The Bottom Line
- Clear reports of what's been copied, what hasn't
- Can back up address book, notes, text messages, voicemails, ringtones
- Interface is confusing and inconsistent in some places
- Crashes backup function during calendar transfer
- Middling performance: transferred 2.41 GB in 28 minutes
- A utility designed to transfer music from iPod, iPhone, and iPad to computer
- Works on both Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista, and 7
- Transfers songs, videos, playcounts, ratings, album art, photos, and other data (address book, text messages, etc.)
- Desktop software only, not an iPhone app
- Price: US$24.99
Guide Review - TouchCopy Review: Utility to Transfer Music from iPod to Computer
Wide Angle Software
The Basics Covered--and Then Some
Perhaps the two most core features of any program designed to help users transfer music from an iPod to a computer are to successfully transfer the contents of the iPod (or iPhone or iPad) to iTunes and to provide a clear display of what songs have and haven't been transferred. On those counts, TouchCopy succeeds.
TouchCopy offers automated reports on what songs on the iPod are present on the hard drive, which still need to be transferred, and which already have been. The checkmark icons next to already-transferred songs make it easy to understand, at a glance, which is which.
Once you've decided what songs to move, transferring music is as simple as clicking one button. Like many of its competitors, TouchCopy transfers music, podcasts, photos and videos. My standard test--590 songs, 2.41 GB--took TouchCopy 28 minutes to complete. That speed puts TouchCopy in the middle of the pack in terms of performmance.
Unlike some of its competitors, though, TouchCopy is able to transfer much more than just music and video--it can transfer nearly any data that an iOS device can store (with the exception of apps, though I have yet to encounter a program that can transfer apps. And why would they need to, when apps can be redownloaded for free?). This includes address book entries, voicemails, notes, text message logs, ringtones, and calendars. These features are very valuable and ought to be present in any program that purports to offer a complete iPod/iPhone backup solution.
Glitches and Crashes
While TouchCopy's feature set is among the most complete I've seen, unfortunately the program is not without its bugs, some minor, some more serious.
Transferring music posed some odd challenges. In my first attempt, I selected all 590 songs manually and initiated a transfer. It reported completion after 31 songs were moved. On my second try, I didn't select any songs, instead clicking the transfer button, and all songs successfully transferred. Additionally, song ratings didn't initially appear to be moved over, but closing and restarting iTunes revealed them to be present.
Moving data also revealed some bugs. For instance, an address book with a lot of entries initially presents a message saying it has none even though the program is actually reading them. It's a bit of a wait, but the contacts do eventually appear. Also, I couldn't get my iPhone calendar to load in TouchCopy at all. Each time I tried (four or so times), the data-transfer view of the program crashed.
TouchCopy has all the makings of a top program in this space. It's got a powerful feature set and a solid user interface. But its relatively slow speed of transfer, and more serious bugs, hold it back. Keep an eye out for future updates that address these issues, though.