3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2008 12:07 PM by jjmqcs
lre1216 Level 1 Level 1
Recently, I was adding new music to my library when my computer froze and shut down on me. When the computer turned back on and I went to finish adding my new music (from cd's) to my library, I found that my library was empty. I plugged in my iPod and it gave me the options to "Erase and Sync" or "Transfer Purchases." Without buying a program, is there a way to get back my music? If I "Transfer Purchases", will it put back all my music even if not all of it was purchased from iTunes (some music was from cd's)?
(Additional info: i have an 80GB iPod Classic)

Windows XP
  • Zevoneer Level 9 Level 9
    Try holding down the Shift key in Windows when opening iTunes. In the resulting dialogue you will get the option to create a new library or navigate to an existing one. The default location for your iTunes library is in C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\ (or C:\Username\Music\iTunes\ in Vista). Look in there and see if you have more than one library file (they have the extension .itl) If you have more than one try opening them in turn, you may find your original library is still intact: How to open an alternate iTunes Library file

    If that doesn't work.

    1). Connect your iPod to your computer. When you get the 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.

    2). When your iPod appears in the iTunes source list change the update setting to manual, that will let you use your 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

    3). Once you are safely connected there are a few things you can do to restore your iTunes from the iPod. If you only want to copy your purchases to the computer that can be done using iTunes, you'll find details in this article: Copying iTunes Store purchases from your iPod or iPhone to a computer

    For everything else (including purchases) 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. You can read reviews and comparisons of some of them here:
    Wired News - Rescue Your Stranded Tunes
    Comparison of iPod managers

    A selection of iPod to iTunes utilities:
    TuneJack Windows Only (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
    SharePod Windows Only (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
    iPod2PC Windows Only
    iDump Windows Only
    YamiPod Mac and Windows
    iPod Music Liberator Mac & Windows
    Floola Mac & Windows
    iPodRip Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
    iPod Music Liberator Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
    Music Rescue Mac & Windows (iPhone and iPod Touch compatible)
    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)

    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

    4). 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.

    5). 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
  • jjmqcs Level 1 Level 1
  • Zevoneer Level 9 Level 9
    Try recreating your library (and you might want to turn off caps lock on your keyboard): How to re-create your iTunes library