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2011-11-06 iTunes iPad Backup

The media on this iPad cannot be backed up because there is not enough free space on this computer to hold all of the backed up files (31.30 GB required, 3.57 GB available). Would you like to continue to update this iPad?
Continuing will result in the loss of all media on this iPad.

I hate you! My external disk drive has 214.03 GB available. Now what?

I think what I’ll try is move all my existing backups from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ to my external drive and link the new location to the old location.

  1. it did not work – even though this is what other people suggest as well
  2. tried it with a symbolic link instead of the links Finder creates, but it didn’t work, either
  3. tried moving MobilSync to the external disk and symbolic linking it, but it didn’t work, either

iTunes keeps telling me that there’s not enough space. > }}

I noticed that you might have to call this repeatedly because at particular points in time the process might not be writing backup files.

Anyway. What does this tell me? iTunes checks the available disk space on the default drive where it thinks the backup will be created, even though I moved the directory to an external disk. sucks

Well, I was hoping this fixed the stupid problem, but not so:

An error occurred while backing up this iPad (-50). Would you like to continue to update this iPad?
Continuing will result in the loss of all contents on this iPad.

Now what? Retry? I wonder what that means, exactly: Loss of all in-app purchases? What if the app is no longer supported—are the in-app purchases that I am unable to download lost forever?

Another question poses itself: Do I need a backup as part of this upgrade process? When I sync the iPad before doing the upgrade, I see that it is doing a backup. When I check iTunes Preferences → Advanced → Devices → I see “Alex Schröder’s iPad – Today 11:20” (not quite what I expected but close enough). Perhaps I can just upgrade the iPad and then restore this backup?

Googling for this error leads me to a thread where a user is saying “I had my MobileSync folder symlinked…” This is exactly what I did to avoid the first error. Needless to say, this makes me very unhappy.

What I’ll try next is deleting the symlink without moving the backup data back to the main drive and upgrade. We’ll see about the various backups after the upgrade. Perhaps the 31.30 GB required are just a temporary thing. I sure hope so.

It worked! When I came back this morning I saw Syncing Photos to “Alex Schröder’s iPad (Step 6/6)—Copying photo 16600 of 19540” ok


Comments on 2011-11-06 iTunes iPad Backup

Jovial Priest
I love Apple - until it doesn’t work…

Jovial Priest 2011-11-06 20:33 UTC

My thoughts exactly! sigh I switched to Apple after having used various GNU/Linux distributions for years. I spent a lot of time tinkering with the system. Apple appeared to offer a fix to this problem, and it just works—most of the time. When it doesn’t work, though…

AlexSchroeder 2011-11-06 23:04 UTC

Brian Isikoff
Sorry to hear you’re in iPad hell. I just brought on line a 2 TB external (2 TB … and I recall the days of tape) for my media. In my case, it was the prior drive going down, taking all the music with it (and nearly the MacBook, whose hd was also entirely full). Managed to recover an old episode of the podcast, plus (thanks to iCloud, I’ll admit) a ton of music.

Brian Isikoff 2011-11-07 15:28 UTC

Episode 60 was good! The amount of work producing a sound track for every player is staggering, however. Wow!!

AlexSchroeder 2011-11-12 09:16 UTC

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2008-03-21 Send iTunes Tracks To SqueezeBox

Ok, I finally solved my problem! I mentioned it on 2007-12-02 iTunes vs. Squeezebox –– I like how iTunes lets me quickly collect the stuff I want. But then I can’t play it on my SqueezeBox. Suckage! I tried some suggestions from the Slim Devices forum [1] and I finally figured out what I wanted: I want to select some files and “send them to the Squeezebox” – I don’t want to play the same song in iTunes and on the Squeezebox, for example.

Brad Mohr’s script did exactly what I wanted it to do. Except that it assumed an old version of the server software, and it required me to change a little security setting, or it required me to figure out the “cauth” key. No good! Some looking at documentation that came with the new server, some looking at AppleScript examples elsewhere, some fiddling with netcat (nc), and soon I had something that seems to work.

Yes, netcat is the awesome! :)

Anyway, here it is. To use:

  1. Open the AppleScript editor → Applications → AppleScript → Script Editor.
  2. Paste the code below.
  3. Hit ⌘R to run it. Good for testing.

