PC iPod + New Macbook = Headache
March 15, 2008 2:30 PM   Subscribe

PCtoMacFilter: Is there an easier (faster) way to get my 37 gigs of music stranded on my PC formatted iPod onto my new Macbook than copying it to a PC with 3rd party software, burning it to dvds, and then ripping the dvds onto the Mac? Apple says "no," but please tell me they are wrong.
posted by Hollow to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Does Senuti work with a PC-formatted ipod? I think it worked with mine but that was ages ago. http://www.fadingred.org/senuti/
posted by socratic at 2:31 PM on March 15, 2008

If your Windows PC and MacBook PC are on the same network, you could transfer the files via Windows File Sharing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 PM on March 15, 2008

Yes, you are making it way more difficult than it needs to be.
posted by Good Brain at 2:37 PM on March 15, 2008

Well, I can't authoritatively answer your question, but I own several PCs (Mac Mini, HP running Ubuntu, HP running Vista) and I just keep all my music and audio books as MP3s in a shared folder on the Ubuntu box, and then listen to them using either Winamp, iTunes or Amarok, depending on the box...they all see the same shared files.

I connect my 5th gen iPod to the Mac Mini and drag and drop playlists onto it.

I have found the above approach to be very easy and flexible, but granted I have always used the iPod with the Mac so you would first need to get past that obstacle. But I don't see why burning DVDs would be necessary (???).
posted by forthright at 2:37 PM on March 15, 2008

They're definitely wrong. PC-formatted stuff can be read from a mac (but not written, unless you've done something fancy to it), so you should be able to plug your PC ipod into your mac and follow Good Brain's advice. If the command line stuff is too technical, something like this app or the Senuti app mentioned above should work fine.
posted by heresiarch at 3:29 PM on March 15, 2008

I dont think he has a PC. Just a pc-formated ipod (why apple continues to keep two different formats on the same player is beyond me).
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:50 PM on March 15, 2008

Floola is free and will work. Download the Mac version and drag it onto your iPod in the Finder. Make sure iTunes is NOT running. Start it with a double click (you actually run it off the iPod). You can then use it to transfer music or movies to/from the iPod.

I use Floola on my PC formatted iPod on OSX, XP, and Ubuntu with no problem.

And there are a zillion other ways to do it too, per Google.
posted by quarterframer at 4:40 PM on March 15, 2008

My boyfriend just bought a macbook pro and owns a windows formatted iPod. We found that he could use his use iTunes normally with his new computer and old iPod without having to reformat it. He can transfer "new" music and see all of his "old" music. We haven't tried to rip the old music off though so if that's your goal then sorry, this comment will be rendered useless. Good luck and enjoy the mac!
posted by LunaticFringe at 4:50 PM on March 15, 2008

Your FAT32 (Windows) formatted iPod will work fine on the Mac. There are three main (Free and Open) tools for ripping music back to the computer from the iPod: Senuti, Yamipod, and Floola.

Socratic nailed it in the first response, but Senuti rocks. I have used it quite a few times.

Yamipod and Floola share quite a bit of code. The main difference is the interface. Yamipod has been around quite a bit longer.
posted by SemiSophos at 5:56 PM on March 15, 2008

Adding to the chorus, Senuti did this perfectly for me when I made the switch a couple years ago. It grabbed all the music off of my FAT32 iPod and placed it on the Mac with no problems. I then used iTunes to reformat the iPod for Mac and resynced everything. No need to mess with trying to get the Mac and the PC to talk to each other over a network.

And my pure conjecture would be that Apple still maintains two different formats for the classic iPods because of disk mode issues; that is, people using them as portable USB drives. I don't think Windows Explorer can write to HFS+ (the default Mac filesystem) volumes without special software, and I presume Apple prefers HFS+ for Mac-formatted iPods because (a) it's a better filesystem than FAT and (b) Apple probably wants to use their own FS for their products wherever possible.
posted by Kosh at 6:05 PM on March 15, 2008

You might want to burn those DVDs anyway. "Stranded"+ "copy to my PC, then move to Mac" sounds like "I have only one copy of my music and it's on my iPod". Having a backup wouldn't hurt.
posted by secret about box at 7:23 PM on March 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Senuti worked great. I just downloaded it on my Macbook, plugged in my iPod, pulled off my music directly into my iTunes library, reformatted my iPod, and put it back on. Incidentally, I had earlier called Apple support and asked if I could do exactly this. They said no. Metafilter: 1. Apple: 0.
posted by Hollow at 8:27 PM on March 15, 2008

Incidentally, I had earlier called Apple support and asked if I could do exactly this. They said no.

Apple's not going to recommend third party tools to circumvent their very minor copy prevention they've built into the system. If they wanted you to routinely be able to do something like this, they would've built it into iTunes.

(And to that end, they have, sort of: when you plug an iPod into a machine it's not set to sync with, it now allows you to transfer your iTMS purchased music off the iPod to the machine in question, so long as you burn an activation on that machine.)
posted by Remy at 6:50 AM on March 16, 2008

Senuti is the greatest computer program ever written!
posted by thomas144 at 6:52 AM on March 16, 2008

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