How to Save iPod Songs to a Computer

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For all the things iTunes lets you do there is one thing it doesn't make easy: copying music from your iPod to your computer. It's frustrating to be sure, especially if you lost the music on your hard drive and the only other copy you have is on your iPod. However, with just a little work and maybe an additional program it's easy to get your trapped tunes off your iPod and back to your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod
  • Computer
  • Winamp (optional)

On a Windows PC

  • For this to work you have to change some settings in Windows. Click on the start button and go to the control panel. From there click on "folder options" and click on the "view" tab.

  • Under "advanced settings" enable the option to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives." click "OK" and close the control panel.

  • Connect your iPod to the computer. Open "my computer" from the start menu and double click on the icon for your iPod.

  • Double click on the "iPod_Control" folder and then double click on the "music" folder. You should see a large list of folders with names like "F41." Each of these folders contain your music. The files aren't labeled nor are they in alphabetical order, so it's easier to just copy all the songs to your hard drive than it is searching for individual tracks.

  • Highlight all the folders. Right click your mouse and in the drop down menu select "copy." Then go to the folder on the computer you want to copy them to, right click and select "paste." Windows will copy the songs to your hard drive. They won't have the same file names but the track info will still be there.

Using Winamp

  • Download and install Winamp and the Winamp iPod plugin. The free version of Winamp has all the features you need to do this.

  • Connect your iPod to your computer and close iTunes if it is open. Start Winamp.

  • Click on "options" and then "preferences." In the menu, go to "transfers" under "iPod support" and click on the "download" tab. The folder listed here is where your songs will be copied. You can change it by clicking on the icon to the right. When you've set your download folder, click "close."

  • In Winamp you will be able to browse your songs on your iPod much like you can in iTunes. Select a song or songs you want copied to your hard drive and right click. In the pop-up menu select "copy to hard drive."

  • Your songs are now copied! Unlike Windows, using this method preserves the file names of the tracks.

On a Mac

  • Connect your iPod to your Mac and start iTunes. Under the settings for your iPod check "enable disk use."

  • Using OS X, go to "applications," then "utilities," and start terminal.

  • In terminal add the following lines:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

    killall Finder

  • Right click on the iPod icon on your desktop and open the "iPod_Control" folder and then open the "music" folder. The large list of folders with names like "F41" contain your music. The files aren't labeled, nor are they in alphabetical order, so it's easier to just copy all the songs to your hard drive than it is searching for individual tracks.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're browsing your iPod folders in Windows, don't delete anything! It may cause your iPod to malfunction.

References

  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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