Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide | iLounge Article


Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide

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Probably the single most frequently-asked question of our editors here at iLounge is “How do I copy music from my iPod back to my computer?”

Although Apple’s iTunes program is very good at keeping a computer-based library synchronized to an iPod automatically, or for manually transferring tracks from your computer’s iTunes library onto your iPod, it provides extremely limited functionality for transferring information in the opposite direction—from your iPod back to your computer.

One of the likely reasons for Apple to have taken such a restrictive approach to this is to combat piracy and thereby maintain good relations with the music labels that are currently selling their content via Apple’s iTunes Store. In reality, however, there are any number of legitimate reasons why a user may want to copy music from their iPod back to their computer, such as recovering from a catastrophic system failure, or easily transferring a large iTunes library over to a new computer.

Unfortunately, with the exception of tracks purchased from the iTunes Store, which we’ll discuss further later in this article, iTunes provides no method for transferring your music and other media content from your iPod back to your computer. It has therefore fallen to third-party developers to pick up where iTunes left off in this regard, and there are today a number of very robust and full-featured utilities that will do everything from basic copying of media content back to your hard drive all the way through to rebuilding your entire iTunes library using the information on your iPod, complete with playlists, ratings, and play count information.

In this tutorial, we will begin with a background on how music is stored on the iPod in the first place, and then look at the options available for copying music and other media files from the iPod back to your computer, both on an individual basis and en masse for a complete disaster-recovery scenario.

It should be noted that the information in this article applies to all past and current models of iPod, including the iPod nano, iPod mini, the iPod shuffle, and now even the iPod touch and iPhone. However, there is no guarantee that future generations of iPod will continue to support these methods. Further, this information does not apply to content stored on the Apple TV, since despite its integration with iTunes, a different synchronization technology is used for this device and there are presently no methods to recover content from the Apple TV without hacking into or physically disassembling the unit.

Under the Hood—How Content is stored on the iPod

Before we get into the details of how to copy media content from the iPod back to your computer, it’s important to begin with a discussion of how that content is actually stored on the iPod. An understanding of how the iPod stores its content will make it more clear as to what the various recovery or copying options actually do, and help decide on what the best option is for a particular situation.

Unlike many other portable media players, the iPod stores its content using a database methodology. iTunes copies the content itself to a hidden directory structure on the iPod and then updates a database stored on the iPod. It is this database that is used both by iTunes and the iPod interface itself to index and catalog the content that is stored on the iPod.


For the most part, this database information is gleaned from the internal header tags within the media files themselves, in much the same way that iTunes indexes and catalogs your media library. Information such as the track name, artist, album, genre, and a myriad of other information that you can find for each track in iTunes is actually stored in each file, and the name of the file has no bearing on what iTunes or the iPod sees or how it catalogs any given media file. In fact, the only time the file name is ever used by iTunes is if the tags themselves are not present (or if the file format does not support tags, such as with WAV files).

The iPod database also contains additional information about your music that is not normally stored within the tracks themselves. This includes your playlists and the listing of their content, as well as track metadata such as rating, play count, last played time, skip count, last skipped time, and more.

This particular means of storing information on the iPod has both advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage to this approach is that music is catalogued in such a way that it is easily and rapidly accessible from the various menus on the iPod itself, without having to search through individual track information or build a separate cache. The disadvantage is that the music must be tagged properly in order for this to work, and of course this obscures the actual layout of the music files themselves, making it more difficult to find and copy specific tracks from the iPod back to the computer.

Fortunately, a number of third-party utilities have been developed that can read these iPod databases directly, and use them to not only locate specific tracks to recover, but in some cases even recover playlists and other additional metadata such as rating and play count.

On the iPod itself, all of the internal iPod information is located in a hidden folder called iPod_Control. Most of the information in this folder pertains to internal iPod operations, such as device configuration and settings and the library database described above. However, beneath this iPod_Control folder is a Music folder that contains all of the individual audio and video files that are stored on that particular iPod. The only information not stored here is photos, which we will discuss separately later in this article.

The files in the Music folder won’t necessarily be organized in any meaningful way for a human, since they are expected to be accessed via the iPod’s library database, which contains all of the information and other metadata for each track cross-referenced with the location of these individual files.

The times they are a-changin’—The 2007 iPod models, the iPhone and the iPod touch

Traditionally, as far as your operating system is concerned, the iPod has simply appeared to your computer as a removable storage device—basically an external hard drive. In fact, iTunes itself basically just accesses traditional iPod models in much the same way—media files are copied to the device as an external hard drive, and iTunes simply accesses the iPod’s database directly and updates the information contained in it using normal file access methods.


Essentially, the traditional iPod models are “dumb” devices when it comes to synchronization with iTunes. The device itself doesn’t “participate” in the synchronization process… iTunes itself does all the work, and the iPod just sits there connected as an external hard drive. When the sync is finished and the iPod is ejected, it returns to normal use, and since iTunes has updated the iPod’s database, any new tracks that have been added will appear in the appropriate places.

This method allowed early iPods to work quite effectively without requiring complicated technology, but it had the obvious disadvantage that since the iPod wasn’t involved in the synchronization process, any failure on the part of iTunes to properly update the iPod’s database would lead to odd and inconsistent behaviour. This was most commonly observed when disconnecting the iPod prior to an iTunes sync being completed—iTunes wouldn’t be able to update the database, and since the iPod itself didn’t know what was going on, it would be left with an inconsistent or incomplete database of track information.

