Fuck iTunes
August 29, 2012 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Can't figure out how to transfer music from old iPod Classic to new iPod Touch on PC.

I have a bunch of music on my iPod Classic that is not in iTunes. I also have all of this music stored locally on my PC. I am trying to figure out how to transfer this music to my new iPod Touch. iTunes won't let me click and drag the music from one iPod to another, and clicking "Add New Folder to Library" doesn't do anything at all. I haven't been able to import the music I have stored locally to iTunes (nothing happens when I try this). Googling hasn't been any help because the instructions are either for Mac only, or they say that this doesn't work for iPod Touch (?). I'm running Windows 7. Help?
posted by Lobster Garden to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you have the music stored locally, why not try another program? I'm a linux user and would suggest Rhythmbox, but it doesn't appear to be available for Windows. You could try Clementine.
posted by mannequito at 3:29 PM on August 29, 2012

First, are the iPod Classic tracks MP3s or M4A that you uploaded, or are they old purchases from iTunes that are no longer available?

If it's the latter, there's a good chance that they files are licensed to an email address. If you still have the same account as before, you're in the clear for this next part. If not, you may lose some tracks, short of some more complex DRM-stripping.

With that, you can use copy the hidden audio files from your iPod to your computer and let iTunes re-organize your files (see this video, or this text walk tutorial), or skip iTunes for organizing, and let MP3Tag rename the files based on the metadata tags once they're copied from your iPod.

The easier route may be to get a 3rd party program to help manage your iPod, and probably complete the process a bit more quickly. Clementine looks good, and there are other iPod managers compared on Wikipedia.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2012

So, all these files are on your PC? If that's the case, leave the old iPod out of it for now. What happens if you start iTunes, then drag the folder of music into the iTunes window? Drag it right on top of the "Library" section in the upper-left. Hold it there until that area highlights, then drop it. What happens?

If that doesn't result in a progress bar as all those songs are added to iTunes, the most likely explanation is that they are stored in a format that is incompatible with iTunes; maybe FLACs or something.

To try the same thing another way, open your iTunes music folder [here I'm assuming that you're letting iTunes manage your music files and copy them into its own library]. Usually, that's going to be in the Music folder within your C:\Users\LobsterGarden directory. In that folder, you'll find a folder called "Automatically Add To iTunes". Copy your local folder of music there. Wait for a while. The folder should eventually disappear as all the music files are imported into iTunes. You can watch this process in iTunes by selecting the "Added today" Smart Playlist. If that folder disappears without anything new showing up in your iTunes library, open the "Not Added" folder and verify that now all your music files are in there. If they are, then for sure they're in a format which is incompatible with iTunes. That means that we need the music files off the old iPod.

Google for and install a thing called "iPhone Explorer". With this utility, you'll be able to copy the music files off your iPod, then use one the the two methods above to import them into your iTunes Library, and then you can use the standard mechanisms to sync them onto your iPod Touch. When you copy the music files off the iPod, they might come over with names like "AS57g22.m4p". Don't panic. Make sure that iTunes is set to "Copy files to iTunes Library when importing" and iTunes will rename them for you when you drag them onto iTunes.

One of the accommodations made by Apple for the RIAA is that songs cannot be copied FROM an iPod [with Apple software]. The iPod should viewed as a window into your iTunes library, which is the canonical source. You have a library, managed by iTunes, and you sync some subset of that library to your iPod/Phone/Pad. That's the way it works. If you try to fight that paradigm, you'll be really [even more?] frustrated with iTunes.
posted by chazlarson at 5:14 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It has been several years since I have used iTunes or an iPod, but it used to be true that if you enabled the ipod to be used as a drive, then enabled viewing hidden files in Explorer, you could browse the iPod like any other disk drive, and copy all of those directories of strangely named mp3 files to the PC.

OK I just tried it with my old iPod classic. I no longer have iTunes on my PC, but it mounted as a mass storage drive. The music is in D:\iPod_Control\Music - all hidden directories (D is whatever drive letter Windows picks). I was able to copy an mp3 file to my PC and play it. My PC is running XP.
posted by rfs at 7:31 PM on August 29, 2012

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