iTunes Other category and TV show syncing


Q: The memory capacity bar in iTunes for my 80GB iPod shows categories for music, video, photos, and other. I presently have about 50GB of content loaded onto the iPod, but I have about 900MB in the “Other” category. I have had a few TV shows I have converted and are on iTunes. When I try to sync my iPod, these titles do not appear in any category, but I noticed the “Other” memory gets bigger. Most of the 75 videos (movies, TV shows, music videos) that I have transfered have transfered with no problems. I have tried the built-in Search function, but the videos cannot be found. Is there a way to access the “Other” category to see what is there, and if so to delete what’s there? Thank you

iTunes Other category and TV show syncing

– Bruce

A: There are probably two separate issues here, in reality, and it is unlikely that the “Other” category represents any of your TV Show or video content unless there is corruption on your iPod.

“Other” normally represents any content on the iPod itself that is not included in the audio, video, or photo categories, and includes such things as the iPod’s internal database and operating files, iPod Games, and album artwork for your tracks (since this is stored separately from the tracks itself).  It can also include “orphaned” files in the event that your iPod is having problems. These are files that have been copied to your iPod but are not listed in the iPod database, which normally only happens if the iPod’s database is corrupted or if you disconnect the iPod during a sync operation (since the database is not updated until after the files finish copying).

900MB of “Other” is not an unreasonable number, particularly if you have a lot of music on your iPod.  The iPod database itself will generally account for 100-150MB of the “Other” category, and then album artwork generally will account for the majority of the remainder.  At approximately 100KB per track, album artwork can quickly add up.

Even in the case of orphaned files, if you resync your iPod, the proper content will show up when it is retransferred.  It will merely be on the iPod twice—once as a copy that was never entered into the database, and a second time for the real copy.  If your TV shows continually fail to appear on your iPod even after multiple sync attempts, you should check your settings in iTunes to ensure that you are actually transferring them, and also ensure that they have a “Show” title entered, or they will not appear on the iPod.

To enter a “Show” name, simply select the video file in question, and choose File, Get Info from the menu. When the file info dialog box appears, choose the “Video” tab and you can enter particulars such as the Show name, season number, episode ID and episode number:

iTunes Other category and TV show syncing

Videos that are tagged as TV Shows but do not have a Show Name filled in will transfer to the iPod, but they will not appear on any of the menus, since the video menus are organized by TV show name.

If the show names are filled in and other tags are correct, but the videos are still not appearing, you may not have properly selected them for synchronization to your iPod.  By default, iTunes only synced unwatched TV Shows to the iPod, so anything that you have already watched (as indicated by a play count greater than zero) will not be transferred to the iPod, and in fact shows that are already on the iPod that you have watched will be removed during the next sync operation. 

You can adjust these settings in your iPod settings from within iTunes.  Simply connect your iPod and select it from the iTunes source list on the left-hand side of the screen.  Select the “TV Shows” tab from the main screen, and change the “Sync…” setting to “Sync ALL” instead of “Sync All Unwatched”


iTunes Other category and TV show syncing

More information on managing video content in your iTunes library and synchronization to your iPod can be found in our Complete Guide to Managing iTunes Videos.


Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.