Audio Optimization Resources

iOS 10.3 brings Tethered-Caching for GarageBand & More

One of the new features in iOS 10.3 is tethered-caching. The tether is between your Mac and i-devices, via the Lightning to USB connection. The Cache is the Content that your Mac can now Serve up to your i-devices. The tethered-caching service enables some highly useful features:

Note for this to work you’ll need the Mac and iPhone/Pad updated to latest OS.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Connect i-device to Mac via Lightning to USB cable.

2.On your Mac Navigate to: Finder–>Computer–>Right Click Computer–>Click Get Info

3. On the menu that comes up you should see a list of files similar to those listed here:

Tethered-Caching Menu – Music Creation

Music Creation

The first folder we’ll look at is Music Creation where all GarageBand downloadable content is stored. Since this is a native feature as of 10.3 GarageBand on iOS should be able to open any of this content – it’s effectively a built in GarageBand Server – so you don’t have to save the content on the iPad. As you can see mine is empty, as I don’t have GB on my Mac. Hopefully someone will test this to confirm, and let us know what all can/can’t be saved here.

You’ll also notice another folder iTunes (shown in below image)- which I notice has all .ipas of apps I’ve installed since updating to iOS 10.3. I’m guessing that if you delete an app you installed prior to the iOS 10.3 update – then reinstall it, the ipa will cache to the tetherator (and no, that’s not a made-up word!), and then be available for the service. Cached apps can be installed, and just like with the GB content, installation can be done while offline, and after the initial app download, the cached version can be used to install to your other devices, without needing to contact the Apple Store, and as such installation time is dramatically faster

iTunes Folder – Tethered Caching

Device Backups and iOS Installers

Both the iTunes and iOS Files are useful additions to the tethered-caching service –  Again, If you happen to have a family of i-devices you can now download an app, or ios update installer once – then the rest of the devices you have will update from this file. Additionally, you can update, restore a backup, or install apps while offline, which is nice if and when needed.

iOS Files – Tethered-Caching Menu

Photo & Video Management

Clicking the Photos tab instantly displays all the photos and Videos on the iPad – you can add/delete etc your photos and videos from here – VERY fast! I was surprised at how fast this worked, and while there’s no need for further explanation here – this will probably be my most utilized feature.

I think the addition of tethered-caching is a great move by Apple, and seems in line with similar moves like the recent acquisition of WorkFlow, ongoing Siri integration, the new Ethernet enumeration for iOS, and the new iOS Apple ID screen in Settings. I’d of course love to see tethered-caching services extended to non-Apple devices. For music producers, being able to exchange files in this manner would be a boon to sample storage and access, and sharing files between apps that have a desktop version like Algoriddimm’s DJ Pro or Dhalang MG.

This is about the only link I’ve seen about tethered-caching from Apple, and it’s specific to Mac OS Server functionality, which I believe is has been effectively mirrored to a native Mac/iOS service now, so should be the same: **Edit – Thanks @tadpool for providing link to Apple release detailing tethered-caching:

4 replies »

  1. No, what you’re showing is just the storage manager window in the System Information app. It displays storage usage on your Mac and has nothing directly to do with iOS at all. Did you actually confirm any of this works? I note your article is hedged with “hopefully someone will test this to confirm” and “I’m guessing that if” … really? The answer to those is no; these are showing GarageBand content on your Mac, and iOS app files downloaded for installation by iTunes.

    The link you posted is to a Mac OS Server feature that’s not the same as tethered caching. All I did was type “tethered caching” into Google and I got the _correct_ link: Note that it says “This article is intended for users setting up a large number of iOS devices, including school or business administrators” — I don’t know how useful it is for individual users. It also is _not_ enabled by default but requires a shell command to be entered in Terminal.


    • Thanks for the comments. Tethered-caching was, with 10.3 newly baked into OS & iOS. And you’re correct, in 10.3 a Sudo command was required to enabled the caching service. However, I’ve found that with 10.31 I no longer had to enable the service – I did check to confirm it was disabled, but I don’t claim to be the end all on this new feature. While it’s accurate that tethered-caching is highly relevant for MDM at the enterprise level, it’s also relevant to music producers who are interested in any developments related to file transfer and mgmt, especially since many use multiple devices. My family, by example, has at least 10 devices – so I like being able to centrally manage updates, and storage space. For me the transfer speed over Ethernet, and less bandwidth usage is also relevant – it’s also a social welfare issue, imagine the bandwidth and electricity savings if tethered-caching were ubiquitous. Regarding the location I showed in the article, all I can say is you can definitely access and drag photos and videos in and out from there, along with restoring. If the GarageBand files are not directly accessible from that location, then I’m fairly certain they’ll be available elsewhere, as it’s an officially documented feature. Lastly, as I mention above, I think there’s an opportunity to extend these types of services to third party apps – I’d like all my samples to be served in this way, Ableton Export and similar services as well. I did put qualifying statements in my post, because there’s not a glut of information on the working functionality, and I didn’t come across anything at all other than the official documentation about how t-c is implemented in GB.


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