The iPod classic and iPod nano (video) released in September 2007 retained this same approach to synchronization with iTunes, but added an extra “checksum” in the iPod database to help ensure that it would be left in a more consistent state in the event of a problem occurring during synchronization with iTunes. Unfortunately, these changes broke compatibility with a number of third-party iPod management applications, since they needed to update the checksum when updating content on the iPod. There were some rumours at that time was that Apple had added “encryption” to the iPod database to deliberately break third-party applications. However, there is no truth to these rumours, and in fact applications that simply read the iPod database (such as many of those we will discuss further on in this tutorial) have been mostly unaffected by these changes. From an iPod recovery point of view, there are no significant differences between the 2007 traditional iPod models (iPod classic and iPod nano (video) ) and previous generations.

On the other hand, the iPod touch and iPhone introduced a completely new synchronization protocol for communicating with iTunes. Since these devices are running an OS X based operating system much like a computer, they no longer have to be passive targets for iTunes, but can participate in the synchronization process.  With the iPod touch and iPhone, iTunes essentially hands the information off to the device for processing, and the device updates its own database. This ensures proper database integrity in the event that a problem occurs during synchronization, since the operating system on the iPod touch or iPhone can ensure that the database has been properly updated, even if the device is pulled from the cradle in the middle of a sync. This in fact was an important feature for the iPhone—the ability to pull the device to answer a call if it rings while syncing with iTunes.


The result of these changes on the iPod touch and the iPhone are that most of the traditional methods for recovering content will not work.  Fortunately, many software developers have stepped in to fill this void as well, and in the past few months several existing applications have been updated and a few new ones released specifically to handle recovering content from iPod touch and iPhone.

Disaster Recovery

So you have a nice big 160GB iPod with your entire media library loaded onto it, synchronizing automatically with your iTunes library, when suddenly the unthinkable happens… Your computer’s hard drive decides that it’s been spinning for long enough, and gives up on you.

You now suddenly find yourself in the position where your only copy of your music library is on your iPod itself, and you need to get those tracks back off the iPod onto your computer, so you can rebuild your iTunes library.

In a situation where you’ve been using automatic synchronization with your iTunes library, and you suddenly find you no longer have an iTunes library to sync with, there are a couple of additional considerations that are important to keep in mind.

Automatic iPod synchronization from iTunes is, for the most part, a one-way experience. Some information does come back in the other direction, such as ratings and play counts, but the bottom line is that iTunes considers the library on your computer to be “authoritative”—meaning that the iPod mirrors the iTunes library, rather than the other way around.

The unfortunate downside to this is that if you have an empty iTunes library on your computer, an iPod that is automatically syncing to it will happily mirror the content of your empty library. In other words, everything on the iPod will be deleted and replaced with, well… nothing.

The good news, however, is that this is only really a problem if you’re actually using the same library as you were syncing with before. iTunes is intelligent enough to notice when an iPod that you connect was previously associated to a different iTunes library database, and prompt you with a warning as to what you want to do next:


If you are trying to recover your music from your iPod, you obviously do


want to select Erase and Sync. Simply click Cancel instead, and your iPod will remain connected to your computer, but the auto-sync process will not run.

So what about those situations where you are connecting your iPod to your existing iTunes library? For example if you accidentally deleted a few tracks from your main iTunes library that you want to recover from your iPod. In this case, the iTunes automatic sync will run without notification since it’s the same library database. Fortunately, iTunes offers a solution for this as well:  Simply hold down the SHIFT+CTRL keys (on Windows) or CMD+OPT keys (on a Mac) while you are connecting your iPod to your computer. Keep holding these keys down until your actually see your iPod show up in the iTunes source list.  This will prevent iTunes from running any kind of automatic sync when it detects the iPod, but the iPod will again remain connected and ready to work with.

Swinging Both Ways…

Keep in mind that if you’re planning to use the features described in this article to use your iPod to transfer music between a Mac and a PC, your iPod itself needs to either be Windows-formatted so that both your Mac and PC can access it, or you will need to use a program like MediaFour’s MacDrive to allow you to read your Mac-formatted iPod under Windows.

Note that this is not an issue with the iPod touch or the iPhone. These devices are not accessed as an external hard drive (see above), and the format therefore doesn’t matter. Under the hood, they’re always Mac formatted, since they’re running OS X.

Next Page: Transferring Purchased Content and Copying Manually from the iPod….

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i recently had my computer reimiaged and my back up of all my podcasts album covers and song didnt work. they are still on my ipos tho how do i get them of without spending any money

Posted by alicia on April 23, 2009 at 2:57 AM (CDT)


How do I transfer PHOTOS from my ipod back onto my computer??  Please help!!

Posted by mark amato on April 27, 2009 at 2:18 PM (CDT)


This method worked like charm..

After opening all the folders and copying the files as a group from each, I was able to transfer back all of the music that was in my library before the crash.

Posted by J C on April 29, 2009 at 7:22 PM (CDT)


idk if this has been said before but, fo xp users, i tried just adding the music folder and it didnt work. instead i made a “new folder” in each sub folder for music and it worked fine.

Posted by joey on May 10, 2009 at 9:57 PM (CDT)


I need help…...I had to reboot my computer and I lost all my music and pictures…I have them all stored on my ipod touch and I am trying to get them back on my computer again…I purchased the ipod copy expert but when I try to use it it says that I need to hook up my ipod which at the time is already hooked up….can someone please help me with this

Posted by Monica on May 11, 2009 at 5:27 PM (CDT)



page 4 of the article describes a couple of solutions. Although I haven’t tried iPodAccess for photos, CopyTrans Photo has done exactly as advertised.

I think they have a trial version available on there website.

Hope this helps.

