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March 4, 2012

Possible solution to very slow iPod touch syncing (maybe iPhone too)

It's been a while since I've posted here. But one of my New Year's resolutions was to consider to start blogging again... so here's an attempt

A few weeks ago I bought myself a shiny 5G iPod Touch.

I had it delivered to work and within seconds of opening it up I was already surfing the web, syncing my purchases and allsorts to it via the wifi! Amazing, I thought, "OMG, the hype was right". When I came home I plugged it into my PC to sync all of my stuff. Disaster. It took about a minute per song to transfer. "Come back USB1, all is forgiven", I thought to myself.

After managing to convince it to do wifi syncing I soon found that this was about 3 times quicker - but still too slow! Rubbish. So... what could it be. Well, I was using my old iPod cable... so maybe it was that... so I swapped leads with the new one... no joy.

Somewhere along the lines, I plugged my mobile phone into the computer to charge (Sony Ericsson Elm, if you're wondering). Lo and behold, the transfer started zipping along at a rate I'd become accustomed to with my old iPod.

I thought to myself, "what the ...?"

After much debugging I realised that the transfer only went quickly when the "Sony Ericsson Device 1039 USB Ethernet Emulation (NDIS 5)" driver was enabled. That is, if I disabled that, the upload to my iPod would go slow... and as soon as I re-enabled it, it would go fast. I was like some sort of inverse device conflict!

So, I'd got a solution, albeit rubbish (my actual solution is still pretty pants to be fair). All I needed to do is make sure my phone was plugged in at the same time as my iPod. This clearly isn't that satisfactorily... so... I wondered if it was just that network driver it was after... or another (bearing in mind I'm well and truly in the 90s and have a wired LAN card in this PC!). So, I dug around and came across a USB wifi dongle thingy. I've plugged this in the back of the PC and just dumped it behind there. It's not connected to a network or anything. It's just plugged in. Sure enough... the iPod syncs at proper speeds!

I have no real idea why this works. I have spotted that when you do a sync to the iPod and look at "Resource Monitor" there's some pretty fast 'Network I/O' going on that's on a network device that's not listed - not sure if it's on the loopback device or if Apple are doing something funky. My guess is that somewhere along the line it's remembering me having that network connection present in the past as it's causing it to look for it or something.

Anyway, if you've got slow sync issues, try seeing if plugging in another network device does anything? I've not gone so far as to plug in another ancient wired network card to see if that'll work too. That's an exercise for the reader.

Maybe another solution (a proper solution) might be to remove all remnants of previous network adapters that have been plugged into the machine - I'm up to "Local Area Connection (20)" on my machine and see if that works. Another exercise for the reader!

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Posted by Ed at March 4, 2012 12:32 PM | Geek |