Archive Reviews

Review: Wii Transfer - Movies, Music and Pics On Your Wii

wiitransfericon.png Last year, there were a few new electronics, which I think of as bonus items, that I thought about buying. ‘Bonus electronics’ are the fun things, that you don’t need to live or work, they don’t count as a tax deduction later. I briefly considered an AppleTV, but, just couldn’t see, for me that I get much out of it. I thought I’d rather wait for a more robust product. What I did get was the Nintendo Wii. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and it has been well worth the hassle it took to track one down (if you’re currently looking, try Australia) and the extra I paid for it. I’ve been pretty happy with and have been pleased to find the little Wii extras. The one extra I haven’t been pleased with is the Opera version browser. I know there are Opera fans out there and I commend Opera for being willing to step up and make versions of their browser for the Wii and the DS. (Other companies, still disavow the non-computer market) Still, it is a frustrating browser to use. I had hoped to be able to check out some of my podcasts through there, but didn’t have much luck, due to browser limitations. Meantime I heard rumors that there was a way to hack your Wii and, through the Wi-Fi, connect to your Mac. The great thing about the Mac community is that rumors are often turned into opportunities and software by enterprising Mac programmers. And so I recently found Wii Transfer. wiitransfersharing.jpg Wii Transfer is easy. You download it, start it up and the first thing it does, is tell your Wii Transfer ‘web address’ (actually it’s your IP with a port number). You go to your Wii, load up the Internet Channel, then you look up the Wii Transfer web address. You can save it as a favorite, though most of us have dynamic address, that will change ids every few days. There are ways of dealing with that, too. In Tiger versions of OS X, you had to open the port; in Leopard, you click a yes to the ‘Allow port access’ dialog box. Wii Transfer also gives you the option of registering your dynamic IP on their servers, so it keeps track of your IP address and gives you a bookmark to leave on the Wii. (This will be familiar to folks who have set up ‘Back To My Mac’ like features) wiitransfermovie.jpg wiitransferpics.jpg So once your Wii Transfer is loaded, you get a menu with Movies, Music, Photos and Bookmarks on your Wii screen. It’s all exactly what it sounds like. Movies (more on this later), Music, breaks down to your iTunes Library or Playlists. Photos are the photos you have shared from iPhoto. Bookmarks are any and all browser bookmarks. You can adjust the slideshow settings for your photos in Wii Transfer. wiitransfermainmenu.jpg The Music that shows up are anything that is not DRMed (i.e. Protected ACC). So all your iTunes Plus, imported music and MP3s show up on the list. Movies are videos that have run through a quick Wii Transfer conversion. You drag and drop your video files and Wii Transfer converts them into Wii readable files. You have to have sharing turned on in your iLife apps, for Wii transfer to see them. You can adjust the cache size of how much memory you want to take up to the Wii. wiitransferplaying.jpg The remarkable thing, is the bookmarks. I was pleased to see those, since typing web addresses into the Wii (without a wireless keyboard) is time consuming. Still you still run into the limitations of the Opera specialized browser, such as memory problems and missing and unavailable plug-ins. Finally, one fantastic thing that Wii Transfer offers is a game back up feature. All of your downlaoded games or data that is on your Wii, that can be saved to SD memory cards, can be backed up into your Mac. Simply save your data from the Wii’s memory to the SD card, then stick the card into a USB reader on your Mac. Wii Transfer will automatically back up your data and keep track of it. You can then take a blank SD card, load it up with your saved data and put it back on your Wii. I suspect that using Wii Transfer as an outlet to your TV is slower that AppleTV and if you’re someone who has a lot of videos and video podcasts, the AppleTV is probably a good option for you. The Wii isn’t designed like the XBox or PS3 and isn’t meant to be a home media entertainment hub. But if you’re like me and just want to watch a few episodes of Ask-a-Ninja, while taking a quick couch break, Wii Transfer is a good option. Of course, I think everyone should have a Wii. Conclusion: I suspect that using Wii Transfer as an outlet to your TV is slower than AppleTV. If you’re someone who has a lot of videos and video podcasts, the AppleTV is probably a good option for you. The Wii isn’t designed like the XBox or PS3 and isn’t meant to be a home media entertainment hub. But if you’re like me and just want to watch a few episodes of Ask-a-Ninja, while taking a quick couch break, Wii Transfer is a good option. Of course, I think everyone should have a Wii. 4 out of 5 by sheala