01/08/13 22:00:50

Setup as New Phone

My new iPhone arrived yesterday. As this particular phone setup was used since 2010 and was jailbroken a couple of times (therefore still having tons of stuff in places where stuff shouldn’t be). I decided to go the hard route and set the phone up from scratch. Yes, no accounts being transferred, no apps being installed.

As you may guess, setting up all the accounts and passwords was a pain, but it was my decision, so I can’t complain about that.

This post is about how the transfer of data created in an app is transferred to a new device. My experience was pretty great, until I hit the fourth page of apps.


I still have Momento installed, because it was the first app that pulled all social activities into an archive. It has since been superseded by Slogger and Day One (Mac, iOS), but I still keep it around and launch it every other month. Backup and restore is easy. No problem there.

iOutBank (Mac, iPhone, iPad):

iOutBank is a German banking app. They have instructions how to move to a new device. Again, no problem.

Other apps:

Almost all other apps sync over the cloud (read that again: all data is a copy of something that exists somewhere else) or allow to login to their site, e.g. Twitter, Zite, Instacast. “Moving” means nothing more than telling the app where the data in order to get everything back up and running.

Music Apps:

Then I came to my fourth page of apps: music app. Almost all music apps failed to offer some way of “backup and restore”. Almost all apps think the only thing I want to export is an audio loop to iTunes or SoundCloud or some other online service.

Luckily many apps now have MIDI, which means I could have hooked my phone to Live or Logic via WiFi MIDI Voodoo. But if I’d doone that, I wouldn’t have an option to get the loops back into the app. I couldn’t make music anymore without Logic anymore, because that’s where the music now lives. This sucks. Sorry for the strong language here, but I make music for 20 years now. Through the joys of technology I’ve seen my music become inaccessible a couple of times. First there were trackers, which died, but their format has later been reverse engineered.1 After that came proprietary formats that were never reverse engineered. Fruity Loops, Logic, Live.

The apps that failed to offer a restore option are: DM1 (iPhone, iPad), Figure (in Apple’s best of 2012!), MoDrum, BassLine.

Not all apps are bad, some export a “project” file which can be imported using iTunes file sharing: Impaktor, Loopy (HD), Rhythm Studio.

Pretty big and recommended titles that are good music apps, but fail when it comes to restore.

So. I have a couple of AIFF files now on my desktop of my tootling, which is great…

Before giving the old phone away, I made a local backup of my iPhone data.2 I plan to use iphonebackupextractor to get to my data. As soon as there’s a way to access/jailbreak the iPhone 5, I’m going to manually replace the directory contents so I can get my music back.

I’m not sure if it’s whining or complaining, but it stuck out to me that only one category of apps didn’t implement a restore function.

  1. There’s an active community of developers who keep trackers alive through reverse engineering. May you guys live long and prosper! If you’re into trackers, at all, check out SunVox (iOS Version). It’s awesome! 

  2. In iTunes’ sidebar (⌘S), right-click on your device, then select “backup” to initiate a manual and local backup.