Copying content from a Mac-formatted iPod to Windows
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My iPod is filled with songs from a friend’s Mac. When I plug it into my iTunes library it says I must Restore it in order to connect it to my PC. However, this will erase all of my music. How can I copy the contents of my iPod to my computer then restore the iPod for PC and then copy back and add additional music from my own iTunes library?
A: Traditional iPod models actually connect to your computer as if they were external storage devices like a hard drive or USB memory key. As a result, the iPod uses a file system that is formatted for the host computer’s operating system; FAT32 for Windows PCs and HFS+ for Mac OS X.
The problem is that Windows can’t read a Mac-formatted disk without some additional help from third-party software, which is why iTunes simply sees it as an unformatted or corrupted iPod and offers to restore it for you. If you don’t have any data to recover from the iPod, restoring it is normally fine, as it reformats the iPOd for the Windows FAT32 file system.
In this case, however, since there is data that you want to retrieve from the iPod, you’ll need to either find a Mac to read it on, or look to a third-party software package such as MediaFour’s MacDrive, which allows Windows to read any Mac-formatted disk, including an iPod. MacDrive is commercial software that retails for $50, but the company also provides a free, 5-day trial version that you can download to make sure that it will work for you.
Once you have MacDrive installed, you will be able to read the content on the iPod as if it were formatted with Windows in the first place, and can recover the content using any third-party tool designed for this purpose. See our guide on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Notes from Apple’s Q4 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q4 2016: $46.9B revenue, 45.5M iPhones + 9.2M iPads sold
- Apple reportedly hiring engineers from BlackBerry, developing car operating system in Canada
- Apple releases PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones
- Apple Pay launch in Japan encounters major problems
- Apple releases iOS 10.1, tvOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3.1
- New details about Apple Watch Nike+ exclusives, availability
- Apple’s website hints at possible Apple Pay launch in Germany
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps