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?
- CBS CEO Moonves notes Apple talks have stopped
- Apple will source iPhone 7 ‘A10’ CPU solely from TSMC
- Federal bill aims to take regulatory power for phone encryption out of state hands
- Job post shows Apple emphasizing new complications, faces for Apple Watch
- New comments hint at forthcoming streaming TV service from Apple
- Apple Music available on Sonos starting today
- Screen protector installation now available at Apple Stores
- Russia mulling tax increase on App Store purchases, other Apple services
- Lawyers threaten to sue Apple over ‘Error 53’ codes disabling iPhones
- Apple releases iOS 9.3 beta 3, tvOS 9.2 beta 3, watchOS 2.2 beta 3 to developers
- Vicks SmartTemp Wireless Smartphone Thermometer
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!