Apple Music

Empty Playlists in Apple Music

Empty Playlists image

I got my new iPhone X on Friday and like many others I spent some time setting up the new phone. For the most part the process of transferring account information and data from my old iPhone to my new iPhone X was much easier than it has been in the past thanks to the iOS 11 new device setup feature. But not everything went smoothly.

The next morning after setting up my iPhone X I went out for a bike ride and went to start playing my Cycling Apple Music playlist (don’t worry I use a bone conduction helmet so I hear all the ambient sounds around me) and my Cycling playlist was there but it was nothing but an empty playlist. The iOS 11 setup/transfer didn’t work so well for Apple Music. So what happened? Why did have a bunch of empty playlists?

Turns out this is a really easy fix. If you find empty playlists in your Apple Music library then most likely the “iCloud Music Library” setting within the Music app is not enabled. I think in my case, somewhere in the transition to my new iPhone X this setting was not enabled. So all you need to do to fix this is go into the “Settings” app and scroll down to “Music.”

This is what you see after opening up the "Settings" app and navigating to "Music"

This is what you see after opening up the "Settings" app and navigating to "Music"

Within the “Music” settings there is a toggle labeled “iCloud Music Library.” This needs to be toggled to “On” so that any music or playlists you had previously been saving and syncing to iCloud will sync over to your device. This should fix your empty playlists problem.

Last Minute Geek Gifts

If you are like me you aren't quite done with your Christmas shopping just yet. Hey, it's not my fault. My Dad made last minute Christmas shopping a family tradition. But don't worry, I've got your back. Below are a few gifts that you might consider if you are in a pinch for a gift for a geek in your life.


Everybody, and I mean everybody, should be using a secure password application of some kind. This past year the folks over at AgileBits released a new subscription service they call 1Password for Families. This is a monthly subscription service that allows an entire family (for just a few bucks a month) to each have their own 1Password account (along with as many of the 1Password apps on as many devices as they choose). The nice thing about this gift is that you can sign up for the service and set it up and then invite your family member to join your "family" on the service. Boom...easy gift. If you have a family member that is terrible about managing passwords this is an excellent thing to consider.

Cloud Backup Service

If you have a friend or family member that still doesn't adequately backup their computers (come on people, its almost 2017...get with the program) then a cloud-based backup service is a great idea. My personal preference is Backblaze. However, if you are looking for a solution that allows you cover a few family member all at once (as both a free option for additional people and a paid option that covers an entire family) then CrashPlan is also a very good choice. Either way, please please please make sure your family and close friends have some kind of backup. There is nothing worse than having to tell a friend or family member that all of their digital photos and videos were just flushed down the along with their smartphone. Back. Your. Stuff. Up!

Apple Music Subscription

If you have someone on your shopping list that is a music lover than you might consider buying them a subscription to Apple Music. Not only is it one of the best subscription music services out there but it is also something that you can purchase and have delivered instantly and electronically...the perfect last minute gift!


If you have a exercise enthusiast you are buying for then RoadID is something that they absolutely must have. RoadID is a product (it comes in many different forms like bracelets, necklaces, smartwatch bands) that serves as a means of identification in case you get injured while out exercising. It gives emergency personnel access to critical information (like your emergency contact phone number, personal physician and any allergies or medical conditions) so that they know how to best treat you in a way that won't put you at further risk. It is also a great piece of mind because you know that no matter what happens the person you want to know is immediately contact by the emergency personnel. I wear my RoadID anytime I am outside doing any kind of exercise. So buy them an electronic gift card for a RoadID, that way they can choose the version of the RoadID that best matches their particular style. Best of all, because it is an electronic gift card it is a very easy last minute gift.


BB-8 by Sphero with Force Band

BB-8 by Sphero with Force Band

Who wouldn't want a BB-8 personal droid? To top it all off, the folks over at Sphero released a special edition of their BB-8 droid this year that includes a "force band" that allows you to control your BB-8 droid simply by moving your wrist. This works great as a last minute gift if you have Amazon Prime. If you don't then check your local Target or BestBuy and make the geeky Star Wars fan on your shopping list extremely happy!

Armada Playlist: Raid the Arcade Mix

Right on the heels of reading the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (iBooks, Amazon), I picked up his most recent novel titled Armada (iBooks, Amazon). Armada is steeped in 80's nostalgia just like Ready Player One and the basic plotline is even the same...teenage gamer out to save the world. Maybe its because I am child of the 80's or maybe its because I'm just a die hard geek, either way I devoured this novel. At the very end of the book there is a handwritten "mix tape" playlist that has all of the songs that are referenced throughout the book. So naturally I created my own playlist in Apple Music and just had to share it for all the other geeks out there like me looking for the perfect mix of songs to game with...

Why Do I Still Use My iPod Nano?

I was out running last night and my iPod Nano went flying out of my hand and dropped into the street cracking the display. I love my iPod Nano, despite the fact that it seems like the iPod is a thing of the past and has been replaced by multiple other devices. So why do I still have an iPod Nano?

  1. Apple Watch Music Sync: I can't easily use my Apple Watch for music while I workout. I sync my Apple Watch with two different iPhones and each time I have to switch phones (which is twice a week) any music I sync to the watch has to be re-synched (and I always forget to do this).
  2. Need Lots of Music for Workouts: I workout a lot, so unless I sync a lot of different music to my Apple Watch I don't have enough variety to keep it interesting.
  3. Old Bluetooth Tech: I own an older pair of Jaybird Bluetooth Headphones. These older headphones don't have the strongest bluetooth signal (it doesn't use the new Bluetooth Low Energy technology) so I have to wear my Apple Watch on my right wrist to keep it connected.
  4. iOS Music Sucks: I don't have the best luck with the iOS music app. Sometimes it works great, but other times it won't play or I can't find the music I'm looking for. Sometimes using an old school iPod is so much easier. It just works.
  5. Great for Travel: I travel a lot, so I end up doing a lot of reading, work and playing games on airplanes. Depending on what I'm doing I am using various iOS devices and each devices has different music on it. The music downloaded locally on iOS devices isn't always the music I am in the mood for or is best suited for the task I am doing. Having all of my music downloaded on my tiny iPod Nano means I plug in once to the Nano and then I'm good to go, guaranteed to have access to the music I want at the time.

I don't absolutely need an iPod Nano, but I would sure miss it if it stopped working. I probably won't repair my Nano right away. It still works. I may end up replacing the screen on it myself, it can't be as hard as replacing an iPhone or iPod touch screen and I've done both. Eventually, I will start using my Apple Watch more and more for music while I workout. I will eventually replace my aging Jaybird Bluetooth Headphones and get ones with the newer bluetooth technology making the connection more reliable with my Watch while working out. And maybe (it's a big maybe) Apple will make the iOS Music app not suck so much (a guy can dream can't he).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.