Posted by Peter on May 14, 2009 at 5:32 AM (CDT)


I finally figured this out!! I was having a problem with the auto-disconnect feature on my Classic.  Download iGadget, keep it open, open iTunes in safe mode but DO NOT CLICK CONTINUE. Then you can safely grab stuff with iGadget and your Mac will not disconnect the drive! Voila!

I know this sounds pretty rudimentary, but I could not for the life of me figure out what to do about it. It was just disconnecting before I had a chance to do anything!

Posted by Caity on May 18, 2009 at 10:28 PM (CDT)


“This being January 27, 2009; I’m not sure that it’s still possible use the brute force method to transfer the contents of your iPod Library DIRECTLY from your iPod into iTunes IN ONE STEP.  iTunes may have been changed to make reverse importing more difficult.  I was, however, able to get this done in two steps.  I created a temporary “TEMP iPod” folder and copied the contents of my iPod HDD into that folder after making the hidden folder unhidden.  Then, after making sure that “Keep my iTunes music folder organized.” and “Copy files to iTunes music folder when adding to library.” were both selected, I clicked on “File” => “Add folder to library . . .” and selected “ . . .\TEMP iPod\iPod_Control\Music” – and it was done.”

I was thinking about doing something like this, but does anyone know if I can do the same for the preferences? I really, really, REALLY want to keep my playlists…

Posted by AntiNickname on May 25, 2009 at 1:01 PM (CDT)


Wow! This article saved my life! Haha. At a tremendous concert I was at, my bag I was carrying around (containing my ipod) fell off the chair I set it on and onto the floor where it obviously got quite trampelled. Luckily only my ipod screen and one of the headphones were damaged. I could still connect it to the computer and listen to it. However, it had WAY (like almost a thousand more songs) than on my computer because I had deleted many songs due to my computer crashing from too many files. I was worried if I got a new ipod, I wouldn’t be able to recover all my original music. Thankfully I stumbled over this article and transferred purchased items back onto my computer. Thanks a BILLION times! You saved me! :D

Posted by Samuel Hogman on May 27, 2009 at 9:52 PM (CDT)


This is the best article on the internet.  I too lost my itunes with the rest of my hd.  I have been trying for hours trying to figure out how to copy the music from my ipod to my itunes library,  I finally googled and opened this link first.  within minutes I was done.  Thank you for for actual, real, and expert help!!!

Posted by Kathy on May 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM (CDT)


hi.. I have purchased ipod classic 120GB, i want to know, how to download the songs to my ipod , from PC media library. i added some selected songs to ipod.. but in ipod playlist shows 1 playlist.. i’m not able to play the song.

Posted by Harsha on May 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM (CDT)


My hard drive crashed and I was afraid my latest itunes backup on my external hard drive wasn’t as up to date as my ipod.

After spending hours reinstalling Windows XP and tons of other software, I really didn’t feel like manually transferring my music from my ipod to my computer. I’m technically advanced enough to do it but was really tired of fiddling with my computer.

I purchased CopyTranfor $20. Works like a charm. Everything restored to my itune with just one click. Well worth the $$$. Thanks!

Posted by Debbie on May 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM (CDT)


I tried doing it manually but found absolutely no iTunes folder in my ipod. Its in hard drive mode. Any suggestions? i really dont wanna have to buy software unless its completely neseccary.

Posted by Fox on June 5, 2009 at 5:07 PM (CDT)


a question… if you download itunes purchased songs from your friends in your computer and when you play them they are locked by itunes is it possible to unlock them?

pls advise

Posted by claudia on June 5, 2009 at 7:37 PM (CDT)


yeah, u prolly need to get their iTunes account name & password to unlock them

Posted by Fox on June 6, 2009 at 3:32 PM (CDT)


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have litreally spent hours trying to figure out what to do. My old computer is broken and I couldnt get my old music files off of it but they were all on my ipod and yet iTunes wouldnt sync from the ipod TO itunes. I did the manual transfer from the ipod control folder, it was so easy. Thanks again.

Posted by Bridget on June 13, 2009 at 11:06 PM (CDT)


Reply to Post 80:

Jo, you can contact CopyTrans support at the following email address:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Posted by PeteE in US on June 15, 2009 at 8:20 AM (CDT)


Very nice!  Would like to be able to download article in PDF file.

Good Job!

Posted by Syl on June 21, 2009 at 1:02 AM (CDT)


Thank you SO much for this article! For a while I was searching Google for freeware to do this for me, but then I stumbled across this, and I realized that they’re completely unnecessary. You’re brilliant.

Posted by Julia on June 24, 2009 at 5:38 AM (CDT)


Just gotta rave man. THIS WAS SO FING HELPFUL!

Thank you merci thank you gracias thank you Mvto thank you Mange tak!

Posted by Lauren on July 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM (CDT)


I have an Ipod Touch and when I select the organize-folder options-view hidden files, there’s no IPOD-CONTROL folder.

How can i download my music if there’s no folder. It only appears a device named INTERNAL STORAGE and that’s it.

Hope u can help me out. Thanks.

Posted by Bernardo Lastra on July 11, 2009 at 2:04 PM (CDT)


thankyou. you have effectively salvaged my life.

