Transferring iPod music to iTunes library
December 14, 2008 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble transferring mp3 files from my nanos to iTunes.

I have iTunes installed on my Windows XP Pro machine. I also have 2 nanos, 2nd and 3rd gen. In August, the external hard drive where I kept my mp3s died. I haven't gotten a new drive yet, but the updated iTunes software is on my C drive. I hadn't hooked up the nanos to iTunes at all between August and today. AGGGHH, today....

I wanted to copy all the mp3s from both nanos to the iTunes library, condense them and then transfer them back to the 3rd gen. I copied the hidden music folders from each nano onto my desktop and deleted the XML and ITL files from the iTunes folder in the C drive; however, iTunes will not allow me to drag and drop anything into the main library, nor will iTunes add the folders through the drop-down menu. iTunes is set to let me manage manually and I own the folders after going into the security tabs and making that the case.

When I check out the properties of the folders, the read-only boxes are greened in, and though I remove them, the greened-in boxes return upon rechecking Properties. CMD can't change the attributes of a hidden folder. Is the fact that they are hidden the problem? Is it something else? What to do? Thanks.
posted by droplet to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, you can have problems doing it straight like that.

I recommend you use any number of 3rd party applications that will copy the files off for you and leave them in a usable state.

I've heard very good things about Floola, which is both free and available for OS X, Windows and Linux. It can copy the files off and I believe automatically import them into iTunes.
posted by kbanas at 3:05 PM on December 14, 2008

Have you tried something like Sharepod?
posted by girlmightlive at 3:05 PM on December 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oops, here's a URL for Floola. If you're interested in others, trying going to a site like and doing a search for iPod utilities - that's how I found it.
posted by kbanas at 3:06 PM on December 14, 2008

Yeah, Apple dosen't let you transfer stuff off of your iPod to your computer to try and prevent music piracy. I second Sharepod as a workaround though.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:31 PM on December 14, 2008

This is very easy and requires no monkey business. First, download and install foobar2000. Next, go to File->Add Folder... and add the root of your iPod (e.g., I:\) to the playlist and wait for all the files to appear. Finally, using the "File Operations" context menu option, select "Copy to.." and set the output directory to look like X\%artist%\%album%\%track% - %title% where X is the directory you want the files to end up - usually "My Music" or something. When it finishes, your directory structure will be neatly organized by tags and will look something like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Music\Rolling Stones, The\Beggars Banquet\01 - Sympathy for the Devil.mp3

You used to be able to do this by adding the iPod as a folder to the current iTunes playlist, but I guess Apple has built in a check to stop that. You can probably also do it with mp3tag, winamp, tag & rename, the godfather, and most other music tagging applications.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:06 PM on December 14, 2008

Response by poster: I tried Sharepod and it works very well. Thank you for all your help, MeFites!
posted by droplet at 5:05 PM on December 14, 2008

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