Synchronizing iPod to a new iTunes library
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: Suppose I’ve synced my iPod with a particular iTunes installation on a PC. If the PC’s hard disk crashes and I need to buy a new hard disk and reinstall iTunes and sync my iPod to it, won’t I lose all the existing songs in my iPod? Is there any workaround for this problem?
A: iTunes keeps track within each specific library database of which iPods have been associated/synced to that library. If you connect your iPod to a fresh installation of iTunes with a completely new iTunes database, it will recognize that you have not synchronized your iPod to this particular database before, and will prompt you with a warning message similar to the following:
As the name implies, selecting “Erase and Sync” will in fact erase all of the content on your iPod and replace it with the content of the current iTunes library (in the case of a new iTunes library, that would be no content at all). However, in the scenario described, you would instead select the “Cancel” button. This leaves the iPod connected to your computer and accessible through iTunes, but does not perform any kind of synchronization operation.
The only situation in which iTunes would erase all of the content on your iPod without prompting you is if you had actually manually deleted all of your tracks from your existing iTunes library. In this case, in the same manner as removing a single track from iTunes removes it automatically from your iPod during the next sync, removing all of your tracks would remove them all from your iPod. This is rarely a problem for most users, however, since the track entries have to be specifically deleted from within iTunes in order to be removed from your iPod (simply erasing the underlying files will not remove them from your iPod if they’re still listed in the iTunes database).
Note that if you have content on your iPod that has been purchased from the iTunes Store, and you have already authorized your computer for the same iTunes Store account, the “Erase and Sync” warning will offer an additional option:
In this case, selecting “Transfer Purchases” will transfer any purchased content that your computer is authorized to play from your iPod back into your iTunes library. This will not include content transferred to your iPod from sources other than the iTunes Store, however.
Although iTunes doesn’t provide any method for transferring any other type of content from your iPod back to your computer, the good news is that there are ways to manually recover the content on traditional iPod models (ie, iPod classic and iPod nano) and many third-party developers have stepped in to fill this gap in iTunes as well to provide comprehensive software solutions for recovering not only media files, but also metadata such as ratings, play counts, and playlists. See our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on the methods and tools available for recovering content from an iPod back into your iTunes library.
- 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?
- WSJ: Apple brings in trusted executive Mansfield to head Apple Car project
- CarPlay to be available in all 2017 Ford models
- Rumors claim new iPhone will be released Sept. 16, could have ‘iPhone 6 SE’ name
- Photos claim to show alleged ‘iPad Pro 2’
- Apple to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods
- Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping
- Report: Apple Car team running into challenges, launch may slip to 2021
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5
- Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Incase Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
- 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
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app