Somewhere along the line, iOS device sync started working again.
Smart playlists still don’t sync correctly (they end up getting reshuffled when they end up on the phone), but I have a simple workaround:
- Have a smart playlist called Entropy Mobile with the shuffle rules I like
- Have a regular playlist called Entropy Queue, which is synchronized to the iPhone
- Occasionally copy the contents of Entropy Mobile into Entropy Queue
The nice thing about this is it’s also easier for me to curate stuff, like albums which got partially played, or where I want to move an album to happen later or whatever.
It’s still not perfect and there’s still some asinineness of smart playlists where they’re always incorrectly-shuffled when I first launch Music.app, but clearing out the list and letting it refill means it’ll be shuffled correctly. I guess the main downside is that I need to be a bit more deliberate about populating my phone with music, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Oh also I ended up getting some Airpods Pro because I got tired of not having an iPad Pro again and Apple was having a back-to-school sale where if you buy an iPad Pro you get free Airpods, or can upgrade them to the Pro version for some ridiculously small amount. I actually quite like them. They’re easy to charge, easy to pair (although they seem to be a bit aggressive about connecting to my desktop instead of my phone for some reason), and the sound quality is pretty great. I also like that it’s easy to switch between noise canceling and transparency mode, and I also like being able to use Siri without having to take my phone out of my pocket (which I never got working on other headphones, even ones which claimed to be Siri-compatible). So yeah, they’re expensive, and I really dislike how they’re not recyclable and they are basically landfill when the batteries go bad, but eh, they’re nice.
Also I really appreciate the “check fit” function on them. Most earbuds I have a really hard time fitting in my ears but the Airpods Pro have a little mode where they’ll determine whether you’re wearing the right size or not, and it seems to work. Plus the default pads happen to fit my ears, which is weirdly uncommon.
Ironically, the Airpods, Pencil, and keyboard case arrived right away, but the iPad itself won’t ship for a few more weeks. I guess they’re backordered. Oh well. My need for an iPad isn’t urgent, at least.