Music stored on your computer might become lost or corrupted, and you could find yourself in a situation where your iPod has the only copies of the files. You can manually move the music files from your iPod onto a computer so that you can keep your music, without having to repurchase titles that you already own.
Using a Windows Computer
Plug your iPod into the computer using the Apple USB connection cable that came with it. Open the Apple iTunes software on the computer if it doesn't launch automatically.
Select the iPod from the "Devices" section of iTunes. Information about the iPod will appear. Locate the information labeled "Options" and select the box marked "Enable disk use." Click "OK."
Click the Windows Start button and click on "Computer" in the right column of the Start menu that opens. Double-click the icon for the iPod device in the Windows Explorer file browser window that opens.
Select the "Tools" menu and click "Folder Options." Press the "View" tab, and check the box marked "Show hidden files and folders."
Open the directory named "iPod_Controls," which is located in the main file folder of the iPod. View the subfolder named "Music." Select the "Edit" menu, and choose "Select All."
Drag and drop the selected files and folders to a convenient location on the computer, such as the "My Music" folder. Wait for all of the files to transfer from the iPod.
Click "File" and then "Add Folder to Library," both in iTunes. Select the folder that contains all of the transferred music, and click "Import." The music files from the iPod is added to the iTunes library.
Using a Mac
Connect the iPod to the Mac, using an Apple USB cable. Open the iTunes program if it doesn't launch automatically. Select the iPod from the "Devices" section of iTunes. Locate the "Options" section and click the "Enable disk use" box. Click "OK."
Launch the Terminal program, which is located under "Utilities" on the Mac. Type the command "defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE" without quotes and press the Return key. Previously hidden iPod folders are revealed.
Open the "Finder" window on the Mac, and browse to the "iPod" location. Open the "iPod_Controls" folder, and then the "Music" subfolder. Press "Cmd-A." All of the iPod music files are selected.
Drag and drop the select iPod files to a location on the computer. Open the iTunes program, and click "File," then "Add to Library." Select the folder containing the new music, and click "Choose." The music is imported into the iTunes library.
Enter the command "defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE" to rehide the system folders on the Mac.
- USB Transfer Cable
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images