How to Transfer Files from an iPod

Jul 14, 2010

The following is based on how I got my iTunes library off an iPod classic on windows 7, it should work on other iPods too.

If you lose your iTunes library from your computer or are transferring to a new PC then iTunes will only transfer purchased items off of your iPod. This is not good if you have a lot of music and video that you added yourself. What follow is an easy, free way to get files off of your ipod without using any additional software other than iTunes.

iPods as standard are not set up to be browsable within Windows so the first thing to do is to enable disk use in iTunes for your iPod, if iTunes asks you to sync or transfer purchases etc just decline at the moment.

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Now you should be able to browse your iPod like any other removable drive within Windows.

Make sure you have set windows to show hidden files and you will see a hidden folder called iPod_Control. This is where your files are stored in a folder called music.

Within the music folder is a list of folders F00, F01, F02 F03 etc which are also hidden and inside these are your music files all with nonsensical 4 letter names. This doesn’t matter as the meta-data is still there containing the title artist etc.

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Copy the music folder plus any other folders you think may contain files you need such as games to your computer (if you want to be sure to not miss anything just copy every folder and under properties choose to unhide it. iTunes wouldn’t import hidden files and folders for me.

Now simply add all these folders to iTunes and it will populate the iTunes library, either drag and drop or go to file>Add Folder to Library.

The best way now to get the files with better names is to consolidate the library. Before doing this ensure you have chosen to have iTunes manage your media library. This will copy all the files to the iTunes library and fix all the filenames to something more useful. This can fail though on some files if there is no metadata attached to them.

To help prevent losing any purchased music in future I would suggest backing up your music or buying from 7digital who keep your purchases in a locker allowing you to download again in future.

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