I deleted all my music. Help.
September 17, 2005 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I just managed to delete my entire iTunes library. But I have it on my iPod. Problem is, the iPod is set to auto-update, and if I plug it into a computer with no music on it, it'll all vanish. Help.

I store all my music on an external drive, since there's not enough HD on my Powerbook. I just bought a new iMac, and in the process of trying to copy my music onto the new computer (via said external hard drive), I realized that the XML files with all my listening statistics weren't on the external hard drive, they were still on the laptop. So I connected the drive back up to my laptop, grabbed the iTunes XML file and the "iTunes Library" data file, and dragged them onto the external hard drive. Problem there is, all of my MP3s -- 10,000 of them -- were inside a folder called "iTunes Library." And the iTunes Library data file replaced that. The music files are not in the Trash, there were too many of them. They're just gone.

But! I have everything stored on my 60GB iPod. How can I connect said iPod to the new Mac (which currently doesn't have any music on it) without having the new Mac wipe it clean upon first contact? I *know* there's got to be a way to do this... (And yes, this was a f***ing ridiculous newbie mistake. I'll tolerate the first five responses being of the "Ha ha!" Nelson variety as long as the sixth response tells me what to do...)
posted by logovisual to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When you connect the ipod to the other Mac. It will ask you if you want to pair the iPod and the Mac. Just say No. It will still mount the iPod as an HD, and won't modify anything on the iPod itself.

Then you can grab any number of applications to grab the music from it: Senuti, or Broken Helix come to mind.
posted by zerolives at 6:38 PM on September 17, 2005

I found this.
posted by ArsncHeart at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2005

There are two possible answers here, but note that I haven't done this exact procedure myself:

1 - When you first synch with a new computer it's going to ask you if you want to erase your old library and replace it with the new one (which in your case is empty). Just answer "No".

2 - According to this page (about half way down) you can hold down ctrl-shift while you are synching and that will stop the auto-update from occurring. Then once your ipod is loaded, you can go in and change the preferences.

This is risky though - You should read as much as possible and gather information from people who have actually done this because once the music is gone, there's no getting it back.

Good luck. I'd like to hear about it if you find something that works.
posted by crapples at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2005

The safest thing, IMO, would be to plug it into a computer without iTunes on it. I don't know much about the mac, and I'm not sure if you can uninstall iTunes.

If I were you, I'd try plugging it into a friends PC.
posted by delmoi at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2005

iLounge (formerly iPodlounge) has a tutorial for "how do I get music off my iPod and on to my computer", which can be found here.

let us know how it goes.
posted by heeeraldo at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2005

make sure you have quit iTunes on your computer, then move your itunes prefs file (~/Library/Prefences/com.apple.itunes.plist) to your desktop or trash. Connect your iPod, then when asked if you want to pair it with iTunes, click No. Download Senuti http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14982 and use it to copy all your music back into itunes. That should do it.
posted by hulette at 12:11 AM on September 18, 2005

Best answer: iPodRip will do this for you, including preserving ratings and playlists and things.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:58 AM on September 18, 2005

I use Copypod and love it. Just say no to the prompt in iTunes (which everyone else has said), then open copypod (you really have to buy it) and copy all the music to your itunes library. Ta da!
posted by bikergirl at 2:36 PM on September 18, 2005

Response by poster: Hey all. Here's a "how it turned out" update for the archives and the searchers -- I tried using PodUtil and following the steps listed in the iPodLounge tutorial, but at first iTunes only found about a third of my library, and didn't have any of the ratings / play counts / etc. I eventually got it to find all of the MP3s, but the metadata was still missing. Plus, it bears noting that if you don't pay for PodUtil, you have to click a "Please Donate!" dialogue box *every 50 songs*, and I had 10,154 songs to move. Uncool. So I moved everything out of the iTunes folder to a backup location and tried running iPodRip instead -- eight or nine hours later, I have all but ninety-one of my songs in iTunes (I haven't investigated what's missing yet, but frankly, a 99.1% success rate is acceptable and I can probably figure it out and pull them off the 'Pod fairly easily later) with all their metadata intact. Plus the nagware component was extremely minimal -- I think I might just cough up the $15 out of gratitude. Thanks to everybody who responded, I'm *very* glad there's been a happy ending...
posted by logovisual at 9:44 AM on September 21, 2005

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