Transfer iPhone Voice Memos to Your Computer

The iPhone's built-in Voice Memos app has been a useful addition ever since it was bundled with iPhone OS 3.0. It lets you record audio snippets and play them back later, and you can send them to yourself or others using the built-in email sharing feature.

It's not entirely clear how to use the Voice Memos app though, or how to send a voice recording to someone via email - let alone figure out how to transfer a voice recording to your computer.

Here are the steps for 1) recording audio with the Voice Memos app on your iPhone, 2) sharing those audio snippets using email, and 3) transferring those audio files to your computer:

1. Record audio with the Voice Memos iPhone app:

Open the Voice Memos app on your iPhone and tap the button on the left to start recording. You can talk into the microphone or place it near what you're trying to record.

Tap the button on the bottom right to stop recording, and tap it again to see a list of voice memos that you've recorded.

2. Share recorded audio clips using email:

Tap the arrow next to each audio clip to view options for sharing that clip.

Tap the "Share" button and select "Email" to send the audio clip as an email to yourself or someone else.

3. Transfer recorded audio clips to your computer:

If you have a large audio recording, you won't be able to share it using email. For example, the audio clip I recorded above was for over 50 minutes and was about 24 MB in size - far too large for email, and my iPhone wouldn't let me send it.

In this case, when the audio file is too large to share using email, then you'll need to transfer the audio file to your computer using iTunes.

Copy data files from an old hard drive to a new system

Question: My dell 8400 tower went down, replaced power supply and ..nothing. How can I get everything off the hard drive, install into another tower, or take it somewhere to download to external drive?

Answer: From what you've described, it sounds like your motherboard is probably fried. Since the Dell 8400 series run an old Pentium 4 processor, it's probably not worth bothering with trying to replace the motherboard and you're better off trying to get the data off the hard drive and replace the system altogether.

You have a couple options for doing this. You can hook up the hard drive as a slave drive in your new system, or you can use an IDE adapter that plugs into a USB port and treats your hard drive like an external USB drive.

Either way you'll need to remove the hard drive from your old system, which is easy to do. Remove the screws from the outer casing (some cases let you slide the side off without removing screws) and locate the hard drive. There will be a flat thin cable about 2 inches wide connecting it to the motherboard. Remove the screws holding the hard drive to your case (usually 2 on each side) and then remove all cables and power cords going into the hard drive.

IDE Adapter

The easiest way to get data from your old hard drive onto another desktop system or laptop is to connect it using an IDE adapter. The adapter will connect your hard drive with your other system's USB port, and will let you copy files over just like it was a USB flash drive.

How to copy the contents of one hard drive to another

Question: I have a computer with a 20GB drive and would like to install a 80GB drive that I have, as the 20GB drive has under 1GB remaining. Can I use imagining software to copy all Programs, files, and folders (including system files) from the old drive to this bigger drive, and make it be the startup drive? What would be the best software for me to use?

Answer: Yes, you can copy the contents of one hard drive to another, as long as the drive you're copying to is as large or larger than the old drive, and as long as you have the right software. You can even copy installed programs and the operating system over to the new drive, so you don't need to spend money on another Windows license or worry about re-installing programs.

Both hard drives will need to be connected to your motherboard using a standard IDE cable. Two hard drives can be connected with the same IDE cable - just make sure that the old drive (master) is connected to the first available connector slot, and the new drive (slave) is connected to the middle slot on the cable.

You'll need a software program to copy over the old hard drive's contents to the new hard drive, also known as "ghosting" or "disk imaging".

I'll discuss 2 disk imaging programs in this article - one that's both a ghosting program and a backup program, and another lighter-weight solution that only handles disk copying (and is more affordable too).

Norton Ghost

Norton Ghost is a well known and trusted program that will duplicate your old drive directly to another drive.

Norton's step-by-step wizards make it easy to copy the contents of your old drive to your new hard drive, even if you're not super technical or very good with computers.

How to back up your iPod

Question: I just lost my ipod that had a ton of songs on it. So now I have to buy those songs all over again and load them on my new ipod! Is there a way for me to backup these songs I'm buying, so that if my ipod goes belly up again then I won't lose my music investment?

Answer: Wow, sorry to hear that you lost all those tunes - that can be really expensive!

iTunes does have a built-in backup feature, but it requires you to use a recordable CD for each album. You can access this feature by selecting the songs you want to back up, and then selecting the "File" - "Back Up To Disc" menu in iTunes.

That'll convert your mp3 songs to audio format that you can play from a CD or DVD player, but you'll burn through a LOT of discs for several gigs of music files that live on most ipods.

A more ideal solution would be to back up all of your ipod music to a single location on your computer, and preferably an external hard drive.

MediaPilot has a slick backup feature that lets you backup all of your ipod music to a single location on your hard drive. No recordable CDs or DVDs are needed with this approach either.

Here's how it works.

  1. Plug your ipod into your computer using the regular data cable, which should start itunes.
  2. Download a copy of MediaPilot, install it and run it on your system.
  3. Select the Tools - iPod File Backup menu.
  4. Choose a backup folder location and identify how you'd like the backup folders to be organized.

How to Transfer your iTunes Library to Another Computer

Question: I have a bunch of music in iTunes on my old computer. How do I transfer my iTunes library to my new computer?

Answer: There are two ways to do this: 1) by manually copying your iTunes music files to an external hard drive and then manually copy them to your new computer, and 2) using a program like iPod 2 iTunes or MediaPilot that let you copy music from your iPod directly to another computer.

I'll cover the manual route first, which is a little harder and requires that you have an external hard drive, and then I'll show you the easy way using just your existing iPod and an inexpensive copy of iPod 2 iTunes.

Manually copy your iTunes library to another computer using a external hard drive

Plug in your external hard drive to your computer. Open Windows Explorer and go to your iTunes music folder. On Vista it's C:\Users\your.username\Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music. On Windows XP it's under Documents and Settings.

Copy the iTunes Music folder to your external hard drive, and then plug the hard drive into the other computer.

Make sure iTunes is installed on the other computer, and just copy the contents of the iTunes Music folder from your external hard drive to the new computer (in the same location as the old computer). iTunes will recognize the files the next time you run it, and you'll be good to go.

Automatically copy your iTunes library to another computer with third-party software

A much easier option if you have all the music on your iPod is to use a third-party program that will copy music from your iPod to your computer (basically using your iPod as an external hard drive).

There are a couple of programs that you can use to upload music from your iPod to any computer running iTunes.