How do I put music on my Apple iPod?
I've just bought a new Apple iPod Mini and am really excited about getting started loading my music onto it, but I can't figure out how to do so! Windows Media Player can synchronize music with the iPod, but the iPod itself doesn't then seem to know the music is there. HELP!
This is a surprisingly common question for new iPod owners who are using Microsoft Windows on their PC, and the basic answer is that you must use Apple iTunes to get music onto your iPod. Windows Media Player can see the iPod, but only as a hard disk, the section on the iPod where the music is stored is "hidden" and only iTunes knows how to get to it.
Let me take you through the steps of getting some music onto an Apple iPod with iTunes on a Windows XP system, then I'll show you quickly why WMP can't do the same thing.
The first time you plug your iPod into your PC via the included USB cable, you'll probably see something like this:
What's happened is that the underlying drivers for this class of device have been updated by Microsoft and the changes have been automatically applied - thankfully! - but you need to reboot. Do so, and then the next time you start up, your iPod will not generate any messages of this nature.
Now you really need to get a recent copy of iTunes onto your PC. There's a CDROM that's included with your iPod that has the iTunes program thereon, but if you don't want to mess with that, you can simply go to apple.com/itunes to download the latest version.
The next step is to actually launch the iTunes program. If you don't have the very latest version, you might well see this dialog window:
Generally, it's a good idea to make sure you always have the latest version, so click "yes" and it'll pop up your Web browser and take you directly to the download page, at which point you want to enter your email address, uncheck any boxes to skip certain types of email, and start the download:
I always uncheck these boxes, personally, as I already get too darn much email, but you might enjoy learning about free music available from the popular iTunes Music Store, etc., as indicated.
Either way, eventually you'll be able to launch iTunes and have it start up, rather than ask you to do other stuff. At that point it will recognize the iPod that you've plugged in and step you through the registration process.
It'll look like this:
You can stick with the default name for your device, but I always try to pick something more fun. For this 30GB iPod Video, I'm going to call it "MicroTV", because, well, it's a pretty tiny video screen. I also uncheck "automatically update music" because I like to control what happens to my iPod manually rather than have things magically occur and then not be what I want. You may find that having iTunes sync your iPod automatically works better for you, however.
When you're done with this configuration step, click "Next" and you'll see:
If you're so inclined, register your iPod, or just click "Finish".
Now, finally, you can see iTunes in all its glory:
All the colorful material in the middle is from the Apple iTunes Music Store. On the left side column, notice all the various categories of music and content, very similar to Microsoft Windows Media Player. Just below the Music Store, however, is what we seek. It says "MicroTV", as that's the name of my iPod.
Click on this entry, whatever name you've given your own iPod, and you'll see your music list, which is completely blank:
Now click on the "Library" link also on the left column and you'll see what albums or music you've ripped or otherwise copied into your iTunes library. If you haven't ripped any CDs, put one into your computer and click on the "Import" button in iTunes that'll show up.
On this particular computer, I've already ripped a few audio CDs, as you can see:
There's a much nicer way to explore the music, however. Click on the "Browse" button on the top right (it looks like an all-seeing eye) and a new panel will show up that lists genre, artists and albums too:
I'm going to go ahead and copy my jazz album, by Jeff Lorber, onto my iPod. I do that by clicking on the "Jazz" genre, then dragging and dropping that onto the name of the iPod on the left side. Then I can see the music being copied onto the iPod itself:
Doesn't take very long, and once it's done, I can eject my iPod and start enjoying the tiny music player.
However, let's have a quick peek at the basic iPod configuration while it's still plugged in by clicking on the "iPod Preferences" button on the bottom of the window:
The preferences look like this:
You can probably leave them all as-is, but that's how you get to them if you want to change anything about your iPod.
At this point we're done. The easiest way to disconnect the iPod from your computer is to click on the little "eject" button, but before we do, let's have a very quick look at how Windows Media Player sees the iPod and why it's so darn hard to get music from WMP to an iPod.
