Barkings!: Wireless Sync with iTunes

A few days ago, a friend asked if I’ve played around with iOS 5 and what my favorite feature is. since I have a 3rd-generation iPod touch, some of the new features don’t apply to me, but one of the cooler ones so far is the ability to sync with iTunes without plugging into my laptop. my friend said he’d heard of that but thought he couldn’t set it up because he was still running Leopard. the good news is, unlike iCloud support, wireless syncing doesn’t require Lion. as long as your computer will run iTunes 10.5 and you have a device that supports iOS 5, then you have what you need.

To wirelessly sync your device with iTunes, first connect your device to your system using the USB sync cable. Start iTunes if it doesn’t run automatically, then click Check for Updates to make sure you’re using the latest version. now, click the Summary tab and click on Check for Updates to make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS. Update it if necessary. (As of this writing, there are a lot of people updating, so don’t panic if the download takes a while.)

Once everything is up to date, look at the bottom of the device’s Summary page for “Sync over Wi-Fi connection.” Check this option, then go through your library and select what you’ll be syncing. After the initial sync, you can eject your device by clicking the little Eject symbol next to the device’s name.

On your device, select Settings and then General. Tap on iTunes Sync. Tap the button marked Sync now and your device will connect to your computer and synchronize your library. your device will also sync automatically any time you connect it to a wall charger. (This assumes that you are on the same network as your iTunes library.) Wireless syncing will take a little bit longer than from the USB sync cable, but the convenience is worth the wait.

This has been a huge help to me. I recently moved into a new place, and my office is full of boxes. Climbing around the pile to connect my iPod to my computer is a pain, but now that I can sync wirelessly, I don’t even have to be in the same room. I hit Sync now, grab breakfast, then charge my iPod during the drive to work.

The fine print: iTunes 10.5 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, or Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher. iOS 5 is supported on the iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation, iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S.