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Porting Pictures

In one hand, you've got a passel of pictures; in the other, your iPod Photo. How do you marry the two? No shotgun necessary; just follow along.

iTunes Delivers

Just as iTunes delivers music to your iPod, so does it handle the transaction between the pictures stored on your Mac or Windows PC and the iPod Photo. Those without an iPod Photo attached to their computer won't see this added functionality as it makes itself known only when you've made that connection between computer and iPod.

With that in mind, make such a connection and whistle in admiration when you choose Preferences from the iTunes menu, click the iPod tab, and notice that a Photos tab has magically appeared within the resulting window. This tab is the key to moving pictures from your computer to the iPod. It works this way:

  1. Enable the Synchronize Photos From option. When you do, you'll see an alert that asks if you're really sure you want to enable photo support. If this is your first time adding photos to your iPod, you may wonder why Apple would question your desire to have the iPod perform the job for which you paid so dearly. iTunes does this to warn you that any photos currently on the iPod will be replaced. Although you have the option to synchronize music manually, you don't have the option to manage photos manually on the iPod; thus, you have to be more careful about accidentally erasing pictures when you plug your iPod Photo into another computer and that other computer replaces your photos with photos of its own.
  2. Choose a source of photos. On a Macintosh, you'll see iPhoto listed in the Synchronize Photos From pop-up menu ( Figure 3.2 ). On your Mac, you also have the option to choose images from the Pictures folder in your user folder or select any other folder you'd like. This works pretty much as you'd expect.

    Figure 3.2 iPhoto as a photo source in the Mac version of iTunes 4.7.

    When you choose iPhoto, the entry below reads Copy All Photos and Albums. When you enable this option, all the pictures in your iPhoto library will be converted and copied to the iPod. You also have the choice to Copy Selected Albums Only. This works much like the Automatically Update Selected Playlists Only option in the General tab of iPod Preferences. Here, you can choose to add photos from a select group of iPhoto albums. Regardless of which option you choose, whenever you add new images to a selected album, the iPod automatically updates its photo library when it next synchronizes. If you choose Pictures from this pop-up menu, the options below change to Copy All Photos and Copy Selected Folders Only. The principles of iPhoto import apply here as well. If you choose Copy All Photos, iTunes rummages around in this folder and looks for compatible graphics files. (iTunes 4.7 for Mac can recognize JPG, TIFF, PICT, GIF, PNG, JPG2000 or JP2, PSD, SGI, and BMP files; on a Windows PC, iTunes 4.7 recognizes JPG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, TIFF, and PNG.) If you choose Copy Selected Folders Only ( Figure 3.3 ), you can direct iTunes to look in only those folders that you select.

    Figure 3.3 Copying photos from select folders within a host folder.

    Finally, you can select Choose Folder. When you do, up pops a Change Photos Folder Location navigation window. Just traipse to the folder you want to pull pictures from, and click Choose. When you do this, the folder you've chosen replaces Pictures in the pop-up menu. This process is no more complicated for Windows users. The main difference is that the Windows version of iTunes offers no iPhoto option (and because there is no version of iPhoto for Windows, that's probably a good thing). Instead, you'll see the option to Copy All or Selected photos from your My Pictures folder or a folder of your choosing. If you've installed Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 or later or Adobe Photoshop Album on your PC, the Synchronize Photos From pop-up menu will also contain entries for these programs, allowing you to import pictures from the albums these programs create ( Figure 3.4 ).

    Figure 3.4 Adobe Photoshop Album as picture source.

  3. Include full-resolution photos (or don't). Near the bottom of the Photos tab of the iPod Preferences window, you'll see the Include Full-Resolution Photos option, followed by this text: Copy full-resolution versions of your photos into the Photos folder on your iPod, which you can access after enabling disk use in the General tab. This is a useful hunk of text, in that it hints at where your full-resolution images are stored, but were room to allow, it might be even more useful if it continued with these words: Oh, and don't get your hopes up thinking that just because you've copied these full-resolution images to your iPod, you'll be able to view these exact images on your iPod or project them to a television. No, sir (or madam, as the case may be), this option is provided only as a convenient way to transfer your images to the iPod so that you can later attach it to a different computer and copy your pictures from here to there. I mean, heavens, the iPod Photo is a little miracle worker, but for the love of Steve, do you really expect it to decipher images of heaven-knows-how-many-resolutions and convert them to a form compatible with your el-cheapo boob tube? Cut us some slack. We here at Apple are pretty smart, but we can't walk on water.
  4. Click OK. If the iPod's photo library is linked to the computer it's currently attached to, clicking OK tells iTunes to convert your photos and load them onto the iPod. If the iPod has a photo library loaded from a different computer, you'll once again see the "Are you sure?" dialog box, warning you that the pictures currently stored on the iPod will be vaporized and replaced with the photos on the attached computer. Click Yes, and the iPod will be updated.

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