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iPod Q&A - Updated October 6, 2008

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How can I transfer photos from my computer to my iPod, iPod nano, or iPod touch?

All iPod models with color displays -- starting with the iPod photo (40 GB, 60 GB) (M9585LL/A and M9586LL/A, respectively) and continuing to the current models -- support photographs transferred from a computer by using iTunes (starting with version 4.7 and continuing to the current version).

A document titled "Using iTunes to Load Photos" from the Apple Support Site notes that you can "easily copy images from your computer to [compatible iPod models] using photo sync in iTunes" and references an "iTunes and iPod FAQ About Photo Sync" for additional information.

The complete document should be read in its entirety, but in particular regarding synchronizing photos with compatible iPod models, it provides the following information:

You can't drag individual photos or groups of photos to the iPod like you can with music files in iTunes, but you can choose how you want them to be synchronized (see below) by selecting the correct options:

[Using] iTunes 7 or later:

  1. Connect your iPod to your computer.
  2. Select the iPod icon when it appears in the iTunes window (below devices).
  3. If the Photos pane does not show, click the Photos tab.
  4. Select your photo syncing options.

[Using] iTunes 6.0.5 or earlier:

  1. Connect your iPod to your computer.
  2. Select preferences from the iTunes menu (Macintosh) or Edit menu (Windows).
  3. Select iPod.
  4. Select Photos.
  5. Select your photo syncing options.

Apple also notes that:

  • If you use iPhoto 4.0.3 or later in Mac OS X, you can have iTunes automatically sync all of your photos and albums or just certain albums every time you connect your iPod.
  • If you are using Adobe Photoshop Elements versions 3.0 or later, you can sync all of your photos or just certain collections of photos.
  • If you are using Adobe Photoshop SE in Windows, you can sync either all of your photos or certain collections of photos. If you are using Adobe Photoshop Album SE in Windows, you can only sync all of your photos.
  • If you are not using any of the above applications, you can sync all of the photos in a selected folder, or only photos in specific folders inside the selected folder. Folders inside the selected folder will be displayed as photo albums on the iPod, but not subfolders beneath them.

Ultimately, the process isn't nearly as intuitive as synchronizing your music collection, as photo synchronization was "grafted onto" iTunes, but it's still rather easy.

Also see: How can I transfer photos from my digital camera to my iPod?



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