iPod Recovering photos from First Generation iPod Nano

33202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
3
0
Hello,

I have a First Generation iPod Nano which has photos on it. I'm trying to get rid of the iPod, so before I reset it to factory settings and sell it I want to make sure all of the photos on it are stored elsewhere.

I've mostly achieved this manually by looking through the approx. 500 photos and matching them up with those on my PC and on external hard drives. However, there are around 175 photos on this iPod which I don't have elsewhere. My understanding is that normally (or what was normal when the First Generation iPod Nano was released), users sync the photos on their PC, along with their music, onto the iPod. However, I guess what I am trying to do is this in reverse.

I first looked in the 'Photos' folder in File Explorer (I am running Windows 10) but the only files are one with an unknown file type called 'Photo Database' and a Folder called 'Thumbs' with two files with the extension 'ithmb' (screenshot).

Using iTunes, the bar that indicates how much storage is taken up on the device at the bottom of the screen recognises that there are Photos on the device, but there is no option to look further into this. When the device is plugged into my PC, there is a 'Photos' option under settings, but the only option under here is whether and how to Sync photos from my PC to the iPod (screenshot).

I've searched message boards and forums online to find out how to 'sync back' the photos from iPod to my PC, but I've not found an answer for the First Generation iPod Nano, which appears to work differently than subsequent generations. Some suggest downloading third party programs for this task, but when I do it, no photos are found:

Using PodTrans, there is no option to explore Photos (while there is for Music, Audio Books and Podcasts (screenshot).

Using iMazing, when selecting the Photos menu option, I get the message "There is no full resolution photos stored on your iPod" (screenshot).

Using Yodot Photo Recovery, files to appear, but none can be previewed ("Corrupted file - Preview not available") and the number of them doesn't match up with what I know is on the iPod (85 appearing with this software while I know there are at least 500 total) (screenshot).

I've had a look through some threads on here and one mentioned a program called Senuti, which might be helpful. I will try and give that a go shortly but I thought I'd get my post up here if anyone already knows what the solution is.

Does anyone have any advice to offer specifically for the First Generation iPod Nano? All screenshots are in one place here.

Thanks!
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,369
1,067
Fort Worth, Texas
Do you have access to a Mac? If you do, the included "Image Capture" app that's included with Macs should be able to import the photos. Also, I have had many versions of the Nano over the years but don't really remember if the first generation was different in the way it stored photos and music.
 
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33202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
3
0
Thanks both for your replies. I do happen to have access to a Mac for the time being (two weeks or so) and this is what I see:
  • The Image Capture app doesn't seem to recognise the iPod - screenshot. I tried plugging in a Nokia 8 (my phone) and a Toshiba External HDD just to test whether the app was working and I actually got nothing appearing either. Any troubleshooting suggestions?
  • In Finder, two drives appear in the left hand bar, but neither of them tell me more than what iTunes or File Explorer did on Windows - screenshot 7, screenshot 8.
Might there be any worth in copying all of the files using Finder/File Explorer, just so I keep them for the future when it may be possible to extract the photos?
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,369
1,067
Fort Worth, Texas
Your iPod is likely formatted to work with Windows. The first iPod I had was used with a Windows machine I had at the time and could not be used with my Mac until I reformatted it for the Mac. iTunes is able to do that. However, reformatting will destroy all the data on the iPod. I should have thought of that when I mentioned Image Capture.

I believe the only way you're going to be able to recover those photos is from Windows. If the Windows File Explorer can't "see" it, I'm not sure if there is any other way to recover. But don't give up yet, as long as the iPod is still working there may be a way to get those photos off it.
 

retta283

macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2018
1,556
1,269
Kingman, AZ
If copy high-resolution photos was check when it was synced, there should be a photos folder on the iPod. If it was formatted for Windows you will want to use Windows to do it. If you did not copy high-resolution photos, I am sadly not sure how to get them off. Try Windows Photos or whatever the app was called in XP/7 if it is Windows formatted.
 

33202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
3
0
Thanks again for the contributions.

I've given Windows Photos a try as suggested and it's not looking good - screenshot. This appears to confirm that the iPod is formatted for Windows. Looking at Photos' import functionality, it looks like the only photos I can import are album covers. I can only conclude that if you choose - as I may have done - to sync photos to the iPod as 'not full resolution', then all you have on the iPod are thumbnails that can't be retrieved.

With regard to not giving up, would there be any use in copying all of the files from the iPod in File Explorer and putting them somewhere safe? If there's something distinct in the iPod's hardware that will allow me to recover then the answer is no, but what I'm hoping is that if I preserve the files I can come back to it when we have the technology...