TouchCopy Review: Too Glitchy To Be a Top Pick

Touchcopy
image credit: Wide Angle Software

This review refers to an early version of this program, released in 2011. Details and specifics of the program may have changed in later versions.

The Bottom Line

TouchCopy, formerly known as iPodCopy, is a vexing program. It does what it advertises: helps you transfer music from an iPod or iOS device to a desktop computer. But it does it with a number of glitches and slower speed than some of its competitors.

It's got a rich feature set, but until the glitches are smoothed out and the speed improves, it's not a top pick.

Publisher's Site

Pros

  • Clear reports of what's been copied, what hasn't
  • Can backup address book, notes, text messages, voicemails, ringtones

Cons

  • Interface is confusing and inconsistent in some places
  • Crashes backup function during calendar transfer
  • Middling performance: transferred 2.41 GB in 28 minutes

Description

  • A utility designed to transfer music from iPod, iPhone, and iPad to computer
  • Works on both Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista, and 7
  • Transfers songs, videos, play counts, ratings, album art, photos, and other data (address book, text messages, etc.)
  • Desktop software only, not an iPhone app
  • Price: US$24.99

Developer
Wide Angle Software

Version
9.8

Works With
All iPods
All iPhones
iPad

The Basics Covered—and Then Some

The two most important features of any program designed to help users transfer music from an iPod to a computer are to successfully transfer the contents of the iPod or iPhone to iTunes and to provide a clear display of what songs have and haven't been transferred.

On those counts, TouchCopy succeeds.

TouchCopy offers automated reports on what songs on your Apple device are present on the hard drive, which still need to be transferred, and which already have been. The checkmark icons next to already-transferred songs make it easy to understand which is which.

Once you've decided what songs to move, transferring music is as simple as clicking one button.

Like many of its competitors, TouchCopy transfers music, podcasts, photos, and videos. My standard test—590 songs, 2.41 GB—took TouchCopy 28 minutes to complete. That speed puts TouchCopy in the middle of the pack in terms of performance.

Unlike some of its competitors, though, TouchCopy is able to transfer much more than just music and video—it can transfer nearly any data that an iOS device can store (with the exception of apps, though I have yet to encounter a program that can transfer apps. But why would they need to, when apps can be redownloaded for free?). This includes address book entries, voicemails, notes, text message logs, ringtones, and calendars. These features are very valuable and ought to be present in any program that purports to offer a complete iPod/iPhone backup solution.

Glitches and Crashes

While TouchCopy's feature set is among the most complete I've seen, the program has a number of bugs, some minor, others more serious.

Transferring music posed some odd challenges. In my first attempt, I selected all 590 songs manually and initiated a transfer. It reported completion after 31 songs were moved. On my second try, I didn't select any songs, instead of clicking the transfer button, and all songs successfully transferred.

Additionally, song ratings didn't initially appear to be moved over, but closing and restarting iTunes revealed them to be present.

Moving data also revealed some bugs. For instance, an address book with a lot of entries initially presents a message saying it has none even though the program is actually reading them. It's a bit of a wait, but the contacts do eventually appear. Also, I couldn't get my iPhone calendar to load in TouchCopy at all. Each time I tried (four or so times), the data-transfer view of the program crashed.

A Few Notes Since the Original Review

This review was first published in January 2011.

Since then, TouchCopy has changed and been updated in the following ways:

  • TouchCopy now supports exporting additional kinds of files, including ebooks and WhatsApp messages.
  • Requirements have changed. TouchCopy 16 (the latest version as of this writing) requires iTunes 10 and up running on macOS X 10.8-10.12 or Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista.
  • The pricing structure has changed. A one-year "rental" (according to the developer's site) is now $29.95; a lifetime purchase for up to two computers is $39.95.

Conclusion

TouchCopy has all the makings of a top program in this space. It's got a powerful feature set and a solid user interface. But its relatively slow speed of transfer, and more serious bugs hold it back. Keep an eye out for future updates that address these issues, though.

Publisher's Site

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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