Recovering Content from Mac iPod on Windows

Q: My son gave me his 40 GB iPod from 2004. He has a Mac. There are over 5400 songs on the iPod and I would like to transfer and edit these songs to add to my iTunes library. Windows recognizes the drive but no songs appear on it. Unless I missed it, I didn’t find an answer to this specific issue on your discussion page. I’ve looked at the third party software you’ve recommended, but I don’t see anything positively stating iPod from Mac OS X to Windows. Any comments would help greatly as I really don’t want to lose all the songs which took a long time to compile.

– William

A: The key to restoring a Mac-formatted iPod onto a Windows computer is to install software that allows you to read Mac-formatted disks under Windows. The iPod itself is simply an external hard drive as far as your underlying operating system is concerned, and Windows cannot normally read Mac-formatted hard drives.

There is a third-party tool available, MacDrive that can facilitate this for you. This is not an iPod-specific tool, but rather a generic software package for Windows that allows Windows to read any Mac-formatted disk, including an iPod. MacDrive is a commercial software package that sells for $50 USD, but there is a free trial available that should be fully functional for a limited time period.

Once you have MacDrive installed, your iPod should appear to your Windows computer in the same way it would for a Mac. At this point the iPod recovery tools and procedures that we discuss in our iPod 201 article on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer can be used to recover the content from your iPod back into your iTunes library.

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