422 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: May 21, 2007 11:19 AM by Zevoneer
If you are using 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.
For all other non purchased music (your own CDs etc) try this method which works on some Windows PCs.
Enable your iPod for disk use.
See: iPod Disk Use.
Open iTunes and select edit/preferences/advanced/general. Put a check mark in the box marked "copy files to iTunes music folder when adding to library" and also "keep iTunes music folder organized", then click 'ok'.
Connect the iPod whilst holding down the shift/ctrl keys to prevent any auto sync, and if you see the dialogue window asking if you want to sync to this itunes library, click 'no'.
Then go to file/add folder, open 'my computer', select your iPod and click 'ok'.
The music files should transfer to your iTunes.
If this doesn't work (and it may not because officially it's not supposed to), 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 can be messy.
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 and playlists etc from iPod back to the computer. However, it does not transfer playcounts/ratings etc.
Another free program is Pod Player.
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.
Connect your iPod to your computer. 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. Your iPod should appear in the iTunes source list from where you can change the update setting to manual and use your iPod without the risk of accidentally erasing it. 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. Check the "manually manage music and videos" box in Summary then press the Apply button: Managing content manually on iPod
Once you are safely connected there are a few things you can do to restore your iTunes from the iPod. If you have any iTMS purchases the transfer of purchased content from the iPod to authorised computers was introduced with iTunes 7. A paragraph on it has been added to this article: Transfer iTunes Store purchases using iPod
The transfer of non iTMS content such as songs imported from CD is designed by default to be one way from iTunes to iPod. However 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 also read reviews of some of them here: Wired News - Rescue Your Stranded Tunes
TuneJack Windows Only
iPod2PC Windows Only
iGadget Windows Only
iDump Windows Only
YamiPod Mac and Windows Versions
Music Rescue Mac & Windows
iPodCopy Mac and Windows Versions
There is also a manual method of accessing the iPod's hard drive and copying songs back to iTunes on Windows or a Mac. The procedure is a bit involved and won't recover playlists but if you're interested it's available at this link: Two-way Street: Moving Music Off the iPod
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. 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.