How to transfer music from your iPod to iTunes/your computer
Basically, in order to transfer songs from the iPod to your computer, you have to undermine the design of the iPod. Whenever you use a device in a way it’s not designed, you increase the chances that it’ll break. That said, a lot of people have done this with no problems and it’s a real life saver if your computer crashed and you lost your whole iTunes music library.
1. First you need to connect the iPod without iTunes doing the auto-sync.
- Hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys while connecting the iPod to your computer.
- Don’t let go of Shift+Ctrl.
- If iTunes doesn’t open automatically open after connecting the iPod, open iTunes.
- Don’t let go of Shift+Ctrl.
- Wait until the iPod comes up in the Source list under DEVICES (it may take a while, butdon’t let go of Shift+Ctrl)
Important: iTunes may pop up asking you to choose an existing library or to create a new one. Click Create a new one so that it can just open.
Once it shows up, close iTunes
2. Now find the songs on your iPod and copy them to a folder on your computer.
- From the Desktop, go to My Computer and click once (or select/highlight) on the iPod, (usually drive E:, F: or G:).
- Go to Tools > Folder Options.
- Click View tab > scroll to Show Hidden Files and Folders and select it. Click OK.
- Look in the iPod drive, and find a folder called iPod_Control and open it.
You’ll see the Music folder. In it will be folders and files named F00, F01 and so on.
- Note: To see the original name of the song/file, just mouse over it.
- If you need all the contents of the iPod on you computer, copy the whole Music folder.
- If you only need some of the files, look through the Fxx folders until you find the files you want and copy.
- To copy:
- Click once on the folder or hold down the Ctrl button and click once on each of the folders you want.
- Go to the Edit menu and select copy.
- Minimize all windows, right click over a blank area of the desktop, select New> Folder (name it Songs).
- Right click over the Songs folder and select Paste.
- Depending on the number of songs, this may take a long time to complete.
Note: All the hidden files that are on your iPod are playable on iTunes once you transfer them to your computer’s iTunes.
3. Now have iTunes import that folder to your music library
- Open iTunes (if needed) and go to File > Add Folder to Library.
- Select the folder you want to import and click OK.
- This also may take awhile to complete.
- If you think you’ll be doing this a lot, you should look into two things:
- Back up your iTunes library to an external hard drive periodically.
- Use an “iPod management software” other than iTunes. See this comparison of iPod managers on Wikipedia.
- You might want to set iTunes to manually manage your iPod. This will mean you will have to drag-n-drop new stuff onto the iPod yourself.
- Depending on which iPod model you have, the iPod may get very hot during the copying process.
With every update Apple puts out (almost weekly it seems), something changes. If something in this article didn’t work, leave a comment (scroll down a bit) and tell us where the problem is. This way we can do some tests and rewrite the article. Thanks!