Posted by Ian on July 11, 2009 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


Thank you so much! This was very helpful. I tried so hard to try to get my songs from my ipod back on to a different computer after my other one crashed. Thanks again!! :)

Posted by [email protected] on July 18, 2009 at 1:14 AM (CDT)


i am having trouble with my ipod touch, i cannot get it to recognize on my computer or laptop it was ok last time i used it and i can’t think why it wont come up any more. i have an apple laptop and it used to just open up in itunes but now it just doesn’t seem to see it any ideas please

Posted by gary on July 18, 2009 at 1:58 PM (CDT)


o.k. - Im truly screwed up now… I thought I followd diretions raather well, but now my 160 GB Ipod is empty along with itunes! Help me please someone! I have it all in ephpod I guess, but I cant get it back to my ipod now (or anywhere else fr that matter) I tried cloning it from copy trans and it days that it is bad archive format… can anybody help me get it someplace? We all know how spendy stuff is, and I use this sucker every day so I feel like Ihave been violated…. At this point Id be k if I could just et it back to my IPOD…Please help!

Posted by Shannon on July 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM (CDT)


This works for Windows, HOWEVER, you have to be computer savvy. It says that you must choose the option “show hidden folders”. All this does is SHOW the hidden folders, it doesn’t actually UNHIDE them all the way. So,you must right click on the iPod Control folder AND the folders within,(which all appear gray or faded)and uncheck the hidden and read-only boxes on all of them. They now should all appear clearly instead of gray/faded. Then you should be able to go to itunes, file, add folder to library, etc.. It took me a bit to figure this out. But it finally worked and i was very happy to see my music transferring to my new laptop.

Posted by Jackie on July 25, 2009 at 2:14 PM (CDT)


This is a great article if you care about how it all works. I don’t. I just want to know what the best program is to transfer music from my husband’s iPod to my new laptop so I can add it to my iPod. Is there somewhere that I can find out how to do this in English?

Posted by tonya on July 25, 2009 at 4:13 PM (CDT)


After trying just about anything I resorted to moving everything manually to a secondary folder that was unhidden.. I find it ridiculous that there is no way to unhide a folder (i’m using a mac).. maybe using the terminal? if anybody knows it would surely help others in the future instead of copying and pasting 3000+ files from 40 folders…

Posted by Hugo Redondo on August 5, 2009 at 1:21 AM (CDT)


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  This article was well written and easy to follow - I have never used Terminal before but it was no problem at all.  After fatal crash of my hard drive I now have at least the 250 songs that were on my iPod back.  Only problem I had was the iTune Add to Library would not see the hidden files even though I could see them in Finder.  I hadn’t read the comment about unmarking as hidden, so I solved by copying all the files to a new folder.  Thanks again!

Posted by deirdre on August 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM (CDT)


Help! I have a 32GB IPOD Touch. Computer crashed. Have backups of all music, BUT don’t have backups of my calendar and contacts. How do I get calendar and contacts from IPOD back onto my PC when I don’t have “Enable Disk Access” set up on the IPOD?

Posted by Mike on August 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM (CDT)


How do u do the same for movies in your ipod?

Posted by Ipoduser on August 9, 2009 at 10:31 PM (CDT)


Thank You so much for this article.

Life Saver.

Posted by Aliiceee on August 10, 2009 at 4:31 PM (CDT)


Does anyone if there is an application that can transferring a iPod playlist back to the computer and does the following:

- Creates a folder at the transfer destination on your computer with the same name as the playlist.
- Transfers all files referred to in that playlist to the newly created folder.
- Generates an M3U playlist in the folder that refers to the newly transferred files.

Posted by Marc on August 13, 2009 at 8:55 AM (CDT)


Okay, I will hold myself back from using offensive language at this whole _____________. I got this ipod as a gift but i see this whole apple software thingy to be like, well, use your imagination. i use to have a creativ mp3 player that was so easy and you could do normal things with it which ipod does not let you do. Ipod thinks you are out to steal from everyone and they bar you from doing normal operations. That which they call ‘‘software’’ is really a way to frustrate you and make you sick,

Posted by Julie Meibaum on August 15, 2009 at 11:25 PM (CDT)


Here’s a hint: if you have to get another company online to save your songs that are on your ipod that are legally yours, and ITUNES and Apple won’t lift a finger to explaint o you how to do it or provide help for you, but just expects you to figure it out, don’t buy any more ipods.

Posted by Julie Meibaum on August 15, 2009 at 11:28 PM (CDT)


am i the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous and that itunes is ripping us off by making us do all of this to recover our own stuff that belongs to us?

Posted by Julie Meibaum on August 15, 2009 at 11:43 PM (CDT)


wow i used brute force and its so cool to have my music back :D THANKS!!!

Posted by simon the thankful on August 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM (CDT)


Worked perfectly with my old iPod mini and iTunes 8 on a Windows XP machine. Copied entire content of the iPod directly to my laptop.

Posted by Dr. Daktari on August 26, 2009 at 11:16 AM (CDT)


Is this transfer compatible with the microsoft Vista?

Posted by Jean Strausser on August 28, 2009 at 10:09 PM (CDT)


can anybody tell me if i can add music from my friends computer to my existing ipod list??
put my music onto my ipod at my sisters but now cant seem to add anymore from my new flats computer
help me please!

Posted by j on August 30, 2009 at 4:32 AM (CDT)


I’m using Floola as we speak.

It’s working great.. And it’s actually, not like those deceiving POS programs you find using google.

Posted by Nick on August 31, 2009 at 4:00 AM (CDT)


Ok so here’s my problem. My hard drive crashed taking with it everything on itunes. I have an exact mirror of what my itunes was on my ipod 120GB. I now have a new hard drive and am wanting to recreate my itunes. How do I get everything on my ipod including playlist and info to my new itunes?? I also saved my last itunes library as an xml file before I cleaned everything off the new itunes but i don’t know how to use that xml file. I also tried looking at senuti the program but the problem with that program is that it doesn’t recognize duplicates so If i were to drag the whole library from my ipod to itunes using senuti i would only have the songs and not the playlists. What am I supposed to do???!!!

