Transfer files to iPad air from PC - what do I need? And how do I do it?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by BobbyBoomer, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. BobbyBoomer

    BobbyBoomer
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    I want to transfer files from my Windows PC to my iPad Air. Some songs, pictures. etc. without using dropbox or an other Internet upload/download solution.

    My DSL-Lite connection is slow so that is not a good option. It takes over 10 minutes to upload one 3 minute 182k mp3.

    I read about and shopped for a USB to Lightning cable, but the tech help at B&H said I would need iTunes along with the cable to get my pictures from my PC to my iPad. I absolutely hate iTunes and got rid of it when I traded my iPod for a Sony Walkman so that isn't an option.

    Is this true? Will I need iTunes with a USB->Lightning cable?

    Is there any other way to get files from my PC to my iPad without uploading to the net and downloading again?

    I did some searching on this forum, but got so many irrelevant posts that I'm more confused than ever (I guess my search terms were too broad no matter how I reworded)

    Thanks
    Bob
     
  2. Thomas1977

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    I believe that all Apple products must use iTunes to do things. I don't think there is anyway to get around it. I am not totally sure on this as I am not originally a Apple person as I just got my first iPad this year.
     
  3. BobbyBoomer

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    Do I need iTunes on both computers, or only on my iPad?

    And will it allow me to transfer pictures or just songs?

    I could live with iTunes on the iPad only.

    While I love Apple products, I hate the fact that they are like jealous wives and don't even want you talking to another brand of computer ;)

    Bob
     
  4. giradman

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    Hey Bob - you've not been around for a year or so! :) Hope that all is going well w/ you - assume busy!

    As to your question about transferring files between computers & iOS devices, it's almost like a 'one-way' street, i.e. getting files off the iPad to a computer is a LOT easier than going the other way into the 'sandboxed' apps of an iDevice. I have two macOS apps on my laptops, i.e. iExplorer & iMazing (see pics below and google, if interested) , on my laptops (both cost a few bucks) which cabled to an iDevice - very easy to send files from the iDevice to the computer (both Mac & Windows versions are available), BUT going the other way is a PAIN, unfortunately!

    Now there are a number of devices that establish a 'personal' wireless network w/ your iDevice and require an app on the iPad - I own the one below (third image) which accepts a SD card - files easily put onto the card from a computer but less easy to transfer those files to an iPad - yes, frustrating.

    SO, iTunes on your PC computer is a viable choice to get your files, especially the music ones, onto your iPad - iTunes should already be on your iPad BUT does not have the same functions as on a computer, i.e. mainly a 'store' - thus, for your music, iTunes may be your best choice (I usually put together 'playlists' and just drag them from my iTunes computer app to my iPad icon - works fine for me) - as to the other files, the above options may work as would iTunes if 'file sharing' is supported, which depends on the app. Hope this gets you started - Dave :)
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  5. twerppoet

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    Many apps offer a wi-fi transfer option that uses your computer's web browser instead of iTunes. This works by opening the app, turning on the feature, then entering a supplied URL into the computer's browser. Documents and GoodReader are two of the better apps for this. Hold in mind the files end up in those apps. You won't be transfering your music or photos directly to Apple's Music and Photos libraries (though the photos can be tranfered app to app later).

    This method is usuall called something like Wi-Fi Drive, or Wi-Fi Transfer. It works on your local network, not over the internet.

    Photos can be transfered direclty from your computer using the PhotoSync app (by touchbyte) and it's companion app on the computer. (or the wi-fi method already described)

    Getting music into the Music app requires special computer apps like giradman showed. Most, if not all of them, require iTunes to be installed on the computer even if it's not actually used. The apps need some of the services an iTunes installation supplies.

    Note: GoodReader also offers a computer computer app that will work with an USB cable. Like the wi-fi method, the files end up in GoodReader.

    There are also (relativly) cheap USB drive options that have a lightning connector on one end and a USB on the other. They require a companion app, usually free.

    I have a 64G Lexar drive. The app is terrible and everything has to be copied to-from the drive making, most file transfers a two-to-three step process; but when nothing else is available it is better than that nothing.
     
    #5 twerppoet, Mar 6, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  6. BobbyBoomer

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    Thanks to both of you!

    Thanks. I've been delightfully busy, and haven't had the time to go out and take more pictures (at least pictures that I'm very happy with). The iPad has been mostly used for couch surfing and a couple of magazine subscriptions.

    A friend of mine is going to Prague and Budapest, and I have about 15G of pictures from a trip I took in 2014 that would be nice to have on the iPad. Of course, I'd thin them out before transferring. The tablet is more portable than the laptop, the display is nice, and the touch interface is great for showing pictures.

    I can put the mp3s I want to play for him (original stuff) on a flash drive and play on his computer, it will sound better on bigger speakers anyway.

    My main computer is a PC. This is a necessity for my work (second business), as I develop aftermarket style and song files for Band-in-a-Box (an auto-accompaniment music app). The BiaB style-writing app on the PC is far superior to that of the Mac and the styles written on the PC are better (not Mac's fault but the BiaB developer is very PC oriented and the StyleWriter on the Mac lags by about 15 years in features).

    However, the style and song files made on the PC are 100% compatible with Mac so I can develop them on the PC and sell them to Mac users as well. I keep my products on the PC and Mac updated together.

    The frustration of getting things to and from the Mac via Dropbox and my slow DSL Lite makes me use the iPad less and less. I'm too far away from the fiber optics to get real DSL speeds (the price of living in almost paradise).

