My iPhone is synced with two Macs — one for the music library, the other for contacts and photos. So I often have to plug my iPhone to my iMac in order to import my photos into iPhoto, but it also opens iTunes automatically, which is annoying because my iMac is a G5 with 1GB of RAM, and it takes long enough already for iPhoto to launch without having to also watch the iTunes icon bounce in my dock.
In theory, it’s pretty simple to have iTunes not launch automatically when you plug your iPhone: just uncheck the “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” box on the page that iTunes displays when your phone is plugged in.
But there’s a catch: if you’ve started with checking the “Disable automatic syncing for iPhones and iPods” box in the application’s global Preferences dialog, then “Automatically sync this iPhone” looks unchecked on the summary page, even though it’s not. It’s disabled, and seems to be empty, and the iPhone indeed doesn’t sync, but it’s not disabled all the way. You have to temporarily uncheck the global “Disable automatic syncing” preference, which will re-enable the iPhone’s checkbox and show that it’s actually checked; uncheck it, click “Apply,” and re-check the global preference if you feel like it (not that I would expect it to make a difference, but evidently you can never know). Now iTunes doesn’t auto-launch anymore. Filed under: stupid bug.
And why do I not want to sync my contacts and calendar every time I plug my iPhone into my iMac? Simply because multiple-computer sync isn’t the most tested user scenario in Apple quality control; there was one point when connecting my iPhone to the iMac would start erasing all applications from the phone (because they weren’t installed on this instance of iTunes). It was rather easily fixed by disabling “Sync applications,” but the point is that I have to be pretty attentive to what iTunes is doing, so I only want it to start syncing when I tell it to. Then I don’t let the iTunes progress window out of my sight until it’s done — always ready to grab my iPhone and cancel the sync at any time if something doesn’t look right.
By the way: I really don’t like that there’s a program called iTunes Helper that starts on login and is always running just so that it can detect when an iPod or iPhone is plugged in. What with my Mac being a G5 with 1GB of RAM, as I mentioned earlier.
P.S. Oh, the fucking morons. It looks like the “Automatically sync” preference is stored on the device — i.e., if I uncheck it on the iMac, the iPhone also stops auto-syncing on the Mini. And, if I enable it again on the Mini (which I want to, because I sync my podcasts every time I go out), iTunes auto-launches again on the iMac. Who on Earth could decide that would made sense?
Did I ever tell you how much I hate the engineering team in charge of iTunes?