Posted by mheed on September 1, 2009 at 9:34 PM (CDT)


I had to copy the music folders to my computer and import the library from there, otherwise this was great! I have not added new music to my ipod in 2 years because I could not sync with my new computer.  Thank you!

Posted by Aileen on September 10, 2009 at 10:52 AM (CDT)


Jesse, just wanted to let you know that several years later, this information is still being appreciated - Thank you! and thanks to all other contributors - very helpful!!

Posted by Mary on September 12, 2009 at 2:33 AM (CDT)


i just got a new ipod and have the shuffle. i cant figure out how to get my songs from my ipod to my new computer w.o loosing all my please! i went to the store and they said they cant help me. if u can…please let me know! im not very good w. computers

Posted by Emily on September 28, 2009 at 8:32 PM (CDT)


You might get bombarded with questions, but please help me! I need to recover hidden files on my ipod which is displaying on the disk capacity, but not showing up as songs. I’m showing 27.8 capacity, and 8.7 available. When i located the iPod_control folder, they are all there. But when i try copying them elsewhere it says the Parameter is incorrect. I tried a third party software CopyTrans which also tells me the Parameter is incorrect. It might be complicated and it might be a dead end, but do you have any insight on this?? Please help :)

Posted by Joey D. on October 2, 2009 at 5:18 AM (CDT)


Thank you so much for this- my computer is now processing my 11,900 songs and putting them into itunes- you have literally saved my musical life- Cheers.

Posted by Sean McDonald on October 3, 2009 at 12:59 PM (CDT)


Thank so much for a great article. VERY helpful!

Posted by Julie on October 4, 2009 at 4:10 PM (CDT)


hello i have the ipod touch i have over 6000 songs on this touch i have a new laptop by hp and i am trying to port everything from the ipod to the new labtop is there anyway i can do that

Posted by Motion on October 5, 2009 at 2:46 PM (CDT)



1)Enable hidden files (control panel,folder options,view)
2)go to iPod-find files(Mp4 or mv4, i think)
3)Click on songs- they are added to iTunes

Posted by nik on October 5, 2009 at 4:19 PM (CDT)


mmm i have an ipod touch, and i want copy the music from it to my laptop. can you explain that.
i tried but when i search in my library i can’t see same songs that i have on my ipod ... i’ll wait soon answer. thanks

Posted by Maite on October 8, 2009 at 11:51 AM (CDT)


did i mention that i love you saved so much of my time!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by tanya on October 10, 2009 at 7:04 PM (CDT)


Thanks soooo much for this article, it was exactly what i needed!!! THANKS!!!

Posted by QP on October 11, 2009 at 7:19 PM (CDT)


what kind of files can the ipod take

Posted by Zahra on October 12, 2009 at 11:22 PM (CDT)


Awesome! Worked perfect! Thank you!

Posted by Lexi on October 22, 2009 at 2:42 PM (CDT)


Thank you very much for the valuable info! In the end, we were able to retrieve all songs from the iPod and copy them onto the PC thanks to SharePod.

Posted by Stefan Buchwald on October 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM (CDT)


I have a Nano on Mac, but just won another loaded with music from a radio station.  I am trying to use Senuti to download the music to my library, so I can then give the new Nano to my wife.  I am trapped in a Catch-22.  When i connect the new Nano to my iTunes, it comes up in “manually manage music” mode, with “enable disk usage checked by dimmed (grayed out).  Senuti can’t seem to recognize it this way.  If i try to uncheck “manually manage music” to work in “enable disk use” mode, it tells me that if I proceed it will replace all existing content on the Nano with stuff from the iTunes library.

Help! How do I get out of this loop?


Posted by Jay (NJ) on October 26, 2009 at 10:54 PM (CDT)


THANK YOU SO MUCH!  You saved me hours of reloading my CDs onto iTunes ;-)

Posted by Kit SIMMONS on November 8, 2009 at 11:02 AM (CST)


I transferred the music on my ipod to a new computer and now the computer does not recognize the ipod as an ipod—-but as an external disk—-when I plug it in to my computer…my guess is there may be an easy fix—-but so far, I have been unable to find anything…please help!

Posted by stephen on November 11, 2009 at 12:22 PM (CST)


Recently I bought a laptop to replace my slower desktop.  On my desktop I had my ITunes.  When I bought my laptop I transferred my songs from my desktop to my laptop.  I then gave my desktop to my wife.  Now, she wants to transfer her songs from her old desktop to the desktop I gave her.  The only problem is that her existing desktop has crashed or is on the verge.  Is there another way to get her account on the desktop she will now be using without losing all the songs already paid for?

Posted by Johnson on November 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM (CST)


sweet article!

i have an 80gb ipod classic about a month ago i disconnected it from a computer and all of a sudden it says that i have no music, no movies, no podcasts nada! and when i plug it into a computer it never gets found. Im thinkin maybe it has a virus.. I am travellin in brasil so kinda hard to get to a apple tech center.

does any one have any ideas on how i can retrieve my music or just restore it and start all over again?

Posted by ben on November 21, 2009 at 11:46 AM (CST)


Wow wat a mission..For those of u who just bought a laptop or computer from the same background (Pc or Mac) and are trying to pass ur songs from an ipod 2 itunes its sorta simple lol..dnt let all the comments get 2 u..theres no need 4 any extra software 2 be dowloaded..Idump?? WTF lol…just follow the comments from the people that used the “Brute Force Method”..and u should be cool…it takes time thou im not gonna lie…=)

Posted by Joshua on November 26, 2009 at 6:04 PM (CST)


Help pleeese   I updtaed to latest itunes only to find large number of tunes are now unavailable. How do i get them back.

