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How to Transfer Music Files From iPod to PC

July 30th, 2012 | Posted by Ian in How To

Maybe your computer just crashed and all your iTunes music went with it. Maybe a friend of yours has that amazing new One Direction album on his iPod and you wish you could have a copy. Maybe, like us Vangabonds, you recently stumbled upon an old iPod that had music on it from a computer that was long lost to the great beyond (or, more likely, was dismantled in poor Chinese or Nigerian communities in search of the tiny amounts of precious metals contained within) five years ago, but has some stellar music on it that you want to be able to keep (plus, this way we don’t have to lug around three full CD cases with us everywhere we go). Whatever the reason, below is a slideshow teaching you how to copy the music off of an iPod onto your computer. (Sorry Mac folks, this tutorial only shows to to transfer music files from an iPod to a Windows PC.)

Step One:

Music Folder Screenshot

Create a new folder on your desktop. Call it anything you want.

Step Two:

Drive Folders Before Screenshot

Plug in your iPod. Go to My Computer. Open the drive the iPod is connected to. You probably can’t see it yet, but there is a hidden folder there that we need to find.

Step Three

Drive Folder Options screenshot

On the drive menu, click Organize, then click Folder and Search Options in the dropdown menu.

Step Four:

Drive Folder Options View screenshot

Make sure “Show hidden files, folder, and drives” is selected and click Apply.

Step Five:

Drive Folders After Screenshot

The folder “iPod_Control” should now be visible. Open this folder.

Step Six:

iPod Music Folder Screenshot

Open the Music folder.

Step Seven:

iPod Music Folder Folders Screenshot

In the Music folder, you should a list of folders titled F0, F1, F2, etc. Select all of these folders and copy them into the new folder you created on the desktop. This could take some time depending on how much music you have to copy. If you go into individual folders, you will notice that the file names are seemingly random strings of 4 letters. Don’t worry that the name of the artist, song, and album are all missing, they will be restored automatically by iTunes when you import the files into your library.

Step Eight:

iTunes Sync Screenshot

Bring up iTunes. You should see an alert asking if you want to sync the iPod to the iTunes library. Click Cancel.

Step Nine:

iTunes Edit Preferences Screenshot

Go the the iTunes menu, click Edit, then Preferences.

Step Ten:

iTunes Edit Preferences Advanced Screenshot

In the Preferences window, click the Advanced tab. Make sure “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” is selected and click Okay.

Step Eleven:

iTunes Add Folder to Library Screenshot

On the iTunes menu go to File, then click Add Folder to Library.

Step Twelve:

iTunes Add Folder Select Screenshot

Find the new folder you created and copied the iPod music into. Click it and then click Select Folder. iTunes will now import all of the music from that folder into the iTunes library, while restoring all of meta information associated with it (Artist, Album Title, Song Title, etc.).

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