I've noticed that Apple no longer requires the Music app (previously known as iTunes) to be running in order to sync your music library on you mac with an iPhone or an iPad.

This is fantastic because I must endure prolonged periods of the beach ball of death whenever I start up that app.

Although I have to use exactly the right USB-to-lighning cable and I might have to reboot my computer a few times, I can usually get the playlists on my mac synched to my iPhone with less than a dozen errors and less than 30 minutes of effort.

Unfortunately, whenever I want to add a file to my library, and/or change my playlists before syncing, I still have to endure the beach ball of death. Both on startup (~20 minutes) and with every single mouse click (5-10 seconds). I can't endure this torture any more and need an alternative.

I presume that the decoupling of the Music app from the sync process by Apple was done so that other applications could be used to write to the music library.

Is this the correct presumption?

If so, does a list of such apps exist?

Alternatively, can I add just mp3s and edit my playlists manually on the file system without using an app?

  • As far as I understood your (now deleted) comment, I gather that you think the developers of the Music app are actually the ones responding to your here on AskDifferent. That's not the case. The site is not run by Apple or its engineers, and the replies you receive are from volunteers - not Apple employees.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 11 at 22:01
  • @jksoegaard: Uh huh. Apple pays people to maintain its image. It has plenty of money to do so. And it's cheaper than actually fixing broken products.
    – Alex Ryan
    Sep 11 at 22:03
  • I doubt that would be the case - fixing bugs is a one-off costs, paying off millions of users around the globe continually is a different thing.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 11 at 22:05
  • You seem to be adding 2+2 & arriving at 5. "I have to use exactly the right USB-to-lighning cable" - this points firmly at it not being a software issue. You didn't state whether the beachball issue happens only when the phone is connected, so that information may be pertinent. You also need to tell us what Mac & whether you're using any kind of Thunderbolt/USB-C dock/adaptor & whether you are using known-good Apple cables or 3rd party.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 12 at 9:56
  • 1
    @AlexRyan Have you considered that it might be that not everyone at Apple are "bozos", and that you might have a hardware error instead?
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 13 at 8:20

There's something seriously wrong with your setup - either hardware or software.

You're not supposed to have "prolonged periods of the beach ball" whenever you start the Music app, nor do you have to use "exactly the right USB-to-lightning cable" (any USB to lightning cable will do), and you do not need to reboot yourc omputer to sync a playlist from your Mac to an iPhone. It also should not take 30 minutes.

Adding a file to your library and/or changing a platlist is also not supposed to give a "beach ball of death", nor should clicking your muse ofcourse.

You should fix this before looking at manually editing playlists in the file system.

Regarding your presumption, I can with almost certainty say that the iTunes software wasn't split up in order to make it possible for other applications to write to the music library. That has been technically possible for Apple to do at any time, no matter if the Music app and the syncing process were separate or not.

  • I've spend many sessions on the phone with Apple engineers trying to fix. It seems to be simply the size of my library. Any suggestions?
    – Alex Ryan
    Sep 11 at 22:00
  • How large is your music library?
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 11 at 22:01
  • 60 GB; 7100 items on disk
    – Alex Ryan
    Sep 12 at 10:21
  • That’s not particularly large - my own music library is considerably larger and has been so for many years. It has never been an issue for iTunes nor the Music app to handle that. It sounds likely that you have either a hardware error or have somehow corrupted your music database. I would advise solving that the usual ways instead of finding manual ways of adding to the library. What you’re seeing is not what other users see, so it must be some local problem.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 12 at 11:14

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