How not to lose music from iPodiPod to iTunes, Vol. 1
February 24, 2008 9:49 PM   Subscribe

I want to take music that's already on my 20G iPod and load it onto my iTunes site so I can remove music I downloaded from my previous (sadly deceased) computer, which had the then-current iteration of iTunes. Clear so far?

Previous attempts to do anything other than load music from iTunes to the iPod resulted in less than spectacular results, like losing all the music rather than just specific tunes...also, I don't have the original manual that came with the iPod and have been relying on my not so good "intuitive" abilities, which is why I'm posting here. Anyone have any ideas if this is feasible? I confess to near-complete lack of techinical ability, so use small words please!
posted by motown missile to Technology (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Small words: Apple has gone to great lengths to make what you're proposing rather difficult. There are third-party apps that claim to be able to do it; I don't know of one offhand.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:01 PM on February 24, 2008

ikkyu2 is right. The third-party app I know offhand is Senuti. Can't vouch for it personally, but I've heard it works.
posted by danb at 10:05 PM on February 24, 2008

Yeah, Apple doesn't make this easy. I've used CopyTrans to transfer music from my Ipod to my work computer. That one's for Windows. There are many other programs you can try.

If your library was only stuff you bought from iTunes--stop laughing--you could do Store...Check for purchases and download that stuff again.

I suppose you also didn't have a chance to deauthorize the now deceased computer?
posted by sevenless at 10:36 PM on February 24, 2008

SharePod is the program I use to do this.

Basically you just put the program on your iPod (you need to have hard disk use enabled) and then you run it from your iPod and download all your tunes to your computer. It can sometimes be a little buggy (it has been known to crash) but it's reliable enough that I don't mind reccommending it.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:53 PM on February 24, 2008

I used to be able to mount my 20GB iPod as a disk and find the directory that stored the music (it will probably be in a series of folders named fxx where x is a number). You might want to enable viewing hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer, although I'm not sure this matters. This is assuming you're using Windows, of course.

Basically, if you can mount your iPod as a disk (mine always did this automatically, I'm sure you can find instructions elsewhere), you need to look around the folder structure and eventually you will find your files.

Note that the last time I did this was a while ago, so they might have fixed this loophole somehow.
posted by MadamM at 11:18 PM on February 24, 2008

If you want to copy all the music off an iPod, it is pretty easy. Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.

iPod_Control/Music contains all the music files. They are divided between consecutively numbered folders, and the filenames are basically database IDs, but all the metadata is still intact in the files. Just copy the music folder to a temporary folder on your hard disk, then drag it onto iTunes, making sure that iTues is set to manage the library and copy files into it. It will use the metadata to create new folders for artist and album, and new filenames in your new iTunes library. Then delete the temporary folder and synch your iPod to the new library.

There are some complicating factors. If you are on a Mac, apple seems to hide the iPod control in the finder, but you can still see it from a command line and copy it using something like:
cp -R Volumes/YourIpod/iPodControl/music ~/Desktop

On windows you'll probably have to switch the explorer view preferences so that you can see hidden files.
posted by Good Brain at 12:52 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

I've used yamipod to do this a few times in the past - it's very simple, works well, and is cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux). Plus you can't beat the price.
posted by namewithoutwords at 2:49 AM on February 25, 2008

On a Mac, Senuti makes this very, very easy.
posted by Magnakai at 2:53 AM on February 25, 2008

I think Good Brain has it right, I've done this once or twice. You have to have your Ipod set to drive mode. So I think you need to connect it to your new computer, make sure your new computer does not sync the ipod. Go to the Ipod screen in Itunes, enable disk mode and then follow Good Brain's advice.

This says it's the "hard method" but really it's quite easy from what I remember.

You should try backing it up this's the modern way.
posted by sully75 at 3:52 AM on February 25, 2008

There are a ton of programs to do this, Senuti was the best experience as it will even check to make sure it's not adding tracks that are already in iTunes.
posted by yerfatma at 5:14 AM on February 25, 2008

Seconding yamipod. I've used it to repopulate an iTunes music library from the iPod containing the only surviving copy after a nuke-and-pave Windows reinstall on a customer machine. Worked fine; preserved everything. In fact it looks a lot like iTunes itself, and if I had an iPod, I'd probably be uninstalling iTunes and just using yamipod. Stupid DRM.
posted by flabdablet at 5:22 AM on February 25, 2008

How to get music off your iPod. I've used this approach many times and it has worked brilliantly. Just remember not to synchronise your new, possibly empty iTunes library to your iPod as you will "overwrite" your iPod with empty!
posted by Lleyam at 12:02 PM on February 25, 2008

I've done it the exact same way Good Brain suggests. iTunes will check for you that you're not adding duplicates, and tell you if you are (and ask if you want the second copy anyway). No extra software necessary.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 11:12 AM on March 3, 2008

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