WMP certainly doesn't show a "MicroTV" option to make life easy. Click on the "Sync" button, however, and you'll see that it can indeed see the iPod that's plugged in:
This is deceptive, though, because the section of the iPod that holds the music that the iPod player itself can access isn't what's listed. The iPod can serve as a convenient and portable hard disk, and it's that section of the device that WMP can access. Copy music and it'll be accessible by another Windows system, but the iPod itself won't see it. Not good!
To actually get music out of WMP and onto an iPod involves some conversion and fiddling around, as detailed here: Convert WMA into MP3 for use with iPods.
Let's go back to iTunes, however, and eject the iPod. That's done by clicking on the tiny upward triangle adjacent to the iPod name:
Now the device is disconnected and you can unplug it, plug in some headphones or earbuds and enjoy your music!
Working with the iPod Itself
The easiest way to do that? Push the play button once on your iPod to wake it up, and you'll see this:
Now use the scrollwheel to highlight either "Playlists", "Artists", "Albums", "Songs" or "Genres", the push the button in the middle of the scrollwheel to select that choice:
I'll select "songs", and here's what I see:
Now I can pick a specific song by again using the scrollwheel, then click "OK" (the button in the middle of the wheel) and the song starts playing:
And now, let's relax with our own personal jam!
Hope that helps you get up to speed with the iPod. You'll find it gets a lot easier to work with after a few minutes of fiddling around.
More Useful iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help Articles:
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iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Written by Dave Taylor
apple ipod, apple itunes, ipod and windows, ipod music, windows media player
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Reader Comments To Date: 571
still unable to get into system changing ta
hello ive read thruu and i dont really underdstand .. i am 13 years old and trying to work my i-pod but i plugged it in and everythin andstuff and made a name 4 it n that but then i wanna get songs of the internet not cds ... ?
how do i do this ?!?!?!?
thankyouu xx :D
g, thanks this helped a lot........=)
Hey I put took music off my ipod and put it into the appropriate itunes library buy my ipod won't sync songs back into it. It's been syncing before the ipod info on the computer shows up and so i can't get music into it anymore? Can you help me?
no idea how to use this thing - is it worth the trouble?
I have music on my windows media player but I don't know how to put it in to itunes to put my music on my ipod
I have an apple ipod 120gb and have difficulties figuring out how to download songs and how to earase the previous songs that i did not download and is in there.how do u erase the songs and put in the songs that i like and which is the safest place to download music for free.do i need to reg with them.can u go step by step cause it is complicating.help.
how do i put songs from windows media to itunes 8?
Thankyou for the help but i need to know how to get music onto my ipod and not use a cd but also not have to pay for it from the itunes store????
Um, I just go my frist Ipod nano how do I down load songs off the internet? :D
Can you explain how to download music videos onto an iPod? Is it a free service? Not sure how this works. Thanks,
i have put my songs on my friends ipod using bearshare and it ses that the songs are on there , but when i put my ipod on and go to songs theres none ther !! , it normally works fine on my ipod why is this please tell me :~) x
HOW DO I TRANSFER DOWNLOADED MUSIC FROM LIMEWIRE TO BE STORE IN LIBRARY SO THAT I CAN DOWNLOAD TO MY IPOD SHUFFLE
hey, i just got a new ipod for christmas and ive downloaded itunes and have music on there but i don't know how to copy the music from ITUNES onto my ipod ive read the instructions but dont understand them ?? HELP
sir i have an i apple i pod classic 30gb . i want transfer songs from my i pod to mu computer i have i tunes there in my computer..
and also i want to transfer songs from my itunes to my i pod without removing the songs already there in my i pod..
i will appreciate if you give me a solution..
hey, i just got a new ipod for christmas but i don't know, how to put a songs into thei ipod. Can you plz help to sole this proplems.
