4206 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2010 9:32 AM by tytbody
Copy from iPod to PC
It is important not to allow your iPod to sync with an empty library. If it is set to synchronise automatically you will get a message saying your iPod is linked to a different library and asking if you want to sync – it is important to press cancel as syncing with an empty library erases all music from your iPod.
You can also prevent auto sync by holding down shift & ctrl as you plug in your iPod and keeping the keys held down until the iPod appears in iTunes.
Once you are connected, you need to set your iPod to manage music manually.
If you have an iPod with iTunes Store purchases on it, you can use it to copy your purchases to other authorized computers.
However this is not allowed for other music.
This MacMuse tip tells you how to copy music from your iPod using Windows Explorer, but it is a bit fiddly:
Otherwise you can use third party software to manage the transfer, there are a variety of programs out there, some free and some that will copy ratings and counts as well as the music files. Here is a selection, check them out and see what suits you.
For a more complete list see:
There is a useful background article on copying from your iPod here:
1) Connect your iPod to your new computer.
2) If it is set to update automatically you'll get a message that it is linked to a different library and asking if you want to link to this one and replace all your songs etc, press "Cancel". Pressing "Erase and Sync" will irretrievably remove all the songs from your iPod.
3) When your iPod appears in the iTunes source list change the update setting to manual, that will let you use our iPod without the risk of accidentally erasing it. Check the "manually manage music and videos" box in Summary then press the Apply button. Also when using most of the utilities listed below your iPod needs to be enabled for disc use, changing to manual update will do this by default: Managing content manually on iPod and iPhone
4) Once you are safely connected there are a few things you can do to restore your iTunes from the iPod. There are a number of third party utilities that you can use to retrieve the music files and playlists from your iPod. You'll find that they have varying degrees of functionality and some will transfer movies, videos, photos, podcasts and games as well. Have a look at the web pages and documentation, this is just a small selection of what's available, they are generally quite straightforward. You can read reviews and comparisons of some of them here:
Wired News - Rescue Your Stranded Tunes
Comparison of iPod managers
TuneJack Windows Only (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
SharePod Windows Only (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
iPod2PC Windows Only
iDump Windows Only
iPodRip Mac & Windows
YamiPod Mac and Windows
Music Rescue Mac & Windows
iPod Music Liberator Mac & Windows
Floola Mac & Windows
iGadget Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
iRepo Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
iPod Access Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
TouchCopy Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
If you have any iTunes Music Store purchases the transfer of purchased content only from the iPod to authorised computers was introduced with iTunes 7. You'll find details in this article: Copying iTunes Store purchases from your iPod or iPhone to a computer
There's also a manual method of copying songs from your iPod to a Mac or PC. The procedure is a bit involved and won't recover playlists but if you're interested it's available on page 2 at this link: Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide
5) Whichever of these retrieval methods you choose, keep your iPod in manual mode until you have reloaded your iTunes and you are happy with your playlists etc then it will be safe to return it auto-sync.
6) I would also advise that you get yourself an external hard drive and back your stuff up, relying on an iPod as your sole backup is not a good idea and external drives are comparatively inexpensive these days, you can get loads of storage for a reasonable outlay: Back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive
So basically what you have to do is copy every song from iPod to PC (with 3rd party app), and then deleting all songs and copying them back from PC to iPod (done automatically by iTunes when going back to auto-sync)?
Is that right?
Or will iTunes realize that the files in the library are the same as the ones in the iPod, and just link them without deleting or copying anything?
You're right on the first one, when using auto sync.
iTunes will not realize that the files in the library are the same as in the iPod, since you will now have a different itunes library.itl file.
Article on that: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660
The old one got lost when your HD crashed.
An iPod can only auto-sync to one ITL file.
It can *manual sync* to any number of PCs, as long as you only have iPod content from 5 itunes store accounts.
You can easily recover the songs you have purchased from the itunes store. you just need to authorize your computer to play them (in itunes 8 you need to go to Store > Auhorize computer > and enter your user name and password). Finally, you can rebuild your itunes music library from your ipod using this app. I used it because I had to reformat my pc and lost all the data I had on it, including my music.