How to Extract iPod Music on a Mac


The iPod is designed to be used with Apple's iTunes music software, which does not support the transferring of songs from the iPod to the Mac. This blocking feature is designed to prevent illegal music sharing, but can be frustrating if you have lost your backup or want to transfer music from an old iPod to a new one. By extracting music directly off your iPod, you will be able to preserve information such as play counts, star ratings and Playlists. DeTune is a free, open source application that allows you to easily copy music from your iPod to your Mac.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable
  • DeTune software (OS 10.5 or later)
  • ExPod Software (OS 10.3 or 10.4)
  • iTunes software
  • Download a free copy of DeTune from if you are operating on Mac OS 10.5 or higher. If you are using Mac OS 10.3 or 10.4, HeadLightSoft also has a previous version of DeTune called ExPod that is compatible with earlier systems. DeTune will automatically mount a disk image in your Finder window after download; all you need to do to install is drag the DeTune icon and drop it into your Applications folder. (See Resources)

  • Connect your iPod using a USB cable and allow DeTune several minutes to recognize and list your music library. DeTune will automatically find your Playlists. Open iTunes if you intend to copy your music directly into your existing music library.

  • Create a destination folder on your Mac for your music backup. This could be a folder on your desktop, an external hard drive or an iTunes playlist.

  • Select the music you would like to copy. DeTune offers several methods for copying music, all based on the "drag-and-drop" principle. To copy individual songs or Playlists, select them from the DeTune music window on the left of the application, drag them to your finder window and drop them into the desired destination folder. It is best to copy in small chunks to avoid stressing or stalling your Mac; try copying 100 songs at a time as opposed to 80 GB of music all at once.

  • To copy all of your files and information, first select "DeTune" from the "File" menu, then select "Preferences." Under "General," check the box titled "Show Files List." This will show the folders and contents on your iPod in the DeTune music window. To copy all of the contents of your iPod at once, select all of the folders in the Files List, drag them to your finder window and drop them into your destination folder. Keep in mind that copying a lot of information at once might significantly slow down your computer or cause DeTune to force quit.

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