i relly need to put song in this i ipod but its hard so i need help so if you can help me please help...
its not hard
all you have to do is
install Itunes from itunes and connet your ipod touch to the PC
and it will say to call it a name
call it whatever and then you`ll see music in the sidebar just below ipod
click on that and drag music
(remember you can`t put on wma songs so you have to convert them)
if you have a song like that you have to click on file on itunes and add file to library, now it says this song is a wma do you want to convert it to acc say yes
NOTE acc can go on ipod so can mp3
now you have to wait when it finishes and you have to go to my music the folder
and then you have too click on itunes
then itunes music and then you`ll see the alburn name of the song you converted if it has no name it will be Unknown Alburn click on that then you`ll see the song,
then go to the song menu below the ipod name,
this is where all your songs on your ipod are so you drag the song onto that and you have a song.
to get an app you need wi-fi so you goto settings wi-fi turn on and if you see a wireless connect to it and then open the app store and you can download a app for example a free app
NOTICE: you need a apple store account............
Now you have too go on your computer open up Itunes and click on store on the top and click on create account do that put in your email and password this will be your apple store account now you have to say you agree with terms and conditions and then you either put in a cridet card or a apple card next you get a email then you can buy whatever you want
how do u sync music onto ipod from itunes
I manage my ipod & itunes manually, many songs & movies in my library show that no entry, circle w/ line in it, blocking me from moving it when I drag them to my playlists. These are all items that have been on my ipod at one time before so I don't understand. Also when I try auto sync these same items still will not go to ipod. They play fine in my library though. Please help! Thanks, Stacye
I wrote you about an hour ago. Same prob new things to add. I manually manage my itunes acct. When I drag movies, etc. from library to my ipod movie playlist it looks good, appears to be working. But when I go to the list they are not there. They play perfect on itunes & have at one time been on my ipod & played. They accidentally got deleted. Why would a video not appear in the list after dragging? The no entry circle doesn't appear so thought it worked. Help me, going crazy. Thanks, Stacye
my questions is this?
i bought an ipod and open it for the first time on my friends computer and got her playlist and library. now i have my own itunes playlist and library and i was to put it on my ipod BUT i don't want to loose the music i currently have on my ipod. can i sink my ipod with my computer and still keep the music i have on there now tha i got from my friends library on her computer?
Hi, I have the exact same question as Jaime. I bought my ipod three years ago and a friend loaded all my music for me from his library and cd's -- over 3,000 songs. Now, I would like to load new music and make playlists, but I've been told I will lose everything from my ipod once I plug it into my computer. Is this true? How can can load new stuff without losing my existing songs and without using my friend's computer? Thanks!
"You must use Apple iTunes to get music onto your iPod." -- Absolutely false. There are many other methods, such as Winamp plugins, and alternative firmware such as Rockbox, which I use.
i got an iPod nano from "santa" and i dont know how to put music on it and my daddy cant help me because he is gone now :(. can you help me?
I have a ipod nano and im so excited to have 1 but my computer is broken and I don't have any friends or family where I live so im wondering where or what else can I use to download songs to my ipod is there anything out there I can buy besides another computer
Thanks for the clarification, Mark. When I wrote this there were basically no credible alternatives. Now there are a number of options for both the Mac and PC, and I've written about many of them here.
I know how to do it with iTunes, but how do you do it with limewire?
i have an apple 80GB ipod if load musci or vedio on the pc i can see it sync but if i eject the ipod i can't find them help me
i dont no how to put music from my computer to my i pod
I have a LG Rhythm cell phone with a mp3. My question is I download songs from limewire and then go through wmp to sync my music but afer I sync a playlist or song and then go to sync another it removes all my songs from the previous sync. Why?
how do i put song in my i pod? what website do i need to go
what cord do i hook upi to my ipod and the computer??
