Transfer Video and Photos from iPod Touch to iPad

Several people have asked me if it’s possible to transfer videos shot with the new iPod Touch directly to an iPad, and yes, you can do this very easily. (It works the same way for photos taken with the iPod’s camera.) Here’s how:

What you need: your iPod, your iPad, the charging cable for the iPod, and the piece of the iPad Camera Connection Kit with the USB port (not the one with the card slot).

How to Do It

Your iPod videos actually appear in the Photos app, in a Camera Roll, if you don’t know where to look for them, but it doesn’t really matter, since the iPad will find them for you.

1. Connect the charging cable to the iPod, and then plug it into the USB port on the Camera Connection Kit piece. It’s a good idea to make sure that both the iPod and the iPad are well charged up, especially if you have a lot of videos/photos to transfer. Both should be turned on.

2. Connect the Camera Connection Kit piece to the iPad and wait a minute. The more stuff you have on your iPod the longer it will take to read it, but usually it doesn’t take terribly long. If you wait a minute or more and nothing happens, check to be sure all the connections are solid. (I couldn’t get a reliable connection while the iPad was in the Apple case, for example.)

3. Your videos (and/or photos) appear on the iPad. You can touch the ones you want to import, if you don’t want to copy them all over. Then touch the blue Import button at the upper right of the screen and choose Import All or Import Selected from the pop-out menu. (You don’t have to select videos/photos if you want to copy them all.)

4. While the video is importing a red Cancel Import button replaces the blue Import button, so you can change your mind if you want. When everything has been downloaded, the iPad asks if you want to delete the videos/photos from the iPod. Your call.

That’s all there is to it! Your videos/photos appear in an album in the Photos app on the iPad and you can just disconnect the iPod once you’re done.

A brief video (sorry about the poor quality but all I had to use was my old still camera):

Introducing Photoshop Elements 9

Today’s the day! Photoshop Elements 9 is here, and there are a lot of major new features, so let’s take a look:

Organizer for Mac. People have been begging for this for a long time, and if you’re a Windows switcher, or if you have a household where people are using both Windows computers and Macs, this is going to be really, really helpful.

Mac Organizer
The Organizer for Mac

However, it was evidently a big project to get the Organizer ported over to OS X, so this time around the Mac version is lacking a lot of the favorite features in the Windows version, like the Slide Show Editor, Watched Folders, and Yahoo Maps, for instance. Still, if you’re moving from Windows to Mac, it’s a big help.

To convert your Windows catalog, install Elements 9 on your Windows computer and upgrade your catalog, then back up to a removable hard drive (even a thumb drive, if it will hold your catalog and photos) and then install Elements on your Mac and restore the catalog there. (If you won’t need Elements 9 on the Windows computer anymore, deactivate it and uninstall it once you’ve got everything transferred over, so you won’t be using one of your two activations needlessly.)

Cross Platform. When you buy Elements 9, you get both platform versions (Windows and Mac) on the same disk, so you can install it on two Macs, two Windows computers or one of each. No need to buy the program again to install it on the other platform.

EDIT: Adobe says that you only get a serial number that works with both versions with the boxed version, not the download. They suggest that if you need PSE right away, order the boxed version, then install both trials and enter the serial number from the disc version into the trials once you get it. Also, the boxed version includes two discs, one for each platform.

Layer Masks. If you’ve used Elements before, you know that this is probably THE most requested feature that Elements has been missing since version 1.

layers panel with mask
The blown out sky is masked out, ready for a replacement

Adobe finally listened, and brought them to Elements 9. If you haven’t used Elements before, you won’t understand yet all that this means, but for now suffice it to say that it’s going to make following tutorials written for full Photoshop a whole lot easier, as well as giving you a lot more options for changing your mind about your edits later on. If you’ve used one of the add-on tools to add masks to an earlier version of Elements, you’ll love how much easier it is when they’re built right into the program.

Tip: Elements doesn’t have the Quick Mask, but you can get pretty much the same effect by painting a mask with the Selection brush in Mask mode.

Fun Edits. This is one of my favorite things in the new mobile mifi 2200 Now Guided Edit walks you through creating an Apple style reflection like you see everywhere in ads these days, a Lomo effect, Out of Bounds (where the subject appears to be leaping or moving out of the photo), and a 60s Warhol-style pop art portrait. These are really fun, even for advanced Elements folks.

Content Aware Fill. This was the biggy in Photoshop CS5, and it comes to Elements too, sort of. In Elements it’s only in the Spot Healing Brush and as an option for filling in the edges of a panorama, but at least it’s here.

Style Matching. Did you ever spend hours creating a special look for one of your photos and then wish you could just copy it over to another image? Elements 9 includes a new style merge, which lets you crib the overall look from one image and copy it to another. The results can be pretty unpredictable, but that’s part of the fun.

Getting Social. Finally–finally!–you can upload photos direct to Facebook from Elements. (That sure took long enough!)

New Creations. The whole Create process (for photobooks, cards, collages, etc.) got a major makeover this time. It’s a tad confusing the first time, but now you can do almost anything you can do in Elements as you create a new project, and there’s a heap of new graphics, backgrounds and so on to help you do it, too.

