Apps Outside the Classroom – Transferring Media Between Devices

Easy Media Transfer: my preferred option.

My students make a lot of media projects. I am always having them use their iPad to interview their grandparents, film commercials about the importance of recycling, act out scenes from books they've read, create photo stories, create their own iBooks, and much more. All of these projects require photos and videos and sometimes the file sizes can become extremely large.

If students are working together in a group and need to collaborate and share pictures or video clips in order to make their final project, they are sometimes unable to transfer the media by using email or iMessage (due to file size or video length restrictions). Another problem is how to get these final projects onto a computer since we block the students from syncing their school iPads with their personal iTunes.

The fast and easy solution is to use one of several cheap media transfer apps available in the AppStore. I'll give you a rundown of how these apps work (they are all identical) and then give you AppStore links to 3 of them so you can pick whichever you want or keep an eye out for a sale or freebie.

For this tutorial, I'll be using screenshots from Easy Media Transfer, although all three apps I'll link to work the same way.

When you first load the app, you should see a screen that gives pretty explicit instructions on how to transfer media:

The default is for transferring to a computer.

This screen shows you how to get your photos or videos onto a desktop. They must be on the same WiFi network and the computer needs an internet browser. Just click on “Select Photos and Videos” and a list of your albums and media will pop up. Scroll through and click as many items as you want to send. There is no limit to how many you can transfer at once.

Once you've chosen everything, hit “Done” and it will return you to the main screen. On that main screen, you'll notice a web address in blue (which I blurred out in the photo above). On your computer, type in that web address exactly as it is shown on the app (careful with punctuation marks). Do not close the iPad app during this time! You should see a screen that looks like this in your web browser:

I was too lazy to screen cap my computer, so I just took a picture of the monitor.

You'll notice that the photos or videos you chose are listed right there. Now all you have to do is click on them and save them to your computer's hard drive like you would any other photo or video on the internet. You can also download a zip file of the whole collection. Don't exit the app in your iPad until the transfers are complete.

If you want to transfer between two iPads, then both users will need to open the app at the same time and then click “Device” along the bottom row of icons.

Once again, the sender picks the photos and videos as before. In the screenshot above there are no other devices loaded, but if your friend has the app open at the same time as you (and you are both on the same WiFi network) then you will see their iPad listed where it says “Looking for Devices”. After you choose your photos and videos, simply click on the name of the device you want to transfer to. The receiver does not need to do anything except sit there and wait for the transfer to complete.

You can also use Bluetooth to transfer if no WiFi is available, but this is really slow.

BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE BOTH GIVEN THE APP ACCESS TO YOUR PHOTOS IN THE IPADS' PRIVACY SETTINGS!

This particular app also links to Dropbox, although this is not super important as you can set the actual Dropbox app to automatically upload all your photos and videos itself.

Three apps that allow you to do all this are Easy Media Transfer ($1.99, pictured in this post), Simple Transfer ($1.99; they also have a free version that limits your options but lets you test the effectiveness on your WiFi network), and Wireless Transfer App ($2.99 and they have a free corresponding Windows/Mac version that allows much easier transferring to your computer). Most of these will be half price with Apple's education program if you do a bulk purchase of 20+ copies.

Don't want to spend any money? Keep an eye on all three for a sale or search through the app store for a free app with similar features. You can also transfer large files to your computer by using Dropbox's auto-upload feature or by sending large video files directly to a YouTube account.

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