2673 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2006 11:09 AM by lil_rocker_dude
DO NOT attach & sync your full iPod to an empty iTunes
These links will give you several methods of recovering whatever songs remain on your iPod; some free, some third-party software, some more comprehensive for restoring Playlists, Ratings, Play Counts, etc. Read them and their associated links before deciding on a strategy that works for you. There are many various third-party software programs that will offer a more robust process, or an easier GUI. Do a Google search for them if the links below leave you wanting…
Don King Resurrected: Deleted files from hard drive (free user steps – music recovery only)
MacMuse: Computer Crashed (free user steps – music recovery only)
Copying music from iPod to computer (a primer on various methods and software)
Copying Songs from Your iPod to a Mac or PC (resource for 3rd party software)
iPodRip Software (Free trial: Mac & Windows)
PodUtil Software (Mac & Windows)
YamiPod Software (Free: Mac & Windows)
PodPlus Software (Windows)
TuneJack Software (Windows)
Senuti (Mac OS X v10.3 or higher Recovery Utility)
XPlay (Windows software For Music Recovery &/or Cross-Platform Functionality)
XPlay Photo Browser (For recovering Photos)
Extremely Simple & Free Method: (just to recover the song files – may not work on a Mac)
1 - Open iTunes
2 - Edit=>Preferences=>’Advanced/General’ tab
2a --- Select ‘Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library’: checked
2b --- Select ‘Keep iTunes Music folder organized’: checked
2c --- Click OK to store changes
3 - Attach your iPod to the PC and hold down the ‘Shift+Ctrl’ keys until the iPod is fully recognized (this will defeat the auto-sync process)
4 - If you get a dialog box to link the Library, decline this option
5 - Within iTunes: Edit=>Preferences=>’iPod’ tab: switch iPod to ‘Manually manage songs & playlists’ – click ‘OK’
6 – Eject iPod
7 – Close iTunes, then reopen iTunes and attach the iPod (it’s in manual sync now)
8 – File=>Add Folder
9 - Browse to and open ‘My Computer’ (click on the ‘+’) and select the iPod (or the lower ‘\iPod_Control’ sub-folder)
10 - Click OK
-- The music files should start to transfer back into iTunes with its correct information
–-- This will take some time depending on your PC’s speed and the amount of songs on the iPod
No Playlists, or Ratings, Last Played, & Play Count attributes will be transferred from the iPod to iTunes using this method.
If you have problems with seeing the iPod within 'My Computer', try again switching your update method to 'manual', detach the iPod, then reconnect the iPod to the PC.
After recovering your Library, strongly consider developing a thorough and frequent backup strategy for just this type of situation (and many other potential disasters).
You need at least two full sets of your music, not including what is on the iPod:
-- One full set on the PC within iTunes (on internal HD or ExHD)
-- One full set on an separate external backup medium (CD/DVD/ExHD/other)
-- One (full or partial) set on the iPod
Music files on just the iPod and only one other medium is not considered having any backup.
If you cannot store your complete music files on the computer’s internal HD, then create and maintain at least two external sets (any multiple combinations of ExHDs, DVDs, CDs).
Backup both the music files and the Library database file (iTunes Library.itl). What are the iTunes Library files?
Here is a post on developing a thorough Backup Strategy
Try this from MacMuse:
- Start with the iPod disconnected from the computer - DON'T CONNECT IPOD YET
- open iTunes
- open iTunes Preferences - this blocks iTunes from seeing an iPod connection; leave the preferences window up and running
- connect the iPod to the computer, wait about 15 seconds before continuing
- open 'My Computer'
- Tools menu, Folder Options, View tab, enable 'show hidden files /folders'
- open iPod icon in My Computer
- open iPod_Control folder
- you should see a folder named Music
- drag this folder to somewhere on your computer hard drive
- after the copy completes, right-click the new Music folder on your hard drive and select 'Properties'
- clear the checkmark next to 'Hidden'
- Close that explorer window
- eject iPod from System tray "Safely Remove Hardware" icon. This icon looks like a small gray rectangle with a green arrow floating above it. It's only there when a removable device (like the iPod in this case) is attached to the computer. Right-click & select 'Safely remove..', then click 'Stop' in the next window, OK in the next window, and then Close to complete the ejection.
- disconnect the iPod from the computer
- go back to iTunes, cancel the preferences window
- File menu \ Add folder to Library \ find that Music folder copied over from the iPod
Your iTunes library should be back in action! But wait - there's more!!
Long time forum regular Otto42 has a java script/program that can also retrieve the playlists themselves from the iPod as well. Here are his instructions and a link to the most recent thread discussing this tricky process:
] This is really useful when you're pulling all the songs off of an iPod to put them back into iTunes, because you lost your library or anything along those lines. Come up with your own reason for using it.
] Download this program:
(If you can't download it, try again later. The connection goes up and down a lot.)
] Now, put the iPod into Disk Mode or otherwise access the iPod as a drive. Make sure you can see hidden files, then go to the drive and the iPod_Control folder and find the iTunesDB file. Copy it to your PC.
] Put the copied iTunesDB file in the same directory as this program, then run the program. It'll read the iTunesDB, get all the playlists, and create an XML file for each one. Now just import those XML files into iTunes to recreate the playlists.
- The songs in playlist must already be in the iTunes library. If any one of them isn't there, iTunes throws up an error when you try to import the XML file.
- The song names, artist names, and album names in the library all must be identical as to what the iPod has. If you just copied all the music off the iPod and into iTunes, this will be the case, so it's generally not a big deal. but you'll get an error if it can't find the song in the iTunes library, so it's something to keep in mind.
- It probably won't be able to cope with unusual characters in song names. Sorry, not worth my time to fix. Dealing with unicode is way annoying.
- Smart Playlists get changed into regular playlists. It's possible for me to add the smart playlist stuff in there, but it'll take a while to work it all out.
Original thread for Otto42's playlist recovery: http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?128@@.689c78f2/0
(hope this helps)
You sir are a god amongst men. May you long continue to dispense your wise words upon us comparative cretin's. I bid you good day sir, and hope for you to have a bright future full of 'good times'.
Ever thankful - for resurrecting my iTunes library from the horrors of a malfunctioning computer,
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU! I upgraded my iTunes version to the 6.0.5 and lost my music library about 2 weeks ago. I had tried everything I found on how to get my library back into iTunes including using the old music library files that were saved on my hard drive. Today I found your post and now my library is back and iTunes is once again running perfectly. Your directions were perfect and very easy to follow! Thank you again!