my ipod touch wont turn on, it just as a itunes thing and the usb cord one the sreen, what do i do? i just bought this
I have recently purchased a new 17 inch Macbook Pro, when I plugged my 30G ipod to it, I lost all my library i had in my ipod, my mistake to sync the new Macbook witm my old ipod. Moreover, I failed to download any music from itunes! Can you explain my dilemna?
hey i have a question ok i have the old ipod you know from when they first came out. here is my problem i lost the cd that came with it. so i went on line to download it. and that work out ok but it wont let the music i already have on my ipod into the libary.unless i sync it and then that will delete all my songs and pictures what can i do?
hi, i have a ipod classic 80GB i haven't yet had it for 1year but it just stop syncing for some reason,it will sync about 100 songs then just freeze,what does this mean????????? please help
Okay so I have an iPOD. I know how to sync songs, blah, blah, blah. But I recently found my old mp3/4 player, and found all these awesome songs I used to listen to. How do I get these songs, from my old mp3, onto my iPod? It seems as if Windows can only copy stuff from CDs, not actual players. When I plug in my old mp3 device, and click view contents, I don't see any of the songs in the folder, and nothing shows up in player.
and, thank you in advance if you do.
thanks dave it worked
Not sure if you can help me, I have an ishuffle, I use ITUNES to upload music on to it,but recently just change my server and now ITUNES does not even open up when i place the dock into the usb port with the shuffle on,do you have any ideas for me.
i love music that is why i want to get some from you.
how do i take music from my computer cd rom of my favorite cds and load them on my ipod nano. my son uses itunes but i don't want to pay for that services, i want to use my own cds
I connected my ipod but it said that the ipod is sync with another iTunes library
how can I sync songs but without erasing all the songs???
ok, I got half way till it gets to the "set up your Ipod" part. My computer will say somethings plugged in, and itunes is up and working, but nothing is getting it to ask for me to set up my ipod. What am i doin' wrong here?
thanks for your help.
which website do i use to install the ipod software on my computer completely free?
can you put music on my i-pod
Please help me! I got a old ipod mini and everytime I try to add songs the devices tab doesnt show up. And I cant get my ipod to stop charging it keeps just charging everytime I try! you gotta help me! please! I really want this to work dude!.............Write back as soon as you get this message.
You are AWSOME! Thank you so much for the detailed instructions. When you are using something for the first time, this is EXACTLY how you need things explained. YOU ARE A LIFESAVER!
My laptop brokedown & i got a new one . Now, I would like to load new music and make playlists, but I've been told I will lose everything from my ipod once I plug it into my computer. Is this true? How can can load new stuff without losing my existing songs and without using my friend's computer? Please help me , Thankyou .
I am trying to transfer my DVD "Mama Mia" to my 120Gb ipod , without success.
Could someone put me out of my and supply me with a "total idiot's guide" of what I should do, that works.
Im sure you've been asked this many times. But my entire day has been spent trying to convert songs etc.. I have an iPod touch, and its synced with my mates iTunes. I dont want to remove her songs, but i want to put a few of mine on there. Link me? (:
Well, i have been trying to download Itunes and
Quicktime, but there both not working. So cant i download music onto my ipod with windows media player?
How do i get my limewire songs that saved to itunes on my ipod, they wont sync? if you please help me...
every time i try to put one song on my computer wipes the rest off!!!! HELP!!!
hey, im having trouble with my iPOD in iTUNES, i can plug it in and it will show my music and i can transfer music from limewire and my iTUNES libary to my iPOD and it will show its on their but when i eject my iPOD the music is not on their, after i transfer music iTUNES will say " Sam Carlsile's iPOD " cannot be synced (-48)
i have the settings on that i manage my music and iTUNEs does not sync it becuase itUNES takes away thew music from limewire but why isnt it properly putting music onto my iPOD ?
i managed somewho to dump all the songs I've purchased on my ipod. i can see them on my 'history purchase' screen but can't figure out how to reload them onto my Ipod? thanks
hi yes i have a problem i hav tryed to download itunes to my computer 5 times and its still not on it i dont know what to do?
