Organizing music transferred from the iPod

Q: I just recently added my music from my iPod to a second PC I have upstairs. Now all my music is in this folder and is still in the layout from the iPod_control folder (i.e. F00, F01 etc…). Is there a way to have iTunes rename those so that each has the proper song name and possibly organize the files so they are in folders by artist? Thanks for any help you might give on that.

– George

Organizing music transferred from the iPod

A: This is a common issue if you’ve transferred the content from your iPod back to your computer manually, as opposed to using a third-party application.

The good news, however, is that the tags within these files are still intact in terms of information such as track name, album, artist, etc. In fact the only information not stored within the tags would be details such as rating, play count, last played time, and any playlists that the tracks were in—if you wanted to recover this additional information, you will need to use an actual third-party software tool that can read the iPod database to extract this information from there.

If you’re merely concerned with getting the files reorganized and renamed properly, the simplest way to do this is actually just to reimport them into iTunes, ensuring that the option to “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” is enabled. iTunes will copy these files into your iTunes music folder, renaming them and reorganizing them into sub-folders by artist and album in the process, based on the tags found within the files themselves.

The options for configuring how iTunes handles importing files can be found in iTunes’ advanced preferences:

Organizing music transferred from the iPod

Simply ensure that the iTunes Music Folder path is set correctly, and that the “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” option is enabled.

You may also wish to enable the option to “Keep iTunes Music folder organized”, which will ensure that the iTunes music folder is reorganized as you re-tag any tracks in the future.

Once you’ve confirmed these settings are correct, simply choose the File, Add Folder to Library option from within iTunes, and select the parent folder containing all of the music copied from your iPod. iTunes will copy tracks from this location, renaming and organizing them based on the tag information contained within.

Note that since this is a copy process, the original files are left intact in their original location. If your hard disk space is limited, you can move these files into your iTunes music folder manually, and then import them from there, ensuring the “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” setting is enabled.