Move that Photo. If you’ve been driven batty by the Elements 8 Print Window, you’ll be happy to know that Elements 9 lets you put your photo where you want it on the page.

So that’s what’s hot in Elements 9. What’s not? Well, if you hate the dark color scheme, you won’t be much happier with Elements 9. Dark again, and no option to change it, although they did work on improving the contrast over Elements 7 and 8. Some old bugs got fixed (you can finally set the frame rate for an animated gif in the Mac version this time, but you can’t edit an existing animated gif), but there are some new ones to make up for it. Each version of Elements seems to make more demands on your operating system, and Elements 9 is no exception. (EDIT Alas, it appears the frame rate problem is back in the version of PSE 9 for Mac that got shipped out. It was fixed at one point.)

So if you have Elements, should you upgrade? For a lot of people Layer Masks alone will be worth it, aside from the other new features, but I’d always suggest downloading the trial version first and giving that a good hard test drive to see if it’s worth it for you and if it runs well on your computer.

Traveling with the Virgin MiFi

Pros: no contract, small, easy to use after initial setup

Cons: often slow, keeps asking for setupvirgin mobile mifi 2200

When the new iPod Touch came out, I was really hoping for a pay-as-you go 3G option like the one for the iPad, but no such luck. Well, there’s been beaucoup ballyhoo about the new Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200, so I decided to give it a try on a trip to the Pacific Northwest last week. It’s gotten rave reviews, with an upfront cost of $150 retail (you can do about 30% better on the web if you shop around), and no contract, just $40 a month for unlimited use or $10 for 100MB for ten days. Your own personal wifi hotspot wherever you go–what’s not to love? Well, a couple of things, actually.

It’s certainly small and light enough.  Weighs only a couple of ounces and hardly takes up any space. However, the charger is another story. It’s also nearly weightless, but at not quite 2-1/2″ x 2″ x 3/4″  it seems surprisingly big and clunky, especially when you compare it to the current wall adapter for the iPod/iPhone.

Setup is a bit of a hassle (But I just created a log-in password! What’s this one for?), but it’s doable, which is a good thing, for reasons you’ll read about in a moment. Actually using the MiFi is very simple–one button and that’s all. All, except for needing to go back to the user guide several times at first to figure out what the one button is trying to tell you (blinking amber? something wrong? charging?). Once you learn its repertoire, it’s very simple.

mifi with ipod
The new iPod with the MiFi

Virgin says it’s good for about four hours of continuous use or 40 hours of standby on a single charge. I found I actually got closer to five hours, but that standby was a lot less. If I used it about 45 minutes during the day and it got left on overnight (it goes to standby after about ten or fifteen minutes of inactivity, at least in my experience), it would start flashing red–Charge me! Charge me!– almost immediately after I woke it up the next morning. Still, it’s plenty of time for normal use, and you can use it while it’s plugged in, too, so you don’t have to go offline to let it charge up.

So how well did it work? For the most part, pretty well. As long as I was in an area where you’d expect to have cellular service (not on the Sol Duc trail in Olympic National Park, for instance) there was usually a connection. Now the speed of that connection varies quite a lot. I had given it a good test drive at home before I left, and even there, where you would expect the speed to be fairly constant, it varied from “Darn, maybe I can get rid of my regular internet service,” to “watch paint dry”. Although Virgin says it’s unlimited service, one has to wonder if this isn’t the way they put a real life choke on usage. I didn’t notice anything particularly irritating about getting mail or web browsing, most of the time, but streaming video is completely impossible with this thing. If you want a MiFi so you can spend your evenings watching old Twilight Zone episodes on YouTube, this isn’t for you. It also takes a while to wake up or to establish a connection when you first turn it on, a minute or more, sometimes.

The other major irritation was that it kept asking me to go through the activation process all over again. It does this whenever it can’t find a signal, which is understandable if slightly annoying, but even when I was in urban areas where I knew there must be a signal it would often forget that it had been activated. After the first couple of times you get used to the drill, but if you do get one, take your sign up info with you or you may be stuck.

On the whole, I would say it’s worth it. It let me check mail and use  the map app and look around for info on the Internet, and it gives me the option of whether to take my iPod or my wifi-only iPad when I travel. The slow connection was the most painful part.

EDIT 10/30/10: Interestingly, I was in Asheville, NC  this week and there the mifi is blazingly fast, much faster than the hotel’s wifi, so I suppose it must depend on where you are. If you happen to be lucky in your location, it’s really good, but it hasn’t been like that anywhere else I’ve been, alas.

EDIT 1/13/11: Virgin changes the terms for new accounts:

How will it work?
Starting February 15, 2011, if you go over 5GB in a month on the $40 Unlimited Plan:

  • Your data speeds will be limited for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media.
  • Your data speeds will return to normal as soon as you buy a new Broadband2Go Plan.
  • This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011.
  • Incidentally, tried the mifi in Ft. Lauderdale last week–worst ever, just unusable. Dial-up would have been faster.