Recovering Playlists from iPod
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: I ran into a problem with my computer hard drive and had to format the drive. I did not lose my music library, only my iTunes playlists. I was wondering if there is any way for me to get all my playlists off my iPod back into iTunes without having to rebuild all of them again?
A: While recovering music from the iPod is a question that gets frequently asked and is covered in our iPod 201 article, Copying Music from iPod to Computer, recovering playlists requires a slightly different approach.
Playlists are stored only within the iPod’s music index, but can be restored through the use of a third-party tool that can read this index and regenerate this information for you. Two such tools that we have had positive experiences with are CopyPod (Windows only, $19.90 USD, limited trial version available from their web site) and iPodRip (Windows & Mac, $14.95 USD, limited trial version available from their web site). Both of these utilities offer the ability to restore your entire iPod music library, portions thereof, or the “reverse-sync” music and playlists back to your iTunes library.
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