    I had iTunes on my PC but when my iPad died, I uninstalled it. It kept wanting to hog file associations, it occasionally locked up the computer while trying to use it and was just a PITA to use.

    My new Walkman has a simple drag-and-drop method to add tunes. No additional app needed. As a bonus, it sounds much better than the iPod. Newer technology I guess. The iPod gave me a very long and happy life. I bought it about the time the touch came out, it's a classic. Touch doesn't work for me in the car (fat fingers).

    I've had a few Apple computers, starting with my Motorola CPU "toaster" with OS6 back in the 1990s, and while Apple makes quality products, and even though their OS is much more attractive than Windows, I've always been frustrated by the lack of compatibility between Mac and PC. It seems to me that Apple does whatever it can to keep users Apple Exclusive, and since my second business requires Windows, it's a fight.

    If I didn't need the PC as my main computer, this wouldn't be a problem. I have a good friend who is 100% Mac, loves it, and doesn't need that cross platform compatibility. We can collaborate on music and send files through the net with no problem.

    The iPad Air is my last Apple product. Everything else I bought is in the great computer graveyard. For my first business (pro musician) and my second business (BiaB aftermarket developer) I use ThinkPads. Their build quality is on a par with the Mac. I just retired one that I bought in 2002 and has been on stage with me since then. It still works, but the HD is running out of room. Replacing the HD on a 15 year old computer is not practical.

    I think my next tablet will be an Android. I love the iPad, the music apps are superior to the droid music apps but I can transfer files to and from my droid phone and PC with no problem.

    OK, I'm drifting off the subject here.

    Thank you girdaman and thank you twerppoet for the info. This will lead me to further investigation to see which if any of the options will be best for me.

    Bob
     
  7. LannyC

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    You need iTunes, Bob.

    I keep my vacation photos on my iMac, organized into folders by trip, and those folders sit inside a higher folder called "iPad Photos." In iTunes on the Mac, I check the box to sync the iPad Photos folder with my iPad. Anything I drop into that folder is copied to the iPad at the next sync session. I assume Windows iTunes has the same feature.

    I do the same thing with music. I ripped my CD collection to iTunes on the Mac in Apple Lossless format, to stream through my hifi via AirPlay, Apple TV, and an outboard DAC. A subset of that music is copied to my iPad as 128-bit AAC files at sync time, by checking boxes in iTunes. This works very well, though iTunes degrades the sound somewhat through its unnecessary resampling (adds jitter?). I would use a different music app, but only iTunes lets me control hifi playback via the Remote app, far too handy to give up.

    I still struggle with trying to get individual photos to appear in the correct order on the iPad. I thought it was filename, then perhaps date modified, but I've concluded it must be voodoo. iTunes does indeed suck at the details, but it's essential for making iPad backups.
     
  8. giradman

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    Hi Bob - well, you put a lot of food on your plate w/ that last post - not sure if you want us to address any of the topics mentioned, but will just make a few comments of specific portions below - please let us know if you want any more discussion - not sure?

    Assume that your friend will be taking an iPad & also a laptop? When I travel, I take along a portable bluetooth speaker (shown below - a newer model at half the price has been released) - this provides excellent 'wireless' sound in a small room, if that may be of interest - much better than the speakers on my MBAir (which usually travels w/ me) - and easy to store, just 6" x 2" x 2" - there are many of these portable BT options these days of variable size and price; Amazon has a bunch listed.

    Now, I'm not sure how 'old' your hardware may be or if you still have a functional iPad? But as you likely know, Windows can be easily run on an iMac, using either Bootcamp (requiring a separate boot) or 'virtualization software,' such as VMware or Parallels - some information HERE, if this is even a consideration for you; and if so, you may want to visit the Mac-Forums - plenty of great people there who use both Windows & macOS, plus run the different operating systems on an iMac.

    Plus concerning your last statement above, if you have recent Apple hardware/software - AirDrop is a great technology to transfer 'files' wirelessly between devices, including those running iOS & macOS - I use the technology constantly, and its operation is independent of your internet connection; problem is that may not be great for large amounts of files.

    Well, let me stop there since I'm still not sure if you were just wanting to explain your situation vs. wanting comments - good luck and post back if you do have further questions. Dave :)
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  9. SteveTheSkeptic

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    If you have a reasonably fast internet connection, you can use Dropbox, which gives you – I forget, maybe 5GB? – free cloud storage. So: install Dropbox on your PC and your iPad, both linking to the same account (obviously). Copy your photos from your PC into Dropbox's Photos folder, then use the Export command in the iPad version of Dropbox (cunningly concealed under the three little dots in the top right corner of the screen) to 'export' your pics from the cloud to the iPad. Choose "open with application" to select which app – e.g., Photoshop Touch, Snapseed, Pixelmator, Lightroom etc – you'll be looking at your photos with.

    Dropbox is handy for a lot of stuff like this, and it doesn't have to cost anything. Disadvantages are that it can be cumbersome and repetitive, and that the speed of your internet connection can be a limiting factor.
     
  10. giradman

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    Hi Steve - welcome to the forum! :) Dropbox is a great choice along w/ a number of other internet choices, but the first two sentences from Bob's initial post are quoted below w/ several phrases put in bold - plus, the number of files needed to transfer would likely exhaust the minimum 'free' storage offered by the service although additional cloud storage seems always available for a price - ;) Hope that you enjoy - Dave :)


     

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