Question - how do i get my apple to recognize a mp3 player that is not its own brand, or is this possible?
Rant - i am disappointed that my apple is not transparent in its use. i found out, through a source other that apple, how to change the format to mp3 so that i could transfer it to my mp3 player. now it seems that because i do not have an apple mp3 player, the computer does not recognize it.
if apple thinks that this is the way to make more money, they are wrong. i bought a apple because of the microsoft monopoly machine. i will go to another off brand of computer and operating system. i am not alone in this. i have talked to others who are tired of being jerkend around by microsoft and now apple!
ur process of explaining is lengthy
thanks now i can tell my dad to buy me an ipod he said that if i learnd how to use it he would buy me one .....you have realy helped alot thanks to the internet....i love the internet dont you
ok thanx for helping me to figure out myipod and how to work it
hi, i have a ipod nano and i've been having my ipod for some time now and i already have songs on it but i didnt get the songs on my ipod myself (someone else did it,i have no clue who) and i guess someone told me to press the sync button but all the songs i purchased just went right into my music for my computer.... so please help me try and delete the songs that went into my computer music thingy and how to put the songs i bought on itunes into my ipod nano : /
Is there a web based version of iTunes? I.T. has my computer locked down so I can't install it. So I have an iPod I can't get tunes on.
I have a new mini and must have missed the option to sync my mini. So when plugged in it doesn't show up in Itunes even though I gave it a unique name. How can I get back to that option? When plugged in I get a message that says do not disconnect and I cannot get the unit to accept any commands? Thanks
For those of you finding that iTunes wipes out all your old songs when you try to add new ones, look more closely at your song management options. You might want to move to 'manage songs manually' and then explicitly drag and drop music out of your iTunes library onto the iPod icon when it's hooked up, rather than have it automatically sync.
Linwood, I'm not sure what's going on with your Mini: if you hook up your iPod then start up iTunes and wait a minute or two, does it show up in iTunes or not? There is a configuration option that lets you specify whether you want iTunes to automatically launch or not when you plug in an iPod: maybe that's what you want to specify in the future?
how ndo i download music to my new ipod from a imac???
Hey Dave! I have had my Ipod since Christmas 08 and we bought tunes off the internet but when we went to download it, it downloaded everything on the computer and now we can't download songs on it without buying music! What should we do? Thanks!
I bought my husband an IPod classic last Christmas, which up till now he had enjoyed very much, that is until today, having put two more albums on his ipod last night he went to listen today and none of his music is there. Can you advise as to what we could do to fix this
hi my name is selina
i ahve an i pod classic the one which you can watch movies on
i put music on my i pod
but i wanna put more on it but it wont let me do
i can put over 1,000 songs on it
but its not gonna let me do it
thanks 4 ur tym !!
You know, it'd be super mega useful TO PUT A DATE ON THIS ARTICLE so we wouldn't waste yet more of our time following useless dated instructions. Beyond that of course, the useless assistance from apple or itunes itself.
If someone could please help me, it would be greatly appreciated. When i put songs on to my ipod, then I eject it. When I look in my ipod for songs it says "No Songs".
grr! My new 4th Generation Ipod Is really getting on mii nerves! mi best friend Sent me some songs through internet that she ripped through her cd's and I saved them, put them on a Playlist and when I clicked on 'File' then onto something like 'Add File to library' then clicked on that Playlist NOTHING HAPPENED !!! Please help!
i just bought a nano and i cant put music into it plus when i plug in the ipod it never asks for a unique name. please help i would apreciate if you helped me with my problem. i am truly devistated. any help will do. thanks.
i have the same old songs in my ipod and i want to put new songs. But how?
i have music in my ipod,but is not playing,how can u help me
ok, so i got this new nano on my bday and this folder comes up (device, gamestats_WO, speakable, gamedata_RW, iTunes, and tones)
i click iTunes and (fisrttime, and Play Counts) shows up...i try to open these but they wont let me...what do i do now??? i cant do anything with my ipod!!!!
