Don't touch my iPod touch!
December 20, 2010 11:39 AM   Subscribe

I have a new computer and an old iPod touch. I would like to put all my CDs on a currently blank iTunes program my new computer and then transfer those songs to my iPod touch without interfering with what is already on my iPod. I don't care that the touch songs won't be transferred to the computer, I just don't want to lose all the content on the iPod. Is this possible?
posted by TLCplz to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you still have the old computer, this is simple. If you don't, it's still doable, but a little more complicated. If you tell me which, I'll give the instructions for your particular situation. :)
posted by bardophile at 11:51 AM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: I do not have the old computer..crashed and burned.
posted by TLCplz at 11:52 AM on December 20, 2010

Ok. I've been googling while I waited for your response. It turns out that the iPod touch is not as straightforward as the classic in this regard, and that your best bet is probably to get a third part software. Some of the ones in iLounge's Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide are free, but most of them are paid software. In fact, it looks like all but one of the ones that will work with the iPod touch are paid software. You should read the complete guide though.
posted by bardophile at 11:59 AM on December 20, 2010

third part=third party. Sorry.
posted by bardophile at 12:00 PM on December 20, 2010

Oh, and I should have specified earlier that you should wait till you've transferred the music from your iPod Touch to the computer before you start adding more music from CDs. It will make your life much simpler.
posted by bardophile at 12:06 PM on December 20, 2010

Copy Trans manager will do this and its free.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:06 PM on December 20, 2010

ps you will only need itunes for the driver. Copy trans manager will copy the songs to the ipod without deleting the existing songs via its own program.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:07 PM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: Even if all I really want to do is add music to my iPod? I don't want the iTunes library updated on my computer because honestly, I buy most of my music directlly on the iPod touch. I'm really just interested in importing my current cd collection to my touch.
posted by TLCplz at 12:12 PM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: I will try copy trans. Thanks!!
posted by TLCplz at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2010

Oh, I guess if you aren't planning to back up your collection from your Touch, then my earlier advice is completely pointless. Sorry.
posted by bardophile at 12:20 PM on December 20, 2010

Its a good idea to back up data from a device that can be pickpocketed, dropped on a sidewalk, or stepped on. I'd recommend copying everything over from the iPod to your computer.
posted by teg at 12:21 PM on December 20, 2010

Your iPod Touch is currently associated with the old, crashed, burned computer. When you plug it into your new computer and launch iTunes, iTunes will ask you if you want to "take control of this iPod" [can't remember the exact verbiage, but it's along those lines]. This will delete all the music on your iPod. Again, the dialog is very specific about this.

You can either:
  1. Copy all the music off your iPod touch using some third-party tool like that mentioned above first OR
  2. Redownload all your purchases from the iTunes store
The former is the faster, more certain route, and it will protect you against some track or other no longer being available on the iTunes Store.

Either way, when you go to put new music on your iPod, you will have to wipe it when you break the link with the old crashed computer and associate the iPod with your new shiny computer.

So, copy the old music off the iPod. Drag all those music files into iTunes. Add your new music into iTunes. Plug in your iPod. Wipe it, and sync the old and the new back onto it.
posted by chazlarson at 12:48 PM on December 20, 2010

Yes copy trans manager wil lallow you just to add the new songs. No dealing with itunes necessary. itunes is only needed to be installed because it has the ipod driver.

Just load up copy trans manager and add the music to the ipod.
posted by majortom1981 at 3:05 PM on December 20, 2010

Another way to get songs off your iPod Touch to back them up is SharePod.

You mention that your old computer is toast, but if you want to fool your new computer's iTunes installation into thinking your iPod is already synced to it, Phoneable is good.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:31 PM on December 20, 2010

Basically everything chazlarson said is incorrect. If you're in the US, you won't be able to re-download all your music from the iTunes store again without paying for it again, so don't do what he said or you'll lose all of your iTunes purchases.

You can have up to 5 computers authorized for iTunes. If you're at 5 already and one of them is the old computer, that's no big deal either. In that case, you could just deauthorize all of them and then reauthorize the one you're using.

I know you said you don't really care if the songs from the iPod are in iTunes, but it's a really good idea to back them up into iTunes on your computer just in case something happens to your iPod. That way, if you lose your device or it fails, you still have your stuff.

If mostly everything your iPod is from the iTunes store, just follow these instructions: to transfer all your purchases to the computer. Then rip your CDs, go back and make sure the things you want on the iPod are checked under the "Music" tab in iTunes (when you click on the iPod in the pane on the left hand side in iTunes) and sync it.

However. If you have a lot of music on your iPod from CDs or other places and you can't get the original media, then you might want to use one of the 3rd party apps that were recommended upthread to copy those songs off.

Even if you do decide to use one of the 3rd party apps to manage your music, it's still smart to make sure you get your iTunes store purchases copied to your computer one way or another, though. So you may want to consider that, just in case.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 11:12 PM on December 20, 2010

(eek, lots of typos! Sorry, can't find my glasses.)
posted by howrobotsaremade at 11:14 PM on December 20, 2010

Oh, I stand corrected on the music redownload. I apologize. Don't follow my advice. I could have sworn I'd done that in the past, but I may have conflated it with the way that apps work. They can always be downloaded again for free.
posted by chazlarson at 7:52 AM on December 21, 2010

^Yep, that's absolutely correct. Apps can always be re-downloaded, but music can't.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 8:22 AM on December 21, 2010

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