Posted by tomtom on November 29, 2009 at 11:54 AM (CST)


Hello and thanks for the article. My husbands PowerBook, running OSX 10.5, had a disastrous hard drive crash a few months ago. Everything was gone with no backup. Fortunately, he had all his music on his ipod (video). I struggled for hours trying to figure out how to get everything, not just the purchased music, back on his computer. Followed the “brute force” method, but I was blocked by iTunes when it wouldn’t see the ipod_control/music folder, even after unhiding all hidden files. Using the command-i on the folder, there was no hidden option to uncheck and permissions were all set wide open. About to give up, I took the actual music files in the “F0”, “F1” folders out and moved them to one big folder on the hard drive. Viola! iTunes saw all the music files and added them to the library. Thanks so much!
Beverly and LP

Posted by Beverly Potts on November 29, 2009 at 1:56 PM (CST)


Please help. I have unhidden the file, all was going well but when i click on the folder itunes does not select it…......its sort of greyed out slightly but i can drill down into individual tracks and select then and download them . Sorry this is really difficult to explain. I have copied te music file to my computer and it still wont add to library. I ahve tried to add file and add folder. Can anyone help please

Posted by Catherine on December 6, 2009 at 3:58 PM (CST)


This is a great article!  But I would like to suggest that it is due for an update, since iTunes is now at version 9.  Thanks!

Posted by Paula on December 8, 2009 at 3:21 PM (CST)


I have iTunes 9. Is there software that will work with this version?

Posted by Adrienne on December 8, 2009 at 10:13 PM (CST)


OK, I have read this article along with many other posts/articles, etc. I just want to know this:

My PC hard drive crashed. What is the best software in order to transfer my iPod music to my new MAC. iPod is PC formatted, but transferring all music to my new MAC. It’s very important to me to have the Playlists transferred as well as Artist, Album, etc. I don’t care about Last Play Date.

I am willing to manually do all of this, if that is best. And if I can get playlist info by manually transferring. BUT…I am also willing to pay. So which option is best, and if software purchase is the answer…WHICH SOFTWARE? I was thinking Senuti, and in this article is says it will transfer playlists…but a user in this forum said one of the downsides is that it won’t transfer playlists? Which is true?

BTW, I have an iPod Classic from ‘08.

Thank you!

Posted by KAZ on December 13, 2009 at 6:52 PM (CST)


Thankyou so much.  My PC crashed a few months ago and I received the message that my ipod was synched to a different library.  I dont have that much on itunes but what I do have was organized in to playlists I wanted to keep and I didnt want to have to recreate them.  I used the Copy Trans option described above - I am not v technical and it was pretty easy.  I now have all my playslists on my new PC and can add new tracks and synch without fear!  well worth $20 and i would never have found it without this article.  Many thanks!

Posted by kate williamson on December 13, 2009 at 8:06 PM (CST)


Here’s a question:  I manually backup my itunes folder to an external hard drive by dragging and dropping. If I needed to get that info onto a new computer, could I delete the itunes library files in the folder, copy the itunes folder to the hard drive of the new computer, install itunes and let it find the music?

Posted by Bill on December 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM (CST)


So how do i acually get my songs into itunes as my PC crashed and now i’m using my nans. Christmas is coming in a week and i’m going to have an itunes card

Posted by Trisha on December 17, 2009 at 7:21 AM (CST)


I had my Itunes on a Dell that I got rid of and have a new SONY Laptop and have I tunes for my new IPhone.  Now want to download from my 60gig IPOD to Computer and then onto my IPhone.  Any suggestions THanks Jim

Posted by Jim Lane on December 17, 2009 at 4:47 PM (CST)


Thank you so much! This article saved my life! I had no clue what to do, or how to save my music.  I do not how I can even begin to put my graditude into words. Thank you Thank you THANK YOU

Posted by Christian on December 18, 2009 at 2:56 AM (CST)


The beauty of iPod… Hahaha Amazing

The only solution I can come up with is:
Buy a Playstation Portable (PSP).
- It has USB like applicability.

Posted by Niko on December 18, 2009 at 6:54 PM (CST)


Just bought 16g 5th gen pod, which id planned right off the bat dumping all my 10+ gigs of mp3’s ive bought ,ripped & archived the past 14yrs into .....

QUESTION : if i do this, will it affect or change my daily use of WINAMP ??? 

I didnt pick up the nano just to be a shopper @ Itunes if you know what i mean.

You can mess with my House .....Boat ....well even my ole lady , but touch my DOGS or WINAMP ,you best have some great medical !

Posted by Jay Irish on December 19, 2009 at 8:13 AM (CST)


A big thanks to Waterguard! His hint that when adding the music files directly from the Ipod to the Itunes on a PC (whithout third party software), the music folder and the sub folders on the Ipod has to be altered as not hidden in the windows folder options. Otherwise Itunes refuses to accept whn draging and dropping them from the Ipod to Itunes. It is not enough to only use the show hidden files in windows as several other articles indicates (at least not in Windows 7 whith the latest Itunes (2009-12-20).

Posted by Henrik on December 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM (CST)


I can’t seem to find advanced preferences or whatever on itunes.. I can’t be sure if the music just copies onto the ipod or on the computer too…any advice?

