Recovering photos from an iPod touch
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Our old PC crashed, and all files were lost, however the most important files, our family pictures are still on our iPod touch. What software would be best to purchase or download that would allow me to get the 3000+ picture files quickly and easily transferred to our new PC?
A: There are a few third-party software tools available that are specifically designed to recover pictures from an iOS device such as the iPod touch or even a traditional Click Wheel iPod model. Keep in mind, however, that if you’ve synchronized your photos onto your device using iTunes, you will not be able to recover the original, full-resolution photos in most cases; only lower-resolution versions are transferred to your device by iTunes, which resizes photos for a given iPod or iOS device to resolutions optimized for display on that device. The notable exception here is the third-generation iPad, to which iTunes does indeed transfer full-resolution originals, likely in deference to the device’s high-resolution Retina Display.
The exact resolutions stored vary between devices. In the case of the iPhone 4/4S, fourth-generation iPod touch and the original iPad and iPad 2 the maximum resolutions are around 3.1-3.5MP, depending on aspect ratio: 2048x1536 for 4:3 photos (those taken with most consumer point-and-shoot cameras) or 2304x1536 for 3:2 photos (commonly used by DSLR and other pro-grade cameras). These are the same resolutions used by all devices for the iCloud Photo Stream feature.
Unfortunately, the maximum resolutions go downhill from there, with non-Retina-Display iPhone 3G/3GS and pre-fourth-generation iPod touch models maxing out at 0.7-0.8 MP; 1024x768 and 1152x768 for the common 4:3 and 3:2 formats, respectively. Other models such as the iPod classic and iPod nano will use even lower resolutions than this—generally 0.3MP (640x480 and 720x480) and below.
Of course, this is all academic if these are really the only copies you have left of important family pictures; after all, a low-resolution version of an important family photo is better than no version at all. However, it’s important to realize in advance that you’re not going to get back full resolution photos no matter what transfer software or method you use, so it’s important to be especially skeptical of apps that promise recovery of “full-resolution” photos.
There are a number of good options for recovering photos from an iPod touch or other iOS device. iPod Access Photo ($13) by Findley Designs is a relatively inexpensive solution designed simply to recover your photos in the highest resolutions available. By comparison, CopyTrans Photo ($20) provides a two-way photo management solution as an alternative to transferring photos onto your device using iTunes, and Wide Angle Software’s TouchCopy ($25) offers a complete solution for transferring not only photos, but other content such as music, video, messages, contacts, calendars and notes to and from your iOS device. All three of these utilities can be used to recover your photos, but you may find the slightly more expensive options worthwhile for the additional features they provide. All three of these applications also have trial versions available, with limitations such as watermarking recovered photos, only working for a certain number of days, or only transferring a limited number of items back to your computer.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods
- Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping
- Report: Apple Car team running into challenges, launch may slip to 2021
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5
- Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+
- Report: Apple acquires cloud music provider Omnifone? [Update: No]
- Apple releases second iOS 10 public beta
- India clears the way for Apple to open retail stores
- Apple Pay launches in Hong Kong
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Incase Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app