How do I get songs off my iPod?
I had an iPod connected to my old computer and now I want to put it on my new computer, but when I hook my iPod up to my new computer all the music is going to gets deleted off of it. How do I get all my music on my new computer without using a million CDs?
This is a very common question here at Ask Dave Taylor, actually, and it's one that has even bitten me on more than one occasion. What happens is that iPods are "wedded" to a specific computer and installation of Apple's iTunes program and then appear as much less functional devices - or are poised for reformatting and the deletion of all material - when plugged in to other computers. Not very friendly!
Worse, it might show up so you can play music from it, but when you try to copy any of the music onto your computer, you get this sort of behavior:
I understand why Apple does this, so that iPods don't become portable music rip-off devices, but at its heart the iPod is just a hard disk with a slick mini-operating system atop it, so there should be ways to sync two computer music libraries with an iPod without fighting too hard, for example, or restoring a destroyed music library as is the case you're talking about.
Fortunately I have come across an inexpensive piece of shareware that lets you wrest complete control of your iPod from Apple and the iTunes system, an app called iPodCopy. It's $22 for registration, but considering the time and hassle you'll be able to avoid, that's not much of a cost in my book.
Start it up and you'll see an interface that's darn similar to iTunes itself:
(iPodCopy has a 30 day trial so you can test it out yourself before you buy, but there's also a money-back guarantee if you do purchase it and find it's not working properly for your situation)
To copy music couldn't be easier: just select the genre, artists, albums or songs you want, then click on the Copy button:
Now it'll merrily copy whatever music you've selected off your Apple iPod and onto your Windows computer:
To be fair, when I copied some Celtic music off my iPod with iPodCopy, it worked fine, but rather to my surprise created a folder called "Music" on my Desktop. That's because I hadn't tweaked the settings and preferences for the program, however, something easily done by clicking on the "Options" button:
As you can see, I'm still using "Dave Taylor\Desktop" for my destination. That's a mistake and should be changed to the "My Music" folder in your "My Documents" area so that other music players can see the files. Also note that iPodCopy identifies DRM (digital rights management) protected audio files with a tiny lock icon, but can also copy them from your iPod: the option "Highlight tunes with DRM protection" will help you quickly see which songs are affected on your own iPod.
Moving the albums to the correct location was simple, fortunately. I opened up the new "Music" folder on my desktop, then also clicked on "My Documents", then just dragged the contents of the "Music" folder across:
That's all there is to it. Couldn't be much easier.
I recommend that you try iPodCopy and see if it works for you.
Wide Angle Software also has a mac version of iPodCopy, but if you're looking for just rudimentary functionality, I suggest you check out my tutorial on the freeware Mac alternative Senuti at:
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