January 31, 2008

TECH TIP: Get songs (and movies) out of your iPod

Say you're planning to reformat your computer and you want to back-up all those music files. Well, you've got an iPod to do that. Then your computer is finally reformatted, yet you cannot even put all those damn songs back into the computer. What gives?!

Well, since Apple is one of the biggest companies in the US of A, it also has to observe its piracy/Digital Rights Management rules so you can't just as easily put it on your computer as you put music on your iPod. (Though lately, iTunes is capable of syncing music from iPod to iTunes... Purchased music, that is.)

So if you haven't already Googled for ways on how to put your music back from your iPod to your computer, then you seriously need to follow this guide.

1) No other software needed.
If you don't like bothering/downloading software from the Internet, then you can put music from your iPod by dragging and dropping anyway, though you'll have to follow a few extra rules and test a few songs.

Step 1. Access iTunes, do not automatically sync, then check the Enable Disk Use box. (Though I'm pretty sure that it's checked by default.)
If that option is checked, then it will most probably get read by My Computer (or Computer in Windows Vista) as a "Removable Disk", or maybe any other name you put it.Step 2. Access the iPod in My Computer and you'll see a list of folders. Of course, the music you have won't be here just yet, because the folder is hidden. Reveal it by selecting Tools on the menu bar, Folder Options and click Show hidden files and folders.
Step 3. When you click OK, you'll get to see the hidden folder called iPod_Control. Open it and go to Music. Ironically enough, you'll also find your videos here, but for your photos or games, well, that's for another time. But when you enter the Music folder, get ready for a nightmarish time.

No, that wasn't renamed by the website I got this pic from, the iPod did. Fortunately however, the titles and tags are all intact and if you open, say, Windows Media Player or whatever other media players you have, you'll be able to read them all. You have to open them one-by-one, though. (And that's what's so nightmarish about it.) But then again, you're putting everything, right?

Step 4-A. You can even press CTRL+A and drag-and drop everything to iTunes (just make sure that the Keep iTunes Music folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library checkboxes in the Advanced preferences found in Edit, then Preferences in the menu bar).

Step 4-B. Or you can select File, then Add Folder to Library, and select the iPod_Control folder directly and wait for iTunes to work its magic. Of course, the options selected above should also be enabled so that iTunes can sort everything (and not make your library look like hell!).

But if you don't want to do this, I can take a hint.

2) Third-Party Software: The Easy Road
Free Software Candidate #1: SharePod
Though the import process is not as easy as its counterparts, the software is quite decent, and it's free too. You can just highlight your songs, and press Copy to PC.
It will then ask you as to where you'll want to import these songs. Note that all of them are saved in a so-called XML file which you have to manually Import from iTunes, so pick an ultimately convenient location (you know, like the Desktop?).Once you've selected a destination and clicked OK, the file that will appear will be called SharePod_iTunes_Import.xml, and if you access iTunes, select File, Import, then the that specific file, the music will be loaded into the library.

Sure beats that other step, huh?

But then again, there is also another software candidate:

Free Software Candidate #2: YamiPod
Designed to work on all major platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux), YamiPod is a less user-friendly solution that offers simple music import to whatever folder you select. But it more than makes up for the fact that you can run it from the iPod so you can import music even if the computer doesn't have iTunes. (Though I don't really know how to do that... yet.)

CAPTION: Honestly, it's a bit intimidating.

After selecting all of your music, click File, then Copy to.... Select the place where you want to import the songs (NOT on your desktop this time, but maybe on a folder) and wait for it to finish.

Open iTunes afterwards (and remember to close YamiPod because it doesn't want to be opened alongside iTunes) and select File, then Add Folder to Library and select the folder you used as the destination for all those music files and wait for it to finish. If you have the aforementioned preferences (Keep iTunes Music folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library checkboxes) enabled, then you can safely delete that certain folder and go on with your business.

After that, you can do whatever you like to your music. Listen, delete, manipulate. WHATEVER.

Credit: iLounge

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