The Bottom Line
- Very speedy - transferred 2.41 GB in 7 minutes
- Easy to tell which songs have been transferred
- Provides lots of data about device and data
- Moves songs, album art, ratings, photos, ringtones
- Occasional crashes during transfers
- Doesn't move star ratings by default
- Can't move iBooks
- Transfer of other data (address book, etc.) very buggy
- Some transfer options don't seem to work
- A utility designed to copy an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to a desktop iTunes library
- Runs on Mac OS X
- Desktop software only, not an iPhone app
- Price: US$19.95
Guide Review - Pod to Mac Review: A Program to Transfer iPod to iTunes
Too Much Confusion
While the basic interface of Pod to Mac is a lot like other programs that transfer iPod contents to desktop iTunes libraries, actually using it presents more challenges than one might expect.
While Pod to Mac offers a clear view of what songs exist in the desktop iTunes library--stars for songs that haven't been moved, checkmarks for those that have, Xs for ones whose transfer failed--getting to that point can be confusing. I tried to select all songs and use the "Transfer Selected" function to move files a few times. That didn't work, but for no clear reason. It may have been because I was trying to move the files to my second iTunes library, not the default one, but the second library was running at the time.
After fiddling with preferences to make sure files would be added to the second library, I used the "Auto-Recover" function, which moves all files on a device. That worked, though it didn't move the song's star ratings (there's a separate function for that, which worked fine). Strangely, the transfer also gave me an error report saying that some data for a large number of songs hadn't been transferred, but after inspecting those songs, I can't figure out what that data could have been.
So, while moving songs was a bit confusing, at least it worked properly. The same can't be said for moving other kinds of data.
While Pod to Mac claims to be able to move data like calendars, address book entries, and voicemails, my experience of this was decidedly mixed. For instance, its view of my calendars didn't include anything entered in 2011 despite it being March. The listed call history only included calls from March 11, despite the testing day being March 17. There were many text and voicemail messages on the phone, but none showed up in Pod to Mac.
A Speed Demon
On the plus side, and unlike its sibling program Pod to PC, Pod to Mac is a speed demon when it comes to transferring files. My standard test--590 songs/2.41 GB--moved in just 6 minutes, without star ratings. Adding them took only another minute, for a speedy 7 total minutes in transfer. That makes it the fastest such program I've tested so far.
While that speed is impressive, there are simply too many other frustrations with Pod to Mac, and too many other programs that don't pose the same difficulties.