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Synching to iPad WAY slow Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I use iTunes to sync OO documents from my MBP to my iPad. It is incredibly slow. An outline that I update daily is only 31 MB, and after I drag it from Finder into the iTunes File Sharing window, the progress bar shows it's loading, and then about 1/3 of the way through the progress bar stops, and I get a spinning beach ball for a LONG time. It can take a half hour or longer. Every few minutes, there's a tiny bit of movement in the progress bar, and then it stops for 5-10 minutes before inching along another little bit.

If I right-click the iTunes icon in my dock, it says "Application Not Responding", and offers me the option to Force Quit. If I wait long enough - sometimes half an hour - the document loads, the spinning beach ball disappears, and all is well. But who's got the time for that?

I'm not even synching over WiFi. The iPad is plugged into my USB port.

A: Should it take that long?

B: Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

C: Is there a better/faster way to sync than through iTunes?
I just created a two row test outline, with a raw image file from my camera attached to each row (~40MB each). I opened iTunes, cabled up my old iPad 2 via USB, and dropped the file into the file sharing window. It took 50 seconds to move the file to the iPad in its entirety. I'd say something is amiss with your setup.

While you figure that out, why not open an Omni Sync Server account and move your files to/from iPad via that? You can mount the server volume in the Finder, so putting files on or taking them off is easy enough. In the iPad app, if you tap the Documents button, the button on the chooser screen that looks like an arrow pointing into an inbox allows you to import documents from the sync server or other WebDAV host. Remember that there is no syncing going on; you have to push the file back to the Mac (or extract it via iTunes) to get it back there after making changes.

Does it take a long time to retrieve the file as well as to send it to the iPad?
Hi WH,

As always, thanks for the informed reply. I just did a little test of my own - created an outline with over 300MB of attachments, copied it to my iPad via iTunes in seconds. Which helped me realize that the times when transfers took a long time were when I was overwriting a file on the iPad after it was updated on my MBP.

So now, if I've made changes on the computer and want to get the updated version onto my iPad, I just delete it from the iPad and then copy the file from from MBP to iPad, and it goes MUCH faster.

Not sure why, but it works.

Thanks for helping me figure this out.
Well, I'm glad you found a workaround of sorts, but I still think something is amiss there. When I add a handful of text rows to my test file and shovel it on over to the iPad via USB, it takes even less time than it did for the initial install. It dawned on me that perhaps that was because the bulk of the file was those two images, so I replaced them with different images and repeated the experiment yet again. Still faster than the initial upload.

I don't have a satisfying explanation for what you are experiencing, I'm afraid.
The only thing I can think of is that my outline has dozens of attachments - PDFs, audio files, image files, etc. I'm wondering if OO is comparing everything in the file to see what it needs to update and what it doesn't, and that comparing a bunch of large attachments is what slows it down.
Even if it is checking many files, the behavior you report doesn't sound right. Let's say it has to read every file in its entirety, and then shovel an equal sized file back — that ought to only be doubling the time, plus a bit extra for overhead. Let's be generous and say the overhead is as much as it is to transfer the file — you still don't get anywhere near the times you are reporting.

What happens if you duplicate your outline on the Mac, and send the duplicate to the iPad, then update it without removing the previous version? I'm suspicious that perhaps you have a hard disk problem lurking here, and a copy of the file made on a different set of disk blocks won't display this issue.

Last edited by whpalmer4; 2013-02-23 at 03:58 PM..
Originally Posted by rogbar View Post
The only thing I can think of is that my outline has dozens of attachments - PDFs, audio files, image files, etc. I'm wondering if OO is comparing everything in the file to see what it needs to update and what it doesn't, and that comparing a bunch of large attachments is what slows it down.
OmniOutliner isn't involved in iTunes sync at all: it all happens behind the scenes down in the underlying operating system. (If OmniOutliner happens to be running, it's supposed to get notified about any documents which were updated so it can refresh its list of files—but that happens after the transfer finishes.)

Your speculation as to what's making it slow sounds reasonable. Also, I've noticed in general that iOS can be very slow to access files in a directory which contains a lot of individual files. (This usually starts to get noticable this when the count gets over one hundred.) By deleting your document first, you're guaranteed that the first hundred or so attachments in your document won't hit that slowdown (since the directory will start out empty).

Last edited by Ken Case; 2013-02-19 at 12:30 PM.. Reason: Added the second paragraph speculating about slowness
One other thing ... I've just been experimenting with using OmniSync Server via Finder, and that seems to take longer than the iTunes approach. Is there any advantage to using OSS rather than iTunes?

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