Wednesday, 19 November 2014

iTunes user interface

I wanted to put the geocache data on to ladysolly's new iPhone 6. iTunes wouldn't recognise her iPhone, so I thought, first step, update to the latest iTunes, which is version But when I did that, I found that not only have Apple changed the user interface, they've made it really difficult to find where to go to copy data for apps onto the iPhone.

I use Gsak for keeping track of my cache data. Actually, I use several copies of Gsak on three computers; that spreads the processing load. So, from Gsak, I output a GPX file of all the caches not found by me within 120 kilometers. But that's 41,000 caches, and Memory Map can't handle that many on the Loox, so I divide it into four quadrants; NE, NW, SE and SW. I notice Star Trek uses the word "quadrant", where what they actually mean is "region".

I have a program that reads that GPX file, and spits out:

1. TomTom "Favourite places" so that when I'm using the satnav, caches show up as I'm driving along, and I can use it to navigate to them. Different kinds of caches have different coloured icons.

2. GPX files (in four quadrants) for Memory Map on the iPhone.

3. Geosphere data files (divided into 16 regions) for the iPhone (because Geosphere can't handle more than 8000 caches at once).

4. HTML files with the cache page, hint and last 25 logs of each cache. But I don't want 41,000 files, because the FAT file system gets very sluggish when a directory has that many files. So they're grouped by the first two or three letters of the cache code. So one HTML file might cover 41d00 up to 41dzz. So there's only 4500 files, covering the 41,000 caches.

5. CSV files for Memory Map on the Loox and the PC; again,different kinds of caches have different coloured icons; a cache whose most recent log isn't a find has the icon upside-down, and micros have the icon backwards.  I use the PC for planning the day out (because it's got a lovely big screen) and the Loox for caching on the trail (because I don't want to carry a PC as I walk around). The iPhone is an emergency backup. But on a long route, like I'm planning tomorrow, I take a second Loox.

I have used the iPhone, when water got into my Loox and made it temporarily dead. It is possible to use the iPhone for caching, but the Loox is much, much better.

So, as part of all this, I need to copy Memory Map and Geosphere files to the iPhone. With iTunes 10, it was pretty obvious how to do this; you click on iPhone ... apps  and then it's easy. With iTunes 12, you click on a tiny rectangular icon which turns out to be "iPhone", and I had terrible trouble finding it. There doesn't seem to be a menu equivalent. Until you find that icon (which doesn't look to me like an iPhone) ... you're stuffed.

Thanks, Apple.

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