Sam Brown

How to get music from iPod back onto Mac

“I have a 20GB Apple iPod which has about 12GB of Music, 2347 songs on it, my entire Music Library. That is of cource Sync’d to iTunes on my computer, unfortunatly last week my Hard Drive failed on my computer and I lost everything that was not backed up.. I lost all my music and applications. However, I had all of the music on my iPod and needed a way to get it back onto my computer.”

By default Apple does not allow you to transfer music files from your iPod onto your computer, or anybody elses computer for that matter as that is a piracy issue. This is fair enough, but it does make it almost impossible for you to get your files back off your iPod as in my case where my Hard Drive and iTunes was now empty. What iTunes does is Sync your library on your computer with your iPod, and your iPod only, so that you can not share your music collection with your friends. When I got my Hard Drive back it was blank, and so was my iTunes library and I got the infamous dialog box that says:

Your iTunes library does not match the library on your iPod. Would you like to Sync your iPod with the library on your computer?

Doing this of course would delete my entire music collection. Not good.

Hello BITcom Xpod

After a quick search I found several applications that allowed you to pull the music files back off your iPod onto your computer. However, most of them were either PC applications or Shareware and would only let me copy 250 songs before I had to pay for the rest of them.

Eventually I found BITcoms Xpod. Looking for an application which can read files on Apple’s iPod? With BITcom Xpod you have the right utility to copy music files on iPod to your local hard disk. It’s freeware and available for Apple Mac OS X only.

This was exactly what I wanted, I downloaded the free program installed it, plugged in my iPod and all I had to do was choose where I wanted the music files put on my computer. I chose the Desktop and it went ahead and spent the next 45minutes copying all 2347 files to my desktop.. I then imported them all back into iTunes from the “Add to Library” menu item.. 10 minutes later I had every single song back into iTunes and it Sync’d instantly with my iPod as nothing had changed!

My only loss was my playlists, but those can be easily created again.

BITcom Xpod –

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Ian 27 June 2005, 16:33 #1

iPodRip is also quite an effective freeware app, which allows you to drag and drop in an iTunes-like GUI straight from the iPod back to the iTunes library. :-D

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.