Q: I would like to know now whether you can delete songs from an iPod using a computer other than the one that it was originaly saved to? I just bought a 2GB nano and am going overseas and will have to manage my music on a new machine, will I be able to delete and add?
A: Although you cannot delete tracks directly from the iPod itself without connecting it to a computer, if you set the iPod to manual management in iTunes, you will be able to access the content directly on the iPod through iTunes and delete individual tracks on the iPod from iTunes.
The process of setting the iPod to manual mode was discussed in last week’s Ask iLounge column.
Once you’ve set the iPod to manual mode, you can browse through the content on it by clicking on the small triangle that appears to the left of it in the iTunes source pane. This will expand a list of the different categories of content and the playlists on the iPod. To view and manage the music content, simply select the appropriate entry. You can then delete files from the iPod in the same way that you would from the iTunes library itself.
Like in iTunes itself, keep in mind that if you select a playlist and delete tracks, they will not be removed from the iPod, but merely from the playlist. You will need to use SHIFT-DELETE (Windows) or OPT-DELETE (Mac) when viewing a playlist if you want to remove those tracks completely from the iPod.
If you are unable to use iTunes or prefer not to for some reason, there are a number of alternative third-party iPod management applications that can be used instead. The advantage of some of these is that they are smaller applications that you can install on the iPod itself (as an external hard disk) and therefore run on a computer that may not have iTunes installed on it. You can find a number of third-party solutions in our Software Downloads section.
Note that if you delete tracks from your iPod while away from your home library and then later return to your home computer and start using automatic synchronization again, any content you’ve deleted will be re-added to your iPod from that library. Further, any content you may have added from a secondary computer will also be erased unless it also exists in the “home” iTunes library.