Nike+ iPod touch (or nano) App – Missed Run Syncing Issue
I’ve been using Nike+ in one form or another since I had an iPod nano. It was a light music player that could also track my runs. My first run was synced on April 15, 2008. I then transitioned to use it on an iPod touch, and now on an iPhone.
Using the service on the iPod nano and iPod touch required a shoe dongle that tracked steps and some other metrics like how long your foot was on the ground. The technology they used to track a run was based on a study conducted in 1970 at Penn State. The background is pretty interesting.
When I began using the service on the iPod nano it required you to sync the recorded runs through iTunes. It worked most times with ease but from time to time I would forget to either record the run or there would be an issue during the sync and the data would not get sent to the Nike+ site.
If I forgot to record a run, there was a site called Nike+ Edit, that is now defunct, that would create a xml file with the appropriate information that could be place in a special folder on the nano and would then be synced the next time the iPod was attached to iTunes. If I just needed to re-sync a run it was as simple as moving a file from one folder to another. Moving the files around on the nano was easy because it could be setup to be used as a hard drive, which allowed you to drill down into the hidden folder structure.
When I started using Nike+ on an iPod touch I thought it would work the same way. After every run I would plug the iPod touch into my computer and sync it with iTunes. Assuming that iTunes would then send the run data up to the Nike+ website. It did not work this way.
Since the iPod touch has its own network connection, the Nike+ app on the iPod touch was designed to send the run data via wifi directly to the Nike+ servers, no iTunes sync required. That worked fine if I ended a run at home and let the app sync to the Nike+ servers at that time. But if I ever tried to send the run data to Nike+ when not in wifi, the app would try to send the data to Nike+, fail, and then move it to the local history in the app. This happened many times. I was left with a few dozen runs that were stored on the iPod touch but were not synced to the Nike+ service.
The app gave me no option to re-send the run data to the Nike+ servers. This is probably to avoid letting people game the service and add a single run multiple times to their cumulative mile count. I thought I had lost these runs and they would never be synced to the Nike+ website.
I got to thinking that I may be able to do a similar trick I used with the nano and simply move files around in the file system. But on the iPod touch there is no Apple supplied means to see the file structure of the iPod touch. I was also hesitant to believe that the iPod touch would have the same file structure for storing the run data.
A few months passed and I came across a desktop app that lets you view an iPhone or iPod touch file structure without jailbreaking. I settled upon iExplorer, which is a free app. It helped me solve a different issue on my iPhone before I realized it would work in this application as well.
Here is how to re-sync those runs.
Connect your iPod, nano or Touch, and navigate to the following directory using iExplorer.
Amazingly the iPod Touch is setup with a similar structure as the nano was! The random number “2X345FOOBA” is the unique name of the shoe dongle you are using. If you have used more then one you will see a folder for each dongle that has been connected to the iPod.
Find the files in the directory with the dates of the runs you need to re-sync and move them into the below directory.
Now open the Nike+ app on the iPod touch and it will give you the option to send the “latest” data to Nike+. Just make sure to do this while connected to an internet connection or you will have to run through the steps all over again.
Update: Here is a screenshot of iExplorer and the folder structure. Some of the comments have mentioned that they could not drag the files from the synced folder back into the latest folder. Unfortunately I can’t figure out why that would happen. I just tried it tonight and did not seem to have any issues. If it’s still an issue for you, I would suggest contacting iExplorer support.