Cannot connect to iTunes Store on iPad

I started encountering the “Cannot connect to iTunes Store” error this weekend. There are lots of “remedies” on the Net, but this is the one that worked for me:

1. Open App Store
2. Go to Featured and scroll down to the very bottom. Your Apple ID will be displayed.
3. Tap your Apple ID and then tap Sign Out.
4. Open the Settings App
5. Scroll down to Store.
6. Tap Sign-in and then login with your Apple ID and password.

You should now be able to update apps. I also did a hard reset before I did all this, but I’m thinking it didn’t matter.

I got this from an Apple forum post though I tweak and simplified the procedure.

Migrating iTunes from Windows XP to Mac OS X

I decided that I wanted to move iTunes from my Windows XP desktop to my new MacBook Air. You’d think that Apple would have “a button” to do that. You’d be wrong. There are many how-to blog posts that talk about how to copy over the files. I tried a few, but none seemed to be very straight forward. Playlists and Apps seemed to be the major stumbling block.

Anyways, I found a third-party application called CopyTrans TuneSwift which worked like a charm. For only $15 bucks, it was worth every penny. It basically creates an archive of your iTunes library on the Windows side and provides a OSX utility that unarchives things on the Mac side. The instructions want you to use an external drive, but it worked fine using a shared network folder. The basic steps are:

1. Run CopyTrans TuneSwift
2. Click the Transfer button
3. Click the I want to transfer my iTunes Library to Mac button.
4. Set the target folder (removable storage or network share) and click  Start Transfer button. This takes a LONG TIME since it is archiving all the media files.
5. When the archiving step is complete a web page will open that provides a link to the Mac restore application, which you download and run on the Mac (obviously). This takes a LONG TIME too…
6. When the library is restored, you run iTunes BUT you are supposed to hold the Option key down which allows you to select the new iTunes library. Now, I think I messed up on this step, but iTunes seemed to use the new library anyways.
7. That’s it.

Everything came over as expected and my iPhone 4, iPad (first gen) and iPad 2, all connected and synced with no issues.

The one exception is Photos and it’s mainly because Apple treats them differently that audio and video media. If you’ve ever tried to get pictures over to an iOS device, you know what I’m talking about–pictures are the bastard children of iTunes for some unknown reason. Fortunately, it’s not a big hassle to get your photos over too. I created a folder on my Mac under Pictures called My Photos and copied all my photos from the Windows iTunes folder. Then, I set the iOS device to Sync Photos and pointed it to the My Photos folder. (Initially, I tried using the iPhotos folder, but it just seemed too heavy-handed. I may use that in the future once I get more comfortable with it.)

Hope this helps you!

I *hate* iTunes, but I guess I have to use it

After upgrading to 3.0 recently on my 2nd gen iPod Touch, MediaMonkey would no longer recognize the device. I installed a beta driver and it recognized it, *but* it corrupted the files. Ugh.

I’m feeling kinda like someone with a hacked iPhone and have decided that instead of fighting them, I might as well join them. In doing a restore I ended up having to install the 3.1.1 firmware upgrade, but it didn’t look like I had to pay =) Maybe because I only upgraded to 3.0 a few weeks ago. I dunno, but I won’t question a free upgrade. Also installed iTunes 9. Seems more like 8.1 and maybe even 8.0.1…HAHAHA I also had to re-install all my apps! THAT was a pain. Fortunately, the iTunes store keeps track of everything, even the free ones, so I just had to follow my purchase history.

I will continue to use MediaMonkey to manage my music, album art, ID3 tags, etc. I just don’t fully trust iTunes with my entire music collection, so I think I’ll just create a special folder with all my iPod music, even though it will mean I’ll have duplicate files. I have plenty of extra storage space.

I like keeping a special playlist of all my iPod music that is ordered by the date added to my Touch so I can quickly listen to music I’ve just added. I know I can use the automatic Recently Added playlist, but I’ve restored and started over so many times, that auto-playlist is unreliable. It is going to be sort of a pain to use both apps, but guess the alternative is even more evil.

UPDATE 2009-09-10:
OK, I’m *totally* giving in. I set iTunes to “keep my media organized”, that is, it’s going to keep stuff in artistalbumfolders. I did this so I could take advantage of, and be in sync with, the new “Automatically Add to iTunes” feature which automatically adds media put in that folder to the iTunes library. Of course, unlike other media managers, it doesn’t just monitor and add entries to the library, it renames and moves the files into the iTunes media folder. Apple always has to be different! See why I don’t trust iTunes with my entire media library?!

iTunes Genius-like playlist with MediaMonkey

My kid was showing me the iTunes genius feature and I was a bit intrigued. Although I have a 2nd gen iPod Touch I *hate* iTunes and only use it when I have to. Slow and stoopid IMHO, but I digress.

My music and tag manager of choice is MediaMonkey. One of it’s features is support for plug-ins and there is this cool LastFM one. It works in conjunction with MM’s AutoDJ feature which normally just adds a random song to the PlayNow list, but with the plug-in, it will automatically add a similar artist based on LastFM data.

Go to this forum post for a link to download the latest LastFM Auto-DJ plugin. To install, just double-click the plug-in file (like it was an executable file). The .mmip file extension should be associated with MM, assuming you have MM already installed. After the plugin is installed, complete the following steps:

1. Choose ‘Options’ from the main Tools menu.
2. Click on ‘Auto-DJ / Now Playing’ in the Player group of options.
3. Enable ‘Auto-DJ’ and set ‘Automatically maintain at least’ to 1.
4. Set ‘Add tracks from:’ to ‘Last.FM DJ’.
5. Unless you’ve rated most of your music, click the Configure button and enable the ‘Include unknown rating option’–this is very important!
6. Click ‘OK’.
Finally, start the Auto DJ playing mode by choosing ‘Auto-DJ’ from the Play menu. Make sure you do this last step or nothing will happen. Note that there is a toggle button on the player. The location depends on the skin you are using and, at least for me, it’s not a very recognizable icon.

Now, just drag any track to “seed” the process and the Auto-DJ feature will start adding similar artists. Since it isn’t analyzing the song, like iTunes Genius or Pandora might do, you get an interesting chain of songs.

Tunecore music royalties. I’m rich!

I posted some songs from my old band, Mind Games, to iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic using the Tunecore service and just got an email with the subject line “You Have Royalties From iTunes”. WOW! So I log in and low and behold, there’s a whopping $1.06 in my account! 40 cents is actually from Napster. Appears to be mostly from streaming, but maybe one actual purchase. Yeah, I don’t even know how I get paid HAHA. 66 cents is from UK iTunes.

Well, I don’t know where I’m gonna  spend it all. I think I’ll just let it sit there and grow =)