But what if you don’t want a child-sized screen on your phone, and have an Android phone? And what if you run iTunes on a PC, and maybe have an Apple TV? Well, then your ecosystem is broken. Here’s how to cobble something together for free.
Here’s my current setup:
- Phone: Android (Gingerbread)
- OS: Win7 64
- Media Manager: iTunes
- Photo Manager: Picasa
- Media Extender: Apple TV (first gen)
- Get my videos and pictures automatically and wirelessly synced to my computer AND have those movies instantly watchable on Apple TV.
- Have my photos added to a folder monitored by Picasa.
- Do all of this for FREE.
- Movie Format: The default movie format on Android phones is .3gp, while the format required for Apple TV is .mp4. (iTunes will play .3gp files, but Apple TV won’t).
- File Transfer: How do you automatically transfer files off of your phone to your PC? Via a cloud account? Which one?
- File Moving/Import: Even if I get the files I want onto my PC, how do I get them into the correct folders for iTunes and Picasa auto-import?
First, let me say that my solution will work whether you only want to transfer files over WiFi (if you have capped data on your phone) or over the airwaves if, like me, you are lucky enough to have an unlimited data plan.
Install and configure the following:
- Install LgCamera – first, you need a new camera app for your Android phone, one that records videos in .mp4 format. LgCamera is an AWESOME camera/camcorder replacement, and comes in FREE and $2 flavors, and as far as I can tell, the FREE version is fully functional, and without ads. I bought the $2 version just to thank the developer and get a prettier icon. And the Dev is very responsive to questions.
Be sure to change the Video Resolution up to your desired max. (BONUS – you can set a hard button for taking pictures, like DOWN VOLUME)
- Install DropBox – there are lots of cloud services out there, but Dropbox is best known, and free. Box.net offers more free space, but autosync down to your computer requires a paid account, so FAIL. You need to
- establish an account (dropbox.com)
- download the app onto your phone and sign in
- download the app onto your desktop and sign in
- Configure Dropbox – just add a new folder for you phone media. If your household has more than one phone, create one folder for each phone.
- Install FolderSync Lite – In order to automatically get files INTO your dropbox folder, rather than moving them by hand, you need FileSync or some similar program. The full FolderSync($2.40) software lets you sync to many cloud services, including DropBox, Box, SkyDrive, AmazonS3, and many more. The Lite version only lets you sync to one cloud service, but that is good enough.
So set it up to upload the contents of your Video/Photo folder (which are the same folder if you are using LgCamera, and you can view/select LgCamera’s save location in its settings) to your specific DropBox folder (note: you are not moving your files into the dropbox folder on your phone, but directly up to your cloud account).
Set the sync period to once per day or some long period, esp. if you are MOVING rather than copying your files – otherwise, 30 minutes after you take a picture, it won’t be on your phone anymore :D.
- Install Download Mover- At this point, your files will automatically copy or move to DropBox and down onto your home PC. But to move them OUT of dropbox, you need Download Mover. Note that the Mac has a native program that does this, but I’m not sure of the name.
For videos, ask download mover to move mp4 files (don’t use the . when setting up) to this iTunes folder, which already automatically exists:
…/Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/
For pictures, I recommend creating a folder in your main Photo folder, one that Picasa (or your photo manager) scans. DONE!
- Auto-assign ID3 tags – I would love to have all my movies tagged with the genre Family Videos.
- Combine DropBox/FileSync/Download Mover – I would love it if all three of these services were part of one app. I’m not sure if one of the other sync services, like SugarSync, can do that. Please chime in if you know.