Linking your iPod to Outlook is possible but not always.
One thing that Apple’s iPod range can do, at least in theory, is copy your latest Contact and Calendar information from Outlook to your portable device.
This is a handy way to find a phone number or remember appointment details using the same source that you have on the desktop.
It’s simple to setup – in iTunes go to the device menu and look for the ‘Info’ or ‘Contacts’ tab. The name of the tab depends on the iPod device (the iTouch has ‘Info’ but the newest Nano has a ‘Contacts’ tab). Despite the name, both tabs let you sync both the Outlook Contacts and Calendar.
There are options to sync only some contacts or calendars.
‘Fifth Generation’ iPods plus iTouch and iPhone can also copy across the contact photos stored in Outlook 2003/2007/2010 contacts.
There’s an option to do this for iPod’s while the iTouch/iPhone’s do it automatically.
But not always
Over the years we’ve often had trouble with the link between iTunes and Outlook. For whatever reason the Apple developers have trouble maintaining a reliable data link. More than once we’ve installed a new version of iTunes only to be rewarded with error messages about the link with Outlook.
It’s happened again with iTunes 9 and the new iPod Nano – each time it tries you might see:
‘iTunes cannot sync calendars to the iPod ‘xxxxxxx’. Try logging out of Windows and then logging back in‘
This message is curious for several reasons:
- The suggested fix makes no difference.
- Contacts are synchronized from the same copy of Outlook.
- Contacts and Calendars can be sync’d to an iTouch on the same computer.
So it seems there’s a problem with either iTunes or the Nano that Apple needs to fix.
In the past these problems are fixed with a later maintenance update to iTunes and we hope that will happen this time.
Usually it’s a good idea to skip major releases of iTunes and wait for a later maintenance update (much the same policy as for Microsoft software) but unfortunately newer iPods also require the most recent version of iTunes.
Update: iTunes v9.01 has stopped the error message but our calendar still can’t be synced.
Office Watch has comprehensive ebook guides to both Outlook contacts and calendars:
- Outlook Notes sync to iTouch / iPhone now available
- iPod Nano’s alarm
- Zune HD features for Office users
- Apple Store buying hassles