Transferring music on iPod touch from multiple computers
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: Is it possible to connect my iPod to someone elses PC or Mac and add their non-DRM protected music (ie ripped personal cds) to my iPod touch?
A: Yes, this is definitely possible through “Manual mode.” Like the traditional iPod models, the iPod touch supports a manual transfer mode where the iPod touch does not actually sync with iTunes, and you can drag-and-drop content from any library you happen to connect your iPod touch to. In this mode, even iTunes Store purchases can be transferred from an authorized computer onto your iPod touch, subject to certain limitations—notably that you may only have content from up to five different iTunes Store accounts on a single iPod.
To enable manual mode, simply connect your iPod touch to your computer and select it from the iTunes Devices list on the left-hand side of the iTunes window. On the main “Summary” screen which appears, simply click the box labelled “Manually manage my music and videos” and click the “Apply” button to enable manual mode.
Once manual mode has been enabled, the iPod touch will no longer sync your audio and video content with your main iTunes library, nor will it try to sync with any other iTunes library. Instead, you will add content to your iPod yourself by dragging it from the main iTunes library onto the iPod touch in your Devices list. Likewise, any content you want to remove from your iPod will have to be done manually by expanding the iPod touch in the Devices list and managing it in the same way that you would manage content in your main iTunes library. For all intents and purposes, the iPod touch becomes an independent “library.”
In this mode, you can of course connect your iPod touch to any other computer running iTunes and transfer content onto it in much the same way.
Note that other types of content such as Info items (Calendars/Contacts/Bookmarks), Podcasts, Photos, and Applications will still be synced automatically, however, if any of these are selected. These types of content can only be synchronized automatically from a single computer, although podcasts can be transferred manually like any other type of audio track.
Keep in mind that if you add content from several other computers and then wish to return to automatic synchronization, any content you have added will be removed from your iPod unless it is already in your iTunes library. Returning to automatic synchronization “re-mirrors” your iPod with the content of your iTunes library, so any content that does not exist in the main iTunes library is removed from the iPod. If you want to return to using automatic synchronization and do not want to lose this content, you will need to transfer it into your iTunes library. See our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on some methods for doing this.
An important note for our other readers: Despite the similarities between the iPod touch and iPhone, “Manual mode” on the iPhone currently does not work in this manner. Enabling manual mode on an iPhone will allow you to manage the content manually from ONE computer, however, your iPhone will still show up as if it is in automatic sync mode when you connect it to any other computer. It is unclear at this point whether this is a bug or intentional behaviour on Apple’s part, but it should be noted that the iPhone did not originally support any manual management mode, so this feature came to the iPhone much later than it did to the iPod touch.
- 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?
- Report: Some third-party repairs ‘bricking’ iPhones with iOS 9
- Report: Apple to bid on NFL Thursday Night Football streaming rights
- Apple to begin taking broken iPhones for trade-in, offer in-store screen protector installation
- Apple ordered to pay $625M to VirnetX in patent case
- Apple Pay reaches 2 million retail locations
- Apple acquires security company LegbaCore
- Zagg to acquire Mophie for $100 million
- Report: iPhone 7 to include flush camera lens, drop rear antenna bands
- Report: iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 set for March 15 unveil
- Alleged iPad Air 3 drawing shows Smart Connector, four speakers, camera flash
- 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
- NEBO CaseBrite for iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus
- 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!