Using a new iPod with an existing iTunes library

Jesse Hollington
By Jesse Hollington  - Senior Editor

Q: I lost my iPod and want to purchase a new one and fill it with the content on the iTunes library on my computer. When I changed computers a few months ago I lost ALL of my content by not doing it right. I would like to know how to register my new iPod on my iTunes account so that the content will transfer to the new iPod. I don’t need to have two iPods on one account – I just don’t want to have happen what happened before.

– Cathie

A: The short answer to this question is simply “Plug your new iPod into your computer.”

Getting a new iPod is completely different from getting a new computer. iTunes always treats the library on the computer as the master, authoritative library, which is why you may have had a problem when connecting your existing, full iPod to your new, empty iTunes library. In this case, the empty iTunes library wanted to take priority over what was on the iPod and replace it with what was in the iTunes library. iTunes to iPod synchronization is mostly a one-way affair, from iTunes to the iPod.

Therefore, when getting a new iPod for an existing iTunes library, it’s really very simple: Plug your new iPod into your computer. That’s really just about all there is to it.

A new iPod Setup Assistant will run to ask you to name your iPod and a few very basic questions on whether you want to automatically sync content or manage it manually, and iTunes will ask you whether you want to register your iPod with Apple for warranty purposes. Note that this registration has absolutely nothing to do with your iTunes library or your iTunes Store account – it’s simply the equivalent of filling out and mailing in the warranty card you get with any other appliance.

By Jesse Hollington Senior Editor
Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.