Feed my iPhone
June 29, 2009 11:48 AM   Subscribe

A desktop, a laptop, an external hard drive, an iPhone, and me. How should I sync my iPhone?

I've got a 16GB iPhone arriving tomorrow, my first one. Now I need to figure out what to do with it. Our household consists of an iMac that's primarily my husband's and a MacBook that's primarily mine. I'd prefer to manage music, apps, etc. on my laptop. However, the external hard drive that houses all our music is usually connected to the desktop, and it would be impractical to switch it back and forth between the two computers. With my old iPod, which after tomorrow will be my husband's iPod, I didn't have a problem just syncing it with the desktop, but apps and calendars and contacts complicate matters and I'd rather use my own machine.

I'm sure there a few different ways to do this. The best strategy I've been able to come up with is to get a $30 16GB USB drive and point iTunes on my laptop to the USB drive, so apps and podcasts save there, and periodically swap out the music. That seems sort of clunky. I can access the iTunes library on the laptop over our wireless network, but that doesn't help with syncing, right?

What other options should I consider?
posted by doift to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can sync an iphone to multiple itunes and you can indicate what you want to sync from each. So you could have music sync from the desktop, but all the other settings you want (contacts, or photos or whatever) sync from your laptop.
posted by R343L at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2009

You can also set the iPhone to use your Laptop as a the primary computer, and choose to "Sync Music Manually" while leaving the rest of the settings to sync things automatically. This is how I have mine set up.

As a word to new iPhone users - if you're also getting a .Mac account, set it up BEFORE you set up the iPhone. I played with the shiny new toy and synced all my data, then set up .Mac afterwards - and it replicated all my data again as a different source (once from local Mac, once from .Mac service), and I couldn't remove it w/o resetting the phone. Setting up .Mac first before you plug in the iPhone, and letting it be the source of your data on the iPhone, will make life much, much easier.
posted by GJSchaller at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2009

R343L: "You can sync an iphone to multiple itunes ...."

Can you explain how this is done?.... I used to sync my iPhone with my main desktop computer. I say "used to" because my main desktop crashed, and now when I try to sync my phone with my laptop it warns me that the "iPhone can only be synced with 1 computer - your music will be wiped (deleted) if you proceed)".. which obviously I dont want to do ....
posted by jmnugent at 1:46 PM on June 29, 2009

« Older Simple bread recipe for kids?   |   What's a good film SLR for a beginner? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.