iWant: Automatic Sync for iPods, iPhones and iPads

My friend Doug Adams, who runs Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes sent me an e-mail yesterday asking if there’s any way to have an iPod sync with iTunes automatically. He has one old device connected to a dock that he uses as a clock radio. It made me realize just how useful auto-syncing would be.

Not everyone needs this. Doug wants his podcasts to update, and it’s true that unless you listen to podcasts, or download content frequently (such as, for example, an iTunes season pass to the Daily Show), you won’t need daily syncing. But for some of us, it would save a step. Instead of having to go to iTunes to sync a device, there should be a setting whereby you choose periodic auto-syncing. You should be able to choose days and times; for example, you might want to sync every day at, say, 7 am, before you head off to work, but on the weekends, you might not want to sync at all, or, perhaps, later in the day.

This would be easy to implement: it would happen on the iTunes side, not on the iOS device. iTunes would simply have a daemon that checks for the next scheduled sync and runs it when that time comes, if the computer is on (or the next time the computer is on). If the iOS device is not found, then it stops and waits for the next time.

Note: Doug is looking into whether he can script this. So I hope to be able to update this article soon with a solution to this problem. This wouldn’t work directly with iTunes, but would probably use an AppleScript to set up and activate.

Update: here’s Doug’s solution.