Posted by Adri on December 24, 2009 at 5:02 PM (CST)


What about syncing contact info, tasks, calendar, etc.
I purchased the IPod Touch as a PDA replacement. With Docs to go and Handbase, which can be configured to act aslo as a contact manager, it’s serviceable enough. I saw that it can be synced to outlook, but is there any way to get the task/contact/calender data on the drive to sync directly to the IPod Interface, or does one of the above programs sync all?

Posted by IPOD as PDA on December 28, 2009 at 3:32 PM (CST)


this is no doubt a great article, but it simply reinforces my hate for apple and itunes and their proprietary garbage! I understand and sympathize with the desire to protect from piracy—I have not ever pirated music—but I have an itouch loaded with my own music and a new computer and all I want to do is be able to add to the existing music and audio library on my itouch but I cannot because itunes requires syncing not simply adding. I recall this from an ishuffle my son was given that totally turned him off from apple/mac. I received my itouch as a gift and thought it might be worth playing with but now I feel it is simply not worth the trouble! It’s a shame but I think I’ll go back to my philips…

Posted by liddie on December 28, 2009 at 4:54 PM (CST)


hi i would like to share with everyone out here that as an alternative to Copytrans that charges 20 bucks for their software, Sharepod does a similar job free! if you guys like what they did, do donate to them for their effort,. I donated 26 bucks myself - more than what i would pay if i used Copytrans, simply because i like their spirit of sharing such great stuff.

Posted by Jake on December 29, 2009 at 5:53 AM (CST)


I have a new gen Ipod touch and I started itunes on my cousins computer(pc), and now I have my own new laplop(pc)...i want MY music thats on my ipod and the 2 movies I also purchesd on itunes,and put them on my new laptop…WHAT SHOULD I DO???...i can get my cuzs laptop and my new one in the same room together, how do i go about puttin all my stuff on my laptop?? Ive pluged my ipod in my new laptop and it sees my ipod on my newley downloaded itunes and sees my music and movies but once i unplug it, its no longer there…im not a computer tech AT ALL so all of this stuff is rocket science to me…is there any way ANYONE can help? You pay all this money for all this stuff and for what?? you think they could make it a lil easier…lol

Posted by Adam on December 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM (CST)


Brill article!!
I have a bit a problem with my iPod mini. I ripped some of my mates music in my iTunes library, don’t have the discs. Shortly after, my laptop died while upgrading a new version of iTunes. My iPod has a mixture of iTunes purchases and my own music ripped from a CD.
How do I get my entire library off my iPod without wrecking the devise or deleting the music.

Posted by Peppapig5240 on December 30, 2009 at 6:56 PM (CST)


I am so glad I found this site having wasted hours and hours for many days trying to do all kinds of transer acrobatics!
However, I can’t find anyone asking about duplicates.
Having had to send TWO laptops off for repair I’ve got all kinds of weird backups of my itunes libraries and no way of knowing which is ok.  (The newest ones are choc full of duplicates and also I have bought music to download on about 3 different accounts between the 2 different laptops so it’s spaghetti junction here!
If I use one of the software packages (I’m prepared to pay if nec) are they sensitive to such dilemmas?  (I spent 6 hours cleaning up one library - getting rid of over 3,000 “extra” pieces of music and don’t fancy a repeat marathon!)
THanks for any help or suggestions!
Actually I’ve got a related question that I haven;t even started to really try and solve yet and that is regarding authorisation.  Some of the purchases from itunes were made on my ex’s account and now we are on unspeakable terms(!) there is a very good chance that she will block my ability to access that account (once she realises she can) thereby preventing me from playing my legitimately obtained music.  We’re talking around £100 worth here, so no laughing matter!!
Is there ANY way around this please?

Posted by Neet on December 31, 2009 at 6:44 PM (CST)


Re posts nos 235, 236 & 279. YES! I couldn’t agree more - I’ve complained bitterly and vociferously to Itunes that their main concern is preventing people from playing music in any other way thatn they DICTATE - but, hey, that’s narketing for you; Apple and Mac is “cool” less well-known brands are not!  Elsewhere someone mentioned that Creativ mps players are far more user-friendly…  If I get rid of my 60gb ipod classic is that the way to go?  - I’ve heard of Creativ but that’s it!!
But could I transfer all music to such alternatives?

Posted by Neet on December 31, 2009 at 7:23 PM (CST)


My hard drive crashed recently and Im debating whether to go to an electronics store and see what they can retrieve or fix or simply save what I can with my ipod and try and get other files back through my friends (who have copies, tho Im not sure if they have them all)

Im considering using my ipod to transfer music back to a new hard drive when I buy one—if necessary.
This webbie is great for reviews… but does anyone have opinions about paid TuneAid or the free iDump which are not reviewed in this website?
Im interested in keeping metafiles such as last played, play count etc etc….

Posted by Karyn on January 2, 2010 at 6:33 AM (CST)


This was my savior. I really needed my music back on my computer after my HD crashed and this step by step tutorial was perfect. Thanks a million!

Posted by Lucy on January 2, 2010 at 3:32 PM (CST)


I have a PC with a program to rip all my tunes from my PC formatted iPod. All good!! The only thing is that I also have a MAC iPod which I would like to add to my PC itunes library. Every time I try to do this, it says that I have to restore the MAC to a PC format, which means I will lose all of the media on the itunes. Is there any way that I can copy from my MAC formatted ipod to the PC formatted one?? Help!!

Posted by Deisha on January 3, 2010 at 7:16 PM (CST)


This sounds like this would work,but I have some songs from cd’s that don’t have anymore,also I dont have the compter that i used to get the cd’s onto my ipod.I don’t have the same itunes account(dunno the password anymore)and now all the songs from the cd’s are not playing at ALL!It still shows the artist and album info plus the cover art.This did not happen using this process.Any idea’s to make my stupid music play????I really miss my music!

