Playing iPod touch on secondary computer

Q: I’m looking for a way to play music from my iPod touch on a computer that I’m not syncing with. My goal is to hook up my iPod to my work computer using a standard USB cable, use the iPod itself OR iTunes or other software to select music/playlists, and have it play through my laptop’s speakers. I know that there is no disk or manual mode on the iPod touch or iPhone, but does this mean that what I’ve described is impossible? I’d rather not have to buy a speaker/dock solution for this new job just yet!

– Beth

A: There are a couple of different ways you can do this, with the most straightforward being to simply set the iPod touch to manual mode and handling it through iTunes in the same way as you would for a traditional iPod.

Although the iPod touch does not have a “Disk Mode” it does in fact support manual management of the content in the same way as any other iPod. The iPhone originally lacked any kind of manual mode, but this was partially added in iTunes 7.6 to allow you to manually manage your iPhone’s content from a single computer.

The iPod touch, on the other hand, supports the same manual management capabilities as any of the earlier iPod models, so in this case you can simply set the iPod touch to manual mode and then access it through iTunes as you normally would.

If you do not want to install iTunes on the secondary computer, you can also look at another tool called TouchCopy ($25,, limited trial available). This is a third-party tool that allows you to access the content on your iPod touch to play it back on your computer and even copy it from your iPod touch back to your computer.