iPhone 14 Pro in iTunes 12, manually managed music not showing up
November 27, 2022 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I've just upgraded to a 14 Pro from an XR, and I'm hoping somebody can help me keep my existing music setup working. I have a large iTunes library that lives on a 2009 Mac Pro (El Capitan 10.11.6) running iTunes I do all my music management manually, about 10K songs and a few smart playlists that I have copied over to my phone. After doing a direct transfer between phones during the setup process, I plugged the new phone into the Mac Pro and it seemed fine initially – iTunes needed a device support update, but that seems to happen with every new phone or iPad. After the update everything looks normal in iTunes expect the most important thing: When I click on the phone's music library, it appears as empty, even though everything is there and working on the phone itself. I can successfully back the phone up, so it's not like it just can't see the phone's storage at all. I've also used Retroactive to install iTunes 12 on my iMac 5K running Catalina, with the same results. Any ideas on how to fix this?
posted by aaronetc to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by the Music App (for music) and the Finder (for device backups/syncing). iTunes is pretty much on its way out. Catalina was released three years ago.

You're plugging in a 2022 phone (brand new) into a 2009 Mac (obsolete) running a 2015 operating system (obsolete). Apple is very aggressive about dropping support for old devices and software. You're going to have problems.
posted by meowzilla at 10:10 AM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Apple specifically supports this phone with this OS and this iTunes, and everything else works fine.
posted by aaronetc at 11:56 AM on November 27, 2022

Response by poster: After a little more exploring, nothing shows up in Catalina's Music app either, even though both it and iTunes 12 show that a large chunk of storage is taken up by the "Audio" category.
posted by aaronetc at 12:56 PM on November 27, 2022

Can you be a bit more specific:

When I click on the phone's music library, it appears as empty, even though everything is there and working on the phone itself.

What and where are you clicking? Where is it empty? If it's working on the phone why is this emptiness a problem?

nothing shows up in Catalina's Music app either

Nothing? At all? Or just nothing in a specific place?

(As meowzilla said, in Catalina you use the Finder to sync music (and everything else) with an iPhone, not the Music app.)
posted by fabius at 6:15 AM on November 29, 2022

Response by poster: What's empty is the list of songs that are copied over to the Phone (in the left side navigation pane, "Music" underneath the name of the phone in the "Devices" area). This should allow me to manage what's on the phone – including deleting songs, editing smart playlist rules, or changing star ratings. Two of those can be done on the phone, though less efficiently than via iTunes/Music, but editing smart playlists can't. iOS has always been finicky about manually managed music, and a while back (several years and a couple phones ago) something caused all my music to spontaneously disappear, so my concern here is that copying something over could trigger something like that again. And to be clear, I'm not syncing; music is set to manual management.
posted by aaronetc at 7:27 AM on November 30, 2022

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