After owning my iPhone for just over a year, I can’t even imagine what my life was like pre-smartphone. Since I recently backed up my phone and created a photo archive, I was able to see just what I’ve been up to in the past year! Sorting through 3,326 photos was no small feat, but it was so fun to relive the moments as I organized. It was like a cluttered, non-mindful version of the Jonathan Harris – Today video.
I also enjoyed seeing all the location geotags from my photos. In Google Picasa, I keep the Places pane open* and it’s so fun to see the places I’ve been since I got my phone. I was amazed at all the traveling I’ve done. And on the iPhone it’s even more fun … as you zoom in to look at a location, more places tags appear on the screen. Oh, memory lane!
*If you’re posting or sharing a photo, the best bet is to click on the red pinpoint in your Picasa Places map and choose “Erase location info” for the places you don’t want to share with the world!
… without losing your data and your mind!
I’m not sure why this is such a difficult thing to research. Here’s where it started for me: I got a new laptop (yay!) and eight months later finally decided that I should probably cut ties to my old laptop once and for all (crap!). My iPhone and iTunes account were the last things I was using the old laptop for and after many evenings of research, and not finding anything definitive, I just went with it the best I knew how. Things turned out okay.
For some reason, most of the iPhone support documents and websites out there are either trying to sell you an app or program to help you transfer files, or they assume you no longer have access to your old PC or that you have wiped the data from your phone. I guess there’s no help for those of us just feeling technically inept.
So here’s what I wanted to do — transfer my iPhone data, music, books, apps, contacts and photos to a new laptop.
And here’s how I did it:
- Sync your iPhone with the old computer one last time which also makes one last backup copy in case something goes wrong. (Keep in mind this a backup of the phone data, not your photos and music. So if you were to “restore from backup” you’d still be out of luck.)
- Copy all photos. Just to be sure I didn’t screw things up, I made a backup copy of my 3,000 iPhone photos and videos. I copied the folder onto a giant external hard drive and transferred them to my new laptop.
- Copy all music. Here’s the step that could take awhile! I copied my entire “My Music” folder, including my “iTunes” folder onto my new computer and replaced the existing Libraries > Music folder.
- Open iTunes and update the location of your iTunes media folder location. If you don’t do this, your library will show up in iTunes but the links to your music will be broken and you’ll see exclamation points next to each track. Oh noooooes!!! In iTunes choose Edit > Preferences, and under the Advanced tab, change the “iTunes media folder location” to the place you pasted your files. So on Windows XP it was probably something like:
C:\Documents and Settings\your name\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music
but on your new Windows 7 computer it should be:
C:\Users\Your Name\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music
Once you click OK, iTunes will update your library and reconcile all the issues. Exclamation points no more!
- Sync your iPhone. Now you just plug in your iPhone and sync it with the new computer. No worries of it begin wiped out, and even if you did have some kind of freak accident, you can always sync it with the old laptop and start again.
- Authorize your new laptop in iTunes by going to Store > Authorize This Computer. If you have a shortage of authorizations, you can always test things out and then deauthorize your old computer to gain one back.
- Set up your automatically syncing folders for photos and your playlists. I usually choose “Manually manage music and videos” on my iPhone so I don’t have to worry about iTunes trying to load up my whole library on my teeny tiny 14GB phone.
That’s it. I hope this ends up helping someone. I read the iPhone 4 user guide PDF several times while shrieking at my screen “That’s it? THAT’S IT? That’s all you can tell me?” Rage! But all is well now.
Last week I announced I was finally selling out and getting an iPhone. First off, I totally heart my new iPhone 4! Heart, heart, heart. I would guess this might be one of the more life-changing items on my 30 before 30 list. 🙂
After hearing about all the crap that went down for people who tried ordering with AT&T and those who waited in line for hours to pick up their pre-ordered iPhones at Apple stores, we were so glad we pre-ordered with Best Buy. They called the day before to set up a pick up time and we simply waltzed in on June 24 to pick them up. So easy! Did I mention, I hate waiting in lines?
We had one little hiccup, as the first phone they gave me had a dead space on the touch screen. It wouldn’t let me type the letters G and V when turned landscape. It was completely unresponsive on the middle left portion of the screen, even after several hard resets. (Initially I planned to take it anyway and exchange it in a few weeks for a white iPhone 4, but there is still not an anticipated arrival date and the phone was pretty jacked up.) Now that I’m madly in love with my new iPhone, I don’t care that it’s basic black.
Since this is my first iPhone, I’m not always sure which features are new for the iPhone 4/iOS4 versus the 3G and 3GS. For the last four days I’ve been glued to my iPhone 4. I admit, I’ve become one of those iPhone-obsessed people who evangelizes about how much it changed my life. I LOVE it and let’s just say I’ll be spending considerably less time on my laptop.
My favorite apps so far:
1. Sleep Cycle – How cool is it to track your sleep cycles? And I love the mesmorizing “warm breeze” wake up sound.
2. Words with Friends – If long, drawn-out scrabble games are not your thing, you can wait for hours or days between turns.
3. Shazam – For those “What song is this?” moments. It just feels magical.
5. My24 – Great for checking class schedules for the closest 24 Hour Fitness.
6. Realtor.com – Super fun for scoping out real estate. The app is faster and easier to use than the website, go figure.
7. Groupon – Not only can you browse and buy Groupons on the go, but you can use the iPhone app to present your Groupon to the cashier. (No more printed out Groupons floating around in my purse.)
8. Camera and HD Video – More of a feature than app, but I love having a great camera and HD video capabilities on the go. My Canon will be very lonely in the coming months.