Connect the iPad 2 and a USB flash drive

It’s quite easy to transfer photos to an iPad from a USB flash drive, as long as you “trick” the iPad into thinking it’s a camera. Here’s how.

I wanted to move a number of photos to my iPad from a Mac other than the one it syncs to. An iTunes sync would replace what’s on the iPad, so that wouldn’t work. I could have emailed the photos, but figured there had to be another way.

I connected a USB flash drive to the Mac and dragged several photos onto it. Next I connected the drive to my iPad Camera Connection Kit and finally plugged the lot into the iPad.

Nothing. The iPad read the drive (its light was blinking) but ignored the photos. So I plugged the drive back into the Mac, created a new folder on it named “DCIM,” put the photos inside and then re-connected it to the iPad.

That did it. The Photos app launched and offered to import the photos. [1. You can use this trick anytime you want to quickly move photos without taking the time for a full iTunes sync.] One caveat: the iPad refused to recognize my 8 GB flash drive, noting that it required more power than was available to operate. It was an old, 64 MB drive that worked.

For more fun with the iPad Camera Connection Kit:

iPad Camera Connection Kit and GarageBand

The more I play with the iPad Camera Connection Kit, the more I realize what a little chunk of magic it is. Tonight I’ve used it to connect a Blue Snowball mic to the iPad 2 for audio recording with GarageBand. The iPad recognized the mic instantly and made it available in GarageBand. Below is a brief test recording.

Recorded in GarageBand for iPad with a Blue Snowball mic and iPad Camera Connection Kit.

While hardly a professional rig, I can see using this setup to record audio on location with minimal fuss. In fact, the mic is the largest piece of equipment. You say you want a simple way to record an episode of your podcast at the local pub? Here it is (and much cheaper than mic + laptop).

For more fun with the iPad Camera Connection Kit: