Q: I just purchased the iAlbum device that allows me to transfer my digital photos from my SD cards onto my iPod. Does this device live up to its name? How is it in handling RAW images as well as JPEGs? Have there been freezing problems when uploading onto the iPod, especially in RAW format? I was also wondering if i have to enable disk use on my iPod to get it to work?
A: While we have not specifically reviewed the iAlbum as of yet, this device simply provides an interface into the photo transfer capabilities built into the 5G iPod firmware in much the same way that the Apple iPod Camera Connector (iLounge rating: B+) does. Although this device takes SD/MS memory cards rather than a direct connection to a digital camera, most of the limitations described in our review of the Apple Camera Connector would also apply here in terms of transfer times and battery life.
The iPod is capable of transferring RAW format images from memory cards, provided the images are stored in the same directory containing your non-RAW files. However, the iPod will not create a preview for RAW images (so you won’t be able to view them on the iPod’s screen), and the additional size of the RAW files will increase the transfer times.
You do not have to specifically enable disk use to get these devices to work, since the “Disk Use” setting in iTunes only affects how iTunes interacts with the iPod; the iPod always presents itself as an external hard disk. Further, the iAlbum does not use “Disk Mode” per se, but rather leverages the iPod firmware’s own photo transfer capabilities.