Q: I have a 120GB iPod classic. I have loaded about half of my CD collection into iTunes and I am now running out of space on my PC’s hard drive. How do I get all of my collection onto the iPod if I don’t have enough space on my hard drive?
A: In this situation, you can set your iPod to manual mode and then transfer the content onto your iPod without leaving it on your computer. To do this, simply connect your iPod to iTunes, select it in the Devices listing, and ensure that you are viewing the “Summary” tab. You should see an option labelled “Manually manage music and videos.. Check this option, and click the “Apply” button in the bottom-right corner.
From this point on, your iPod will no longer automatically sync music or videos with your iTunes library; instead it will be treated as a completely distinct library of its own. You can then add content to it by dragging it from your iTunes library to your iPod icon in the Devices list in iTunes. Once you have transferred the content to your iPod, you can safely delete it from your computer and it will remain on your device. In fact, if you have audio or video files on your computer that you want to transfer directly to your iPod, you ca. even drag them from a Windows Explorer or Mac Finder window and drop them directly on the iPod in your Devices list. This will save you the trouble of importing them into your iTunes library first.
In manual mode, you manage the content on your iPod directly, as you would in your iTunes library. Click the small triangle to the left of your iPod in the Devices list, and it will expand to show you the categories and playlists on your iPod.
Clicking on a category or playlist will show you the content in that category and you will be able to manage it from there, including modifying track information and even deleting tracks directly from your iPod.
It should be noted that in manual mode, you can still choose to sync podcasts automatically from your iTunes library by configuring the settings on the “Podcasts” tab, and other information such as photos, contact/calendar info and games will continue to sync automatically regardless of the “Manual” setting, so you will need to leave this information on your computer so that it is not removed from the iPod during the sync process.
Note, however, that we do not recommend using your iPod as the only place you keep your content. The iPod is a portable device and can be easily lost or damaged and you would therefore risk losing all of your content in the process. Always back up your music somewhere else. Consider that external hard drives are relatively inexpensive, and you can always purchase on to use either as a backup for your iTunes songs, or in fact move your iTunes library onto an external hard drive by following the instructions in our iPod 201 article, Transferring your iTunes Library.