you were already syncing music with your computer.

    Most likely it was just a coincidence, and something else happen to cause the iPad to clear up some of the Other space. This happens periodically, and unpredictably, on it's own. I have no idea what triggers the clean up, but restarts and resets have been known to trigger storage cleanup.
     

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