MY COMPUTER WONT READ MY I POD WHEN I PLUG IT IN TO MY USB CAN YOU HELP ME
I have an older Ipod nano. It was originally set up to my old computer. Someone put my music that I had on my nano on to my new computer in i-tunes but I cant seem to put anything new on my nano. When I plug it in, my computer doesn't seem to know it is there. Can anyone help?
i have a ipod and when my brother comes over he wants to upload some of my songs in my library to his however when he tries he gets a message stating it will delete his current music and sync my new stuff is there a way around this so he can keep his current music and add my new stuff to his..
Thank you,Thank you, I was frustrated for three hours trying to find out how to transfer itunes to my new shuffle (new to me anyway),could not have done it with out you.
i have an ipod touch and for some reason when i plug it in it says that its charging but the icon of an ipod in the itunes isnt there so im not sure how to add songs
I have a number of Audio books in my i-Tunes library. When I connect my i-pod all the books are automatically downloaded onto the i-pod as it synchronises . Is it possible to simply transfer from i-tunes to i-pod selected items only and if so how would I do it?
hi i'm chel my pc operating system is windows vista can i use it to synchronize my ipod???
wow i just wanted directions
GOOD............... now I know than i ever did
When i plug in my ipod shuffle, my ipod is charging but itunes and my computer says that the ipod isnt connected
when i use itunes on my mom's ipod, when i click the ipod icon and put a new song all of the songs in the ipod will be erased why is that?
Hotti, yes iTunes is free to download for the PC and it's already on your Mac system. Go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download to grab a copy.
Eric, the iPod shuffle is a bit of a different beast. How are you plugging it into your computer? Try this: quit iTunes, plug in your iPod Shuffle, then launch iTunes. Should see the device.
Herij, one of the frustrating things about the iPod is that it has to be "paired" with a single computer. That computer is its "master" and if you hook it up to a different computer, iTunes will want to "pair" it with the new computer, which involves wiping it and starting over. A pain in the booty, for sure. No great solution, you just need to pick a single computer and have that be the paired master for your iPod, then any music you want to add you should just copy onto that computer (via email, file transfer, USB thumb drive, etc) before you sync.
I'm looking at buying an iPod touch(3rd gen), but my laptop does not have a wifi connnection. Can I use a USB cable to download music, games, video, and photos on to it.
Hi, hope you can help. Ive had to restore my ipod-looong story!! So before doing this, I saved the music to a file in 'my music'. Now I have no idea how to get this file (with all my music) onto the ipod! Im on Windows XP if thats any help-Ive tried EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!! Please can you help
Shelley, sort of yes, but the USB will let you connect your iPod to your computer, but you still have the issue of getting content onto your computer in the first place, so you can put it on the iPod. Make sense?
Molly, what you need to do is import all the music into your iTunes library, then you can add it to your iPod directly.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Ive tried importing the file and it wont 'open' or import the file-my pc is telling me 'cannot be imported, file cannot be found'. Have I saved it in a wrong format or in the wrong place??
hey, my shuffle has 2 gigs, and 1.61g is taken up by "other". when i try to erase it, a message pops up telling me that whatever's on "other" is still being used by the computer.how can i get that used 1.61 gigs off?
I have the new version of the windows media player and i have the old ipod nano but i cant find itunes what do i do to put songs on there?
Alex, sounds like you might have enabled "disk mode" on your Shuffle, so that iTunes is reserving most of the space for data, rather than music. See this page for more info: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1478?viewlocale=en_US
Frank, you can't use WMP to work with an iPod. You need to use iTunes or you'll be outta luck. Try again. :-)
here mite be the answer to the ipod music
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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