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There are two main things I want to copy, pictures in the photo library and .mp3 files saved by the (third party) Voice Recorder application. Here is what I've tried:

  • When I attach the phone to a PC, I get a DCIM folder with a bunch of subfolders, but nothing giving a clue to how the images are organized in albums, or even ordered by date. Further, I know there are complicated options about what is kept on the device and what is in iCloud. What I really want is a way to copy all of the pictures, whether on the phone or iCloud, to the PC. Does Apple try to make this difficult to lock you in to iCloud?

  • For the Voice Recorder .mp3 files, I can copy files from the application to the Files application in bulk, so that's good, but I don't know how to get them from Files to the PC in bulk. I tried various things but I only seem to be able to copy them one at a time. I tried using iZip but it failed, perhaps because the files are too large? The thing that seemed most promising was to add my Google Drive account as a "Location" in the Files app, and then drag all the recordings from the "On this iPad" location to the Google Drive location. But I waited hours and hours and it only seemed to copy one of the files out of the ~100 that were selected and dragged.

  • I found https://snapdrop.net/, which is cool, however again it only seems to let me copy one file at a time, which is not feasible. Again, I was thinking maybe I could zip the files, but iZip fails.

I don't mind paying a reasonable amount for a backup/copy app, if that's what it takes, but I wasn't able to tell from the descriptions of the apps I looked at that they would do what I need.

Note: I also did a full backup from the iPhone to my PC via iTunes. Unfortunately that creates a set of cryptically named files and folders. I'm assuming it's a proprietary format and there's no simple way to turn those into a regular directory of files?

Note: I was hoping to copy to a PC, but if copying to a MacBook is easier, that works also.

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For photos, I recommend PhotoSync which is a paid app on the iPhone with free 'companion' apps for both Mac and Windows.

As the name suggests, PhotoSync synchronises photos from the iPhone to Mac/Windows - this is controlled from the iPhone app and uses Wifi. I use this regularly to transfer new photos to my iMac. You might like to explore its other connectivity features.

Though I have never used Voice Recorder, I would expect you to be able to transfer any .mp3 files through the integration of the iPhone store into Finder (on the Mac) when connected via USB.

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  • Thanks, I'll check out PhotoSync and connecting to the phone to a Macintosh.
    – M Katz
    Jan 3 at 0:48

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