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How to move contents of 3 iPods back onto my Mac?
September 20, 2008 10:53 AM   Subscribe

How do I transfer the contents of 3 iPods (2G, 3G, 4G) back onto a hard drive? I'm using Mac OS 10.4.4. There are tons of programs, which do I use?

The entirety of my CD collection and about 75% of my vinyl collection was stored on a 500GB LaCie "BigDisk" hard drive which failed when we lost power in the hurricane remnants on Sunday. I typically back this stuff up periodically, but my backup drive failed a few months ago, so now I'm up a creek.

Most of my vinyl encodes are hard to find on CD, and I still have the vinyl, but ripping it is horribly time-consuming. The best of it is loaded onto these three iPods in question and I'd like to get it back onto my Mac with tags intact, and (hopefully) sorted by artist/album like it used to be.

I might be able to revive the hard drive but it's not mounting currently and I've had problems getting data off failed hard drives in the past, so I'm assuming for the moment that it's totally dead. If you know of a common way to fix this sorta drive, or repair the tree, etc. then please give me a heads up. I have a bad feeling that it may have been ruined by the power glitching on and off before it went out entirely.

I have no problem paying for shareware or a commercial program to do the iPod transfer, but there are so many of 'em out there, with such mixed results, that I don't know where to start.

Any suggestions?
posted by rubadub to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Previously
posted by niles at 10:59 AM on September 20, 2008


The transfering won't be a problem, it'll be drag and drop most likely. The issue will be getting them out of that .m4a format and back into mp3. I've used jhymm for this, and it worked well.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 10:59 AM on September 20, 2008


The transferring won't be a problem, it'll be drag and drop most likely. The issue will be getting them out of that .m4a format and back into mp3. I've used jhymm for this, and it worked well.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 10:59 AM on September 20, 2008


No New Diamonds: If you use something like Senuti (my own favorite) to transfer from iPod to hard drive, the files will be in exactly the same format (MP3/AAC) as they were before. iPods don't convert MP3s; they play them outright.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:03 AM on September 20, 2008


Seconding Senuti. I've used it for the same thing and it works like a charm.
posted by The Bellman at 11:52 AM on September 20, 2008


Senuti is good. I've pulled data from iPods on both Mac and PC and with the right software it's a simple and straightforward process, despite the fact that it involves circumventing the design of the device. As long as your iPods still work you have at worst an hour or two of data management work on hand, certainly preferable to the extensive process of ripping the vinyl again.
posted by baphomet at 11:59 AM on September 20, 2008


Yamipod is as straight no-nonsense (free!) program that lets you take stuff off an Ipod. It's lightweight, and doesn't even need to install.
posted by Geppp at 12:09 PM on September 20, 2008


Senuti is good. I also use PodWorks by SciFiHiFi - it's not applicable in your specific case, but it works on iPhones too.

FWIW, the files on the iPod will still have whatever ID3 tags you put in there (Album, Artist, etc.). iTunes writes a lot of that stuff to the file in the standard ID3 format. Things like PodWorks will send the file to the iTunes with whatever other metadata is in there too, if you're going back to using iTunes.
posted by mrg at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2008


I've used senuti with success.

.m4a just indicates apple lossless (actually it's a mpeg4 container format, but if you are dealing with audio files on macs/ipods, it will typically contain aac encoded audio), and it's nothing to do with taking files off an ipod in particular (though itunes store music comes in this format). Only stuff purchased in this format would have DRM. There's no reason to convert back to mp3 as long as you have a player that plays it (probably just about anything, these days), and if you do, you'll have to deal with transcoding.
posted by advil at 2:02 PM on September 20, 2008


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