How to transfer music from an iPod to your computer

Most of us store our music in two places: on our computer and on our iPod (or other MP3 player). But if your computer crashes indefinitely, all the music that you (hopefully) purchased disappears along with it. So what's left? A handicapped iPod? Apple restricts its gadgets to sync with only one music library — and any attempts to sync with a different computer will result in a deleted iPod.

Naturally, there's a workaround. If you'd like to safely move songs from your iPod (except the iPod Touch) to any computer, follow these steps:

How to transfer music from an iPod to a Mac

Step 1: Connect your iPod and launch iTunes. In the iPod management screen, scroll down to Options and check "Enable disk use". iTunes will give you a warning — select OK.

Step 2: Your iPod will now show up as a drive on your Desktop. But before you can access its files, download and install a program called Houdini. Houdini lets you view the music folder that's automatically hidden by Apple.

Step 3: Open Houdini, click Folders and then Reveal. Locate your iPod and open iPod_controls. Highlight Music and press Choose.

Step 4: Now in your iPod folder, open iPod_Controls > Music. Highlight all of the folders and drag them into the desired folder on your hard drive. This might take a while, depending on how much music you're transferring.

Once the files are copied, you've successfully transferred the music. However, you'll notice that the songs have four-letter names and are scattered among many folders. It's OK; once you import the music into iTunes (or any other media player), the program will reinstate the titles of the songs.

How to transfer music from an iPod to a Windows computer

Step 1: Connect your iPod and launch iTunes. In the iPod management screen, scroll down to Options and check "Enable disk use". iTunes will give you a warning — select OK.

Note: If you get an error message asking you to reformat upon connecting, your iPod was originally formatted for Mac and cannot be used in Windows. One workaround is to install a program like MacDrive, which will allow your Windows machine to read Mac-formatted drives. Clicking "reformat" will erase your iPod.

Step 2: Open My Computer and open your iPod drive.

Step 3: Open Tools > Folder Options. Click the View tab and check "Show hidden files and folders".

Step 4: In your iPod folder, open iPod_Controls > Music. Highlight all of the folders and drag them into the desired folder on your hard drive. This might take a while, depending on how much music you're transferring.

Step 5: Highlight all of the folders again, right-click and select Properties. Uncheck "Hidden". Close this window.

Once the files are copied, you've successfully transferred the music. However, you'll notice that the songs have four-letter names and are scattered among many folders. It's OK; once you import the music into iTunes (or any other media player), the program will reinstate the titles of the songs.

Via CNET US



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FrankieF posted a comment   
United Kingdom

Don't listen to this woman... Although you can transfer the music, you have no control over which music you are transferring and can't drag specific songs or playlists!!!!!!

Plus when you try to remove Houdini from you Mac the .DS_Store file stays on your Mac showing other hidden files when you open up Finder

 

Jenny987 posted a comment   

You're right, this doesn't work for iOS devices - iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone need 3rd party software to achieve this. TouchCopy is the one I used and it worked well. http://download.cnet.com/TouchCopy/3000-18545_4-10766209.html

 

BenH1 posted a comment   

Wow talk about out of date advice, this only works for ipod classics, any flash based device can't be mounted as an external drive

 

darkchaos posted a comment   
Australia

Does it work for iphone?

 

chipchip1971 posted a reply   
Australia

No iOS 4 does not allow disk mode as an option. The above method only works for older iPods. Even iPod Touches will not work this way.

 

suburbanmale posted a comment   
Australia

Oh come on, this is the best advice you can give on getting music off an iPod? It is fine if all people want to do is copy all of their music onto another device or backup, but what if they want to copy from ipod to computer and then pick and choose what they copy on another device? Random four-letter file names do not allow for this.

Many third party apps allow direct exporting of music from the ipod. I use Floola, and it works splendidly.




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