4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2009 2:12 AM by Jeff Bryan
jerikalla Level 1 Level 1
My computer HD crashed and had to be replaced....
I've just installed iTunes and connected my iPod, I can't find a way to restore the iTunes library from the iPod.
I keep all my music on an external HD, everything that is on the iPod (~140GB) is on the external HD (and more) so I don't want to restore the library from the iPod to the HD nor recreate playlists, etc.

What can I do?

Thanks for your help

Windows Vista
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 8 Level 8
    If you have all of your music files on an external drive that is still working fine, you are in good shape. However, your +iTunes Library+ file (which keeps track of your music files and playlists) was probably lost with your internal drive, unless you were +doing the right thing+, and backing up your data regularly.

    So without that +iTunes Library+ file, you have two choices.

    You can simply drag the entire folder with all of your music files to an open iTunes window. iTunes will add all music (and other media) files to the iTunes library database of the new installation, and the music will appear in iTunes. This will take some time, so be patient. Be VERY patient, if you actually have 140GB in music files. Note: Be sure to check your iTunes preferences, because if you have +Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library+ checked under the Advanced tab, all the music files being added to the iTunes library will be copied to the designated +iTunes Music+ folder (set in the same preference tab). If that box is NOT checked, iTunes will add the music to the iTunes library, but iTunes will access the file from the current location on the external drive, not put a copy into the +iTunes Music+ folder (wherever that happens to be).

    Doing the above will not recreate your previous playlists.

    iTunes cannot be used to transfer from iPod to iTunes on computer. Syncing is one-way from iTunes to iPod. If you want to transfer the music files from iPod to computer (instead of using the external drive as the source), you need to use a third-party utility. There is one I know of that will also copy off playlists from the iPod, and I have used this utility.


    However, it is not free ($25). There are other free utilities, but I have not used any of them.
  • jerikalla Level 1 Level 1
    Thank you!!!
    I did not want to redo the music import but I guess there is no way around it...

    Thanks for the info
  • kingofbaseball Level 1 Level 1
    Will this also work for an iPod Video? My computer had to be restored to out of box and I only have my iPod with all of my music on it.
  • Jeff Bryan Level 9 Level 9
    Check out the following post. It will work with your iPod video.

    Be very careful when connecting an iPod full of music to an empty iTunes library.There is very real risk of permanently losing all the music.

    To prevent auto sync, before you connect the iPod go to the iTunes preferences and select "devices", then select "disable automatic syncing for iPhones and iPods".

    An alternative method is to connect the iPod whilst holding down the 'control+shift' keys and do not let them go until your iPod appears in iTunes.

    If you see a message that your iPod is associated with a different library and asks if you want to link to a new one, make sure you press "Cancel".

    If you should click on "Erase and Sync" will erase all the content currently on your iPod and it will be replaced with the content of the iTunes library you just connected to.

    When you've pressed cancel your iPod should appear in the iTunes source list under "devices" and allow you to change the update setting to manage the iPod content manually, and that will let you use your iPod for the time being without the risk of accidentally erasing the contents.

    Then do any of the following to transfer your music from iPod back to the computer/iTunes.

    For iTunes version 7 or later, then you can transfer purchased iTunes store music from the iPod to an authorized computer by using the "file/transfer purchases from iPod" menu. Note that the maximum of 5 authorized computers applies here.

    Find out how to do that here.

    How to copy iTunes purchases from an iPod or iPhone to a computer.

    For all other non purchased content (your own CDs etc), check out the instructions/suggestions here.

    Music from iPod to computer (using option 2). This a manual method using "hidden folders" and although it works, it is a little more involved than other methods.

    Much easier ways are to use one of the many 3rd party programs that copy music from the iPod to the computer.

    One of the most recommended is Yamipod. This is a free program that transfers music from iPod back to the computer. However, it does not transfer playcounts/ratings etc.

    Other free programs are Pod Player, SharePod and Floola and iDump and iPodRobot.

    If you want to recover just the structure of playlists from the iPod (and not the actual song files themselves), there's iRepo for Windows. which I understand has this feature along with all the standard features for these programs.

    iPodRip also has the feature enabling you to reconstruct playlists.

    There is also CopyTrans. This does preserve ratings/playcounts etc if those are important to you but this program is not free. It also supports video transfer.

    More information is contained here.

    Copying content from your iPod to your computer - The Definitive Guide.