Converting PC-formatted iPod to Mac

Q: I have an iPod that is about 3 years old. When I originally purchased the iPod, I was using a PC, but about two years ago I made the switch to a Macbook. I would like to upload all my music from my iPod and reformat the iPod for my Macbook. How do I do this? More importantly, I made some on the go mixes on my iPod that I don’t want to lose; can I upload those as well.

I think I have the 5 generation model, but am completely sure. What is the difference between that and the 4th generation?

– Rachel

A: The good news is that your Macbook can read a PC-formatted iPod, so transferring the music and other content from your iPod back to your computer should not be too complicated. See our our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on how to perform this step. This article also includes information on several third-party tools that can be used to synchronize back your other iTunes library information such as playlists, ratings, play counts and more.

Once you have recovered the content from your iPod back into your iTunes library, you can reformat your iPod for the Mac file-system simply by performing a “Restore” on it from within iTunes.

It shouldn’t matter whether you are using a fourth or fifth-generation iPod model in this case, but you can confirm which model you have by checking out our FAQ, What Are the Differences Between All the iPod Models. In short, however, the fourth-generation iPod models did not display video, although some models came with a colour screen and could display photos. The fifth-generation iPod was the first model to introduce video playback to the iPod family.