To install it, you have two options. Here’s how to have a stand-alone program:

  1. Save, pick “Program” as the format to use. I used “Send iTunes Tracks To Squeezebox” as the name.
  2. Select some tracks in iTunes.
  3. Run the program. It will ask you whether you want to “Play” or “Append”.

Or to have it available from the scripts menu in iTunes:

  1. Create the directory ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts
  2. Save, pick “Script” as the format to use. I used “Send To Squeezebox” as the name.
  3. Select the tracks in iTunes.
  4. From the iTunes Script menu, pick “Send To Squeezebox”. It will ask you whether you want to “Play” or “Append”.
  5. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always seem to work, and I haven’t figured out why. :( If you uncomment the display dialog result buttons {"Ok"} at the very end, you’ll see that when run from the Script Editor, everything works as expected, and when run from within iTunes, the result is the empty string. Always.


-- SlimPlay
-- by Alex Schroeder, kensanata@gmail.com
-- March 2008
-- by Brad Mohr, bmohr (AT) seanet (DOT) com
-- 22 January 2003
-- This script is absolutely free and may be used by anyone for any purpose.

-- Known Limitations:
-- Currently only supports a single Squeezebox.
-- Very little error checking

-- edit these properties to match your setup.
property squeezecenter_host : "localhost" -- URL or IP address of the SlimServer
property squeezecenter_port : "9090" -- server port number for the command line interface, default is 9090

tell application "iTunes"
	set these_tracks to the selection of browser window 1
	if these_tracks is {} then error "No tracks are selected in the front window."
	set should_play to false
	display dialog "What would you like to do with these tracks?" buttons {"Play", "Append", "Cancel"} default button 2
	if the button returned of the result is not "Cancel" then
		if the button returned of the result is "Play" then set should_play to true
		set is_first_file to true
		repeat with a_track in these_tracks
			set carbon_filepath to the location of a_track
			set track_title to the name of a_track
			tell application "Finder" to set filepath to URL of carbon_filepath
			set escaped_path to escape_path(filepath) of me
			if should_play then
				if is_first_file then
					playlist_play_track(escaped_path) of me
					set is_first_file to false
					playlist_append_track(escaped_path) of me
				end if
				playlist_append_track(escaped_path) of me
			end if
		end repeat
		if should_play then
			begin_playing() of me
		end if
	end if
end tell

-- apostrophe causes trouble when sent to the shell
on escape_path(this_text)
	set the escaped_text to ""
	repeat with this_char in this_text
		if this_char as text is equal to "'" then
			set the escaped_text to the escaped_text & "%27"
			set the escaped_text to the escaped_text & this_char
		end if
	end repeat
	return the escaped_text
end escape_path

-- append the new track to the playlist
on playlist_append_track(escapedTrackPath)
	send_command("playlist add " & escapedTrackPath)
end playlist_append_track

-- replace the existing playlist with the new track
on playlist_play_track(escapedTrackPath)
	send_command("playlist play " & escapedTrackPath)
end playlist_play_track

-- tell the default (or only) server to begin playing
on begin_playing()
end begin_playing

on send_command(command)
	tell application "Finder"
		set shell_command to "echo -e '" & command & "\\nexit' | /usr/bin/nc " & squeezecenter_host & " " & squeezecenter_port & "; exit 0"
		-- display dialog shell_command buttons {"Ok"}
		set result to do shell script shell_command
		-- display dialog result buttons {"Ok"}
	end tell
end send_command


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2007-12-21 Useless Checkbox

I use Mac OS 10.3.9 on my iBook; I have iTunes 7.5; I don’t have an iPhone and I don’t plan to get one. iTunes won’t let me uncheck the Ringtones folder. Grrrr! [1]


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2006-07-03 Reorganizing my music folder

I’ve decided to reorganize my music folder. It was a mess of various stuff I had ripped at one time or another, usually when taking music to the office, using a variety of tools and depending on both CDDB and Freedb. Both sometimes have lousy meta data quality for a perfectionist. I want titles capitalized. I want the compilation flag set when possible. I want the genre to be correct according to my ecclectic taste. No, Trip-Hop is not “Alternative & Punk” and Raï is not “Ethnic” and Bachata is not “Latin”.

I’ve decided to stick to iTunes for the moment because that makes playing the music on my stereo in the living room really easy. I’m moving my files to a single external drive, which I will then backup to a second drive. No splitting of music library across systems and folders without a real backup plan.

So now I’m slowly moving one folder after another into iTunes, fixing meta data as I go.


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