This tips & tricks post (yay!!!) was a request by my friend. I already have made one post about it – but since it was created in 2007, and since we shifted our focus from “you should know this already” to “we will help you anyway we can, with news, etc.”, I’ve decided to rewrite it.
So, this is how you get all your songs off your iPod to your computer. This is for WINDOWS ONLY. The pictures come from Windows Vista, however Windows XP would be the same. You will need the latest version of iTunes, iTunes 7.
Open up iTunes and plug in your iPod. If you get that nagging screen that it says you should sync it – SAY NO!!! We don’t want to lose all the data. Now, go down to the options section and make sure that “Enable disk use” is checked.
The reason is that your iPod can be used as an external hard drive – which is obvious.
Open up My Computer and you would see a new drive. This is your iPod. In Vista, it would be under “Devices with Removable Storage”. The letter would be most likely to be “E:/”, if you have one hard drive and one CD/DVD drive – if not, it would have the name of your iPod, or the first 12 characters of it.
In the tutorial, we will call your iPod location as the “iPod Directory”/
Open the iPod Directory and click on “Tools”. If you have Vista, press the Alt key and the menu bar will show up. Then scroll down to “Folder Options”.
DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDERS IN YOUR iPOD DIRECTORY!!! These are the contacts files and other information which your iPod reads.
Now, once in Folder Options, click on View. Then go to the Advanced Settings area and click on “Show hidden files and folders” under “Hidden files and folders”. This allows us to see folders that are hidden. Remember: This is done under your own risk. We are not responsible for any part of this tutorial.
Showing the hidden files and folders will allow us to see the music in your iPod Directory.
A new folder should have shown up. It would be called “iPod_Control”. This is where the main operating system and your music is held. DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDER. Open the folder.
Click on Music. Copy the folder to your Desktop, My Documents or whatever directory you want. DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDER! If you still want your music to be readable on the iPod – do not delete that folder, nor any of the folders in the “iPod_Control” folder.
Once you finished copying and pasting the folder, open the folder. You will see F00, F01, F02, etc. These are the folders that your music is held. Depending on your iPod and the capacity, the smaller your capacity, the smaller the folder numbers are. I have a 1st generation 2GB Nano, so it would have 3 folders.
Open one of the folders. You will see your music, but under weird characters. It is your music files, but just renamed. Drag and drop them into your iTunes music library. The music files will have the names of the tracks, artist, album art and other sorts of information as it would be in its ID3 tags.
Do the same thing to all of your folders.
Note: For the sake of convenience, you should go and set your iTunes to copy the music to your iTunes Music folder. You can do that by going to Edit > Preferences > Advanced > General and click on “Copy files to iTunes Music library when adding to library”. Then follow Step Eight, then delete the “Music” folder on your computer, not on your iPod directory.
Exit all of the windows, except your iPod directory. Go to Folder Options again and change it so it does show the hidden files and folders.
Now go back to iTunes and you will now have to manually disconnect it from iTunes. If you don’t want it to be a hard drive, untick the box. Even though you did that, mannually disconnect the iPod from your iTunes window. Better safe than sorry.