I've been noticing that every time I connect my iPhone or iPod touch to the PC, it does a very time-consuming backup before any syncing occurs. You can actually stop this backup by clicking the little "x" at the top of the application window but ... geesh. It's really annoying. Turns out it's a feature. Hoo-boy.

Summary
iTunes can create backups of settings and certain other information on iPhone and iPod touch. You can use a backup to restore this information to your iPhone or iPod touch after a software restore or update, or to transfer the information to a different device. Backups can be deleted from iTunes using the steps below.

Syncing vs Backups

You can use iTunes to sync content on your computer (such as music, podcasts, videos, ringtones, photos, email account settings, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks) with your iPhone or iPod touch. Syncing makes sure this content is the same on your iPhone or iPod touch and computer. iTunes will also create a backup of settings and certain other information on your iPhone or iPod touch when you sync to use in case you want to restore the software on your iPhone or iPod touch or transfer this information to a different device. Backup information includes information such as mail settings, text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, certain network settings, and other preferences. Applications purchased from the App Store are included in the backup, however they can only be successfully restored to the same device that they were backed up from.

Um. Hmm. So, seriously. iTunes is slow enough, Apple. This pretty much puts it over the top. Or under the bottom. Or however you want to word. It's really, really bad.

And I'm not the only one noticing this problem. BTW: "IBL" is pretty funny. Or it would be if I didn't keep losing it.