In a word: WOW!
This is definitely the best alternative iPod photo manager I’ve found after hours of research and testing.
As you can see hereafter, the program is based on a double-pane window that allows to drag both iPod and PC photos any way you want and preview the changes before you hit the button that makes them actual.
The program is really intuitive and its features are so obvious that you understand them instantly.
Once you have played around with photo drag & drops, you try the photo organization options and CopyTrans Photo, here again, is something you might have been using for years: both sides of the program (iPod on the left & computer on the right) feature “tabs” that allow to manage several iPod albums and computer folders simultaneously.
You can drag photos from an iPod album to another or to a PC folder by releasing the mouse button on any tab you want.
On the PC side, a Windows Explorer tree-styled panel permits to quickly navigate through computer locations and you can, here again, drag photos from and to PC and iPod.
In case you need to create new albums or PC folders, you can use the buttons next to the tabs. You can also rename existing iPod albums by right-clicking on their tab.
Being able to see iPod and computer photos with thumbnails is definitely what is missing in iTunes photos management functioning. Here, you can even adjust the size of these thumbnails, which makes it the best way I know to browse iPod pics on the computer.
In addition to those management, transfer & browsing features, CopyTrans Photo includes a pleasant slideshow to play both iPod & computer pix in full screen.
Conclusion: a very stable, excellent looking, richly featured and, most of all, super smartly designed piece of software.
If its makers read this, I would request a delete button in the preview popup window, but apart from this, two thumbs up!
PhotoPod (PC, US$ 20)
That’s an interesting alternative to iTunes too, though by far not as rich as CopyTrans Photo.
This program allows to drag photos from the Windows Explorer to your iPod and from your iPod to its albums.
Its very well imitated iTunes-like interface makes it pleasant to work with.
Really intuitive: you won’t need to read the user manual and I would waste my time trying to explain how to use its features so obvious are they.
Some major weaknesses, though:
– Only compatible with 5G iPod Video & 1G Nano
– Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2
– Not updated for more than a year (Feb 8th, 2007)
Still really buggy:
– When maximized, the window gets bigger than the screen, which prevents from using it and obliges to close it with Alt-F4
– Messes up Desktop icons order
The same software maker, nabocorp software, has some interesting other softwares.
Conclusion: very smart, good-looking & intuitive.
Unfortunately, still very buggy and supports very few photo featured iPods.
Adobe Photoshop Elements (PC & Mac, US$ 99.99)
This is Adobe’s “cheap” photo management solution.
Adobe Photoshop Elements is a richly featured photo management tool that goes far beyond photo transfers and organization ; it allows to crop images, work with layers, fix red eyes and so on.
Actually, its ability to handle iPod photos is an accessory feature in this case.
You can copy photos from iPod to computer, but not browse iPod pictures directly, add photos from computer to iPod or organize iPod photos and albums.
Adobe Photo Elements is pretty much of an “iTunes for images”: at startup, it offers to import data from your computer’s different locations and add them to its “Catalog”, which equals the iTunes library.
Once your iPod photos have been imported to the Catalog, you can organize them into albums, but these will only be accessible inside the program and you won’t be able to directly manage iPod or computer photos. Plus, photo albums created in Adobe Photo Elements cannot be synchronized with the ones of the iPod.
You can delete photos from the Catalog and choose to remove them from the iPod.
This is the typical mastodon that takes ages to be installed, makes your computer slower and can’t be uninstalled easily. It ads many services to computer startup, which come back even after having being deactivated from msconfig.
Popups show up all the time.
Finally, Adobe Photo Elements does many things automatically without having been asked to, like fixing red eyes while importing photos fox example.
Count at least 5 minutes for installation and another 5 to get rid of the monster.
Conclusion: works pretty much like iTunes: photos can be part of its Catalog and can be removed from it without being actually deleted from your computer, but it does not include iPod synchronization/management features. Therefore, Adobe Photo Elements cannot be considered as an iPod photo manager.
iPhoto (Mac only, Free)
Even though this is an interesting bet for Mac users who want to browse their iPod photos, iPhoto is very limited: it does not allow to add photos to an iPod or to manage albums.
Conclusion: interesting to browse iPod photos but definitely not an iPod photo manager.