How to Copy Songs From iPod to iTunes With a Free Program

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Apple's iTunes software gives you the ability to manage your iPod in numerous ways, such as adding and deleting songs and other media, updating your firmware and organizing your playlists. But the program does not give you the option of transferring music from the iPod back into iTunes for safekeeping. In order to perform this operation, you will need the help of a third-party program. Although some such programs cost money to download, you can use others for free.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod USB cable
  • Download and install a free iPod manager. Many free programs exist, including AVCWare iPod to PC Transfer, Cucusoft iPad/iPhone/iPod to Computer Transfer, MediaMonkey, Softonic Songbird and YamiPod. Check the system requirements before downloading a program, as some programs are designated specifically for Linux, Mac or Windows.

  • Connect your iPod sync cable to both your computer and your iPod. Attach the thin connector to your PC using a corresponding USB port, and attach the wider cable to your iPod through the dock along the bottom.

  • Open your free iPod manager. When your iPod loads, you should see it in your left column, with playlists appearing below. Some programs may use a slightly different configuration, but most iPod managers use a layout almost identical to iTunes, with playlists in the left column and songs appearing in the center space.

  • Select the songs that you want to copy. Click the main "Music" tab (usually appearing in the left column) to view your complete iPod music collection, or select individual playlists to browse specific artists, albums and compilations. You can select as many songs as needed by holding the "Shift" key while clicking each song title with your mouse.

  • Import your songs to your iTunes library. Locate the "Copy," "Transfer" or "Import" button on your iPod manager window and click it once. A navigation box will appear, asking you to choose a destination on your hard drive. Select your "iTunes Music" (Mac) or "iTunes Media" (Windows) folder to transfer the songs directly to your iTunes library. You can find your iTunes folder inside the "Music" or "My Music" folder, accessed from your main username folder.

  • Eject and disconnect your iPod. Click the triangular "Eject" button on your iPod manager window and unplug the cable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some iPod managers will not ask you to choose a saving destination by default. Rather, they will automatically save your songs into their own music library. When this occurs, you can manually move the songs into your iTunes music folder using your mouse.

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