by: Mark O’Neill
I’m a big fan of the iPod but what I don’t like is Apple not being very forthcoming about how to move music from the iPod back to the PC. They’re quick enough to tell you how to move the music from your PC to your iPod but when you want to do the opposite, Apple clams up tight.
Their reasoning is probably that the only reason you’d want to take your music off the iPod is to copy it and illegally distribute it. But that is really an insult to the music buyer. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you would want to move your music from the iPod back to the PC. For a start, what if your hard-drive crashed and the only copies of the music were on your iPod? Or you accidentally deleted a song from your hard-drive and you wanted it back, without having to buy another copy?
It has taken me ages to work out how to get the music off the iPod and onto the computer but I have finally got it. This is how to do it on a Windows PC. Since I don’t have a Mac, I can’t help there.
The easy five-step guide to moving your music from your iPod to your PC
1. In Windows Explorer, go to Tools > Folder Options > View. In the Advanced Settings list, under Hidden files and folders, check the radio button for “Show hidden files and folders”. Then click OK. You’ll get a Windows security warning but it’s safe enough to disregard it as we will only be disabling this function for a short while.
2. Plug in your iPod. In Windows Explorer, a folder will now appear with the name of your iPod. Double-click on that. Go to the sub-folders “iPod_Control” and then “music”. You’ll find your music there randomly scattered across multiple folders and with scrambled file names. But don’t worry, the ID3 tags are still fully intact and we are now going to “unscramble” the files.
3. But first copy all the music from those iPod folders into a new folder on your hard-drive. Move all the songs into one single folder and discard all the folders that your iPod made. By the end, you should have one folder in your hard-drive with all the scrambled files together.
4. Open up iTunes and do the following : Go to Edit > Preferences. Under the Advanced tab, under the General “sub-tab”, select the local folder where you have copied the music from your iPod (by clicking Change…).
Check the box “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” and click OK. Also make sure you have wiped all previous music from iTunes so your playlists are blank. Continue reading