Posted by Jenna on January 5, 2010 at 4:37 PM (CST)


I have an older ipod nano where my screen went white.  It still works fine on my PC and even plays, however I just can’t see anything in the window- just white.  I recently got a new ipod nano.  My question is this….Is there a way to get my old ipod music/playlists copied over to my new nano? Some of my musis is not on my current laptop/itunes library due to losing my original itunes library on a previous laptop I no longer own.

Posted by Weak on January 9, 2010 at 5:35 PM (CST)


Thanks a lot, I thought I’d wasted my money. I’m really grateful for this guide.

Posted by George on January 23, 2010 at 7:13 AM (CST)


how can i transfer a playlist from my ipod to a different computer?

also, how can i put playlists from two different computers onto the same ipod?

Posted by mackenzie on January 27, 2010 at 9:01 PM (CST)


If you’ve managed to copy the files to your desktop but can’t seem to get further, here’s what to do next (I’m using OS X 6.2 otherwise known as Leopard): Open the folder. In the next screen open the “Music” folder (ignore the “Itunes” folder). In the next screen open the first folder (should read something like “FO”, although there may be variants of this). Click on “Edit—>Select All” to highlight all of the files within this folder. Click on “File—>Open With…”. The popup screen will put you in a window that presents all of your applications. Go down to the “Itunes” app., click on it, then click on “Open”. In the next popup screen, be sure to click in the checkbox for “Always open with”, then click on the appropriate button to open your files that way (I think it’s either “Continue”, “OK”, or “Open”, but I can’t remember). Once you see iTunes popup (or if you already have it open, popup to the front of your desktop screen), you’ll notice near the top, just below the song time play bar, that iTunes will begin downloading music. If you don’t, you may have to try some other means of copying; if you do, everything is working peachy keen, and everything, including your album artwork, should download. You can safely exit out of the music folder you’re downloading (even if it hasn’t completely downloaded) and quickly continue the “Open With” process for the rest of the folders until everything is downloaded. MAKE SURE to write down each folder as you copy it to make sure you get each folder and don’t waste your time downloading folders already downloaded. This is especially important if you have a huge library (I had 22GB on my iPod, which comprised 48 folders of about 50 songs each, to give you an idea of what to expect). NOTE: music from each of the folders may start playing and may cut out as you go about moving from folder to folder copying music. This is normal; you do not need to worry about potentially “cutting” the songs, as the songs that are playing are already fully downloaded to your computer. Also, as you enter each new folder, the songs may appear to show that they are already opening as iTunes, even showing iTunes as the default player when you go to “Open With…”. Ignore this; these songs are not on your computer. My guess as to why they are doing this: the songs are already in that format, as they were to play on your iPod in the first place. You computer, however, has not fully processed this, which is why you have to do the thinking for it.

After all the copying is complete, you may safely delete the folder on your desktop, as well as anything else that creeped along it to your desktop (except for the .DS_Store file; it will stay whether or not you want it to…)

Rehide your Mac files, and you’re done! Enjoy :)

Posted by Ana on February 1, 2010 at 11:47 AM (CST)


Hy my name is Sabrina i will like you if possible to help by telling me how can i transfer my ipod music back to the computer cause i beem trying in some ways that i heard i could do it but couldnt make so please i would like to know how can i transfer my ipod music back to my computer i will appreciate any help Thank You

Posted by Sabrina Mendez on February 1, 2010 at 6:05 PM (CST)


Your article was extremely helpful. I am left with one problem. After purchasing and using copytrans I was able to save my ipods entire library onto a new computer (th eold one died) but now, I cannot sync my ipod to the new itunes. I’ve tried the erase and sync option but, after a lot of thinking I get a windows message stating “Daniel’s ipod cannot be synched. The required disk cannot be found”. Have you encountered this before? Please help!

Posted by Daniel on February 4, 2010 at 4:33 AM (CST)


wow! This is a great article; so helpful!

Posted by aying on February 5, 2010 at 1:28 AM (CST)


Loved the article, and it worked wonders. Thank you so much for all yr hard work and assistance

Posted by Zimoeunbl on February 7, 2010 at 3:34 AM (CST)


HELP. yes this article is awesome finally got all my songs to my itunes library. But when my ipod synced it will only put 71 of my 300 songs on to my ipod, says the rest cant be found. I can see all the songs in itunes. PLEASE someone help. will i get any off these back on ipod somehow

Posted by misty on February 11, 2010 at 12:20 AM (CST)


Thanks for the info.  Seems a shame that I can’t just copy and paste my ipod files.  (I am a windows pc, sorry)
I successfully copied the music from my wife’s old ipod nano to my wife’s ipod something or other.  Thanks again for the info because I would never have figgured it out myself. 
And I would never buy any Apple product.  She “won” both the nano and the touch in office raffles.  I put the word “won” in quotes, because even getting them for free is a pain.

Posted by Baruch Atta on February 14, 2010 at 12:28 AM (CST)


I have hundreds of videos, songs, and games on itunes! I recently lost my ipod so i bought a new one! The only problem is Im moving out from my moms house and her computer ISN’T coming with me! How do I get all of my songs on to my new computer?? HELPP MEE PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by ayden khai on February 16, 2010 at 12:26 PM (CST)


i have a problem i was downloading music to my ipod and then suddenly all the songs got erased can anyone help? is there a way i can get my music back?

Posted by rohan on February 16, 2010 at 7:39 PM (CST)

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