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iPod PC Transfer 5.4 Review

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating

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The Bottom Line

There are too many bugs and quirks present in iPod PC Transfer to recommend it. While its core functionality--moving songs and other files from iOS device to PC--works reasonably well, a confusing interface, duplicated files, and middling performance mean you should seek other options.

Pros

  • Moves music, playcounts, ratings, album art, movies, ringtones

Cons

  • Confusing interface
  • Makes two copies of each transferred file
  • Doesn't transfer to iTunes by default
  • Middling speed; moved 2.41 GB in 28 minutes
  • Website doesn't provide much info about developers

Description

  • Software that copies an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to a desktop iTunes library
  • Unclear exactly what versions of Windows it runs on; not listed on website; tested on Windows 7
  • Desktop software only, not an iPhone app
  • Price: US$19.95

Guide Review - iPod PC Transfer 5.4 Review

Developer
iPod PC Transfer

Version
5.4

Works With
All iPods
All iPhones
iPad

A Confusing Interface

IPod PC Transfer's interface, the first thing users interact with, doesn't start you off on the best foot. In many iPod to PC transfer programs, you select the songs or files you'd like to move by clicking on them and then pressing some kind of transfer button. Not here. Clicking on a file does nothing. Instead, you have to check the small box next to the file to indicate that you want to move it. This isn't terrible when you're moving only a file or two, or the entire library, but selecting a few songs here and there gets tedious.

The program includes "check all" and "uncheck all" buttons, though these are confuisng, too. When clicking one, you'd be forgiven if you assumed that the button referred just to the files you're looking at (music, movies, ringtones). Instead, the button applies to every file in the program. As a result, it's easy to end up selecting a number of files for transfer that you didn't intend to.

Adding to the confusion is that files selected for transfer are backed up to the hard drive by default, and are only added to iTunes to by checking a preference. The preference is reasonably obvious, but it seems a bit odd that it's not a more prominent feature.

Unlike some of its competitors, iPod PC Transfer also lacks any kind of report that makes clear what songs from the iPod are present in the iTunes library and vice versa. This isn't essential, but it's such a useful feature, it would be nice to see.

Two of Everything

Once you've navigated these options and begun your transfer, things seem to get smoother, but on closer inspection, don't.

My standard transfer test--590 songs/2.41 GB--moved to iTunes in 28 minutes, which is fairly middle-of-the-pack performance. More surprising, though, is that iPod PC Transfer makes two copies of all the files it moves, one that goes into the iTunes library and one that goes into the back-up folder. As a result, by 2.4 GB backup actually occupied 4.8 GB of hard drive space, which isn't clear unless you do some real digging.

The transfer itself was a little odd, too: it only moved 585 songs of the 590 and didn't provide any explanation as to what happened to the other 5 songs.

Conclusion

If you've got $20 to spend on iPod to PC copying software, I'd look elsewhere. The combination of bugs, quirks, and odd choices present in iPod PC Transfer are just too numerous.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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