iPodsoft, Purple Ghost Software and Mark Reddick
Copies contents of iPod to PC or iTunes
Transfer metadata like play counts
Slow at transferring music
Somewhat challenging transfer process
Doesn't transfer all album art
iGadget - An iPod Transfer Utility
IGadget is one of the many programs that lets users transfer single songs or their whole music libraries from their iPod to a new computer. It does that job better than some of its competitors, but its slowness and occasionally difficult processes keep it from being an unqualified hit.
Like other programs in its category, iGadget scans the contents of an iPod and imports the information it finds there into an iTunes-like interface. Users can browse these contents and decide what songs, videos, podcasts, or other materials stored on the iPod to transfer to a new computer.
The initial scan is extremely fast, with iGadget reading the 6600+ songs on my iPod in just a second or two. It accurately read the songs’ metadata items like star ratings, playcounts, and album art. However, it also listed my iPod as having a different number of artists and albums than iTunes does. A strange detail, perhaps explained by differing settings on song categorization, but it didn’t interfere with the transfer of the music.
Single songs, a groups of songs, or the full contents of the iPod can be moved to the new computer. Playlists are moved separately. IGadget also supports moving or adding additional data like calendars, RSS feeds, movie showtimes, and more.
A Few Difficulties
The process of transferring from the iPod to the new PC is one of the places that iGadget stumbles a bit. The pop-up window that confirms settings just prior to beginning the transfer is a little complex. It uses language that the average user may not understand and doesn’t make clear exactly what’s happening.
In addition, by default iGadget makes two copies of every song it transfers, which seems inefficient. It might make more sense to automatically copy the transferred songs into the iTunes Music Folder.
Choosing the right settings isn’t difficult for an experienced user, but a little more handholding for the intermediate or beginning user would be nice.
The other drawback to iGadget becomes apparent during the transfer: it’s slow. Transferring an individual song or two is fast – it takes just a few seconds. When it came to transferring my whole library, though, I waited and waited.
My full library transfer failed after about 10 minutes. In that time, an impressive 2 GB worth of music had been moved. When I transferred the remaining 24 GB, however, the process took nearly three hours.
When the transfer was complete, all metadata had transferred successfully. As I’ve come to expect from these programs, not all album art made the move, but iTunes’ built-in feature can help with that.
IGadget is an affordable, successful program. If its developers can improve the speed of its transfer and make the process a little more friendly for non-expert users, it will challenge for the top spot in the iPod back/transfer/copy market.