iPhone Music Disappears, Disk Space Shows as Other

Twice now, I’ve gone into my iPhone expecting to show people music and seeing … nothing. When I get back home that night to synchronize, the sync goofs up, and all the disk space being used on the iPhone shows as “Other”. A new sync fails, of course, because I’m syncing a music library set larger than the spare space.

Restoring the iPhone and re-synchronizing it after the restore worked last time, and I expect that’s what I’ll do tonight. But man … this is frustrating. As Jeff said at lunch, “Ahh, the joys of a 1.0 product.”

A few minutes later: Now the amount of “Other” disk space is far smaller, on the order of the size of calendars and contacts, and the music can be re-sync’d. Perhaps my “let me not sync music twice, then pray” trick worked.

5 Jan 2012: This has long been solved in the comments, which are now closed.

40 thoughts on “iPhone Music Disappears, Disk Space Shows as Other”

  1. Mike F your help worked a treat, oh and to all the people wondeing where the folders and files are that mike is refferring to, they are on hour iPhone and can only be accessed through an ssh browser after your iPhone is jailbroken, otherwise just restore. Once again thanks mike!

  2. Deleting the iTunes_Control” folders located at User >> Media >> iTunes_Control folder in iPhonebrower worked perfectly. Just deleted the folder, they opened up itunes and did a restore. got all of my space back, but had to reload my music and movies. but all apps and settings were still in place, thanks guys!

  3. I don’t have the Swap Tunes application and I didn’t have any directories (or subdirectories) named iTunes_Control* other than the original private/var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control directory. So I …

    1. Fresh sync to backup my phone
    2. Copied private/var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control directory to my computer (as a backup; took forever; didn’t need)
    3. Deleted the iTunes_Control directory on my phone
    4. Turned off my phone and closed iTunes
    5. Turned on my phone and opened iTunes
    6. Selected the most recent backup to restore my phone

    The extra “Other” data disappeared. One simple sync later and my music’s back.

    NOTE: I’ve been syncing with multiple computers (home and work) for over a year and this issue just popped up in the last month.


    What they told me to do was plug your iPhone into your computer so it shows up under the Devices section in iTunes. Then, drag a song from your iTunes library that isn’t already on your iPhone.

    That’s it. I did that and all my songs, artists, playlists, etc… were back and functioning. Hope this process works for you.

    1. Just upgraded to OS5 on my 3Gs. This went smoothly until I found no music or vids but 7GB of ‘Other’ signified by a yellow bar. Did what ‘Chips-a-hoy’ said above… and hey presto everything back to normal. PHEW! Another heart stoping moment resolved.

  5. FIXED IT!

    In your phone options in iTunes, Tick the box “Manually manage music and videos”
    Then Sync the iphone/ipod, (this will remove all the yellow “other” space)

    Then Un-Tick the “Manually manage music and videos”
    Then Sync again. (this will copy all the music back over, and may take a while)

    Sorted! 🙂

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