Connecting an old iPod to a new iTunes library

Q: I have an iPod, probably 4 years old or so. My original PC is sitting in a box, unavailable. I am trying to connect my iPod to a new laptop and get a message providing me with two options: ‘Erase and Sync’ or ‘Transfer Purchases’ I’m not sure what to do, as I do not want to lose any songs on my iPod.

I installed iTunes on my new laptop but am stuck. Can your recommend the correct next step?

– Sean

A: In this case, the option you actually want is the third one: Cancel. Selecting Cancel will leave your iPod connected to your computer, but iTunes will not attempt to sync anything with it.

If every track you wanted to recover from your iPod was purchased from the iTunes Store, then the Transfer Purchases option could be used to copy your iPod’s content back to your computer. Since you likely have content acquired from your own CDs or other sources, this is not usually a viable option.

Fortunately, there are other methods for recovering your content from your iPod back to your computer.