So, like pretty much every other fanboi out there, I now have iOS7 installed on my iPad and iPhone. In the main I’ve been quite impressed. I’m still running an iPhone 4S and I was worried it would struggle. Two things I did notice though were music playback and battery life were both shocking. I’ve had this problem in the past when the iPhone 4 came out. I was on an iPhone 3 and the latest version of iOS struggled to play music without stuttering. I had joked that Apple deliberately caused older hardware to do this to force upgrades, and then duly went and got an iPhone 4 which solved any speed issues. This time round I wasn’t so sure it was hardware related. For one thing, every time I opened the music app there was network access, and music wasn’t stuttering, it was just stopping, or refusing to play.
Googling the situation wasn’t helpful. The internet is rife with stories about iOS7, the new music player and people having unrelated problems, meaning my searches were brining up useless news articles and forum posts. To that end I’m going to describe the problems I had so maybe others migh find this and get a solution.
The first problem was music would just stop. Press play again and nothing would happen, or maybe it would play a second or two, and then stop.
Next up was the bizarre behaviour of me pressing ‘next’ and seeing my iPhone keep skipping tracks. It was almost as if it was considering the track, and then discounting it, moving onto the next one. Sometimes it would skip a number of tracks before finally deciding it would play one.
Then there was the issue of near constant network access when the music app was open, and really poor battery life, probably because of the network access.
Lastly there were some odd songs on my iPhone. I rate all my music and have rules that put 5*, 4* and a random selection of 3* tracks onto my phone. This does mean that each time I sync I get a slightly different selection of tunes, but I was sure I’d set some of these tracks not to sync.
It turns out the explanation, and solution was very simple. The problems seemed to occur when I had limited network access so I wondered if iOS7 was doing anything funky with the music app and phoning home. A quick check of the Music app preferences yielded:
Seems my phone was now trying to play music I’d bought off the iTunes Music Store, but that wasn’t on my phone. A quick change of settings to:
And the number of tracks on my phone dropped by 1,000, those that were left played instantly and the problems all went away.