Do you have an old iPod or two from the last decade lying around gathering dust? Do they still have old music on them that you no longer have in any other form? Well, dust them off, because you can rescue the music from your old iPod.
So, how do you transfer music from your iPod to your computer? Today I’ll share with you the procedure I discovered that allowed me to extract music from my brother’s old 16GB iPod onto my PC. Once extracted from the iPod, I could add the music to my iTunes library and sync it with my iPhone.
Prevent iTunes Automatically Syncing With Your Device
I inherited an iPod Nano 16GB 4th Generation (2008) and an iPod Classic 20GB 4th Generation U2 Special Edition (2004) from my brother. I wanted to get the music off each iPod and see if I wanted to add any of his music to my collection.
When you connect a device to iTunes, the music in your iTunes library is automatically uploaded to your device, replacing the music currently on the device. You cannot download music from an iPod (or iPhone or iPad) into iTunes. So, if I connect one of my brother’s iPods to iTunes, all the music would be overwritten with my iTunes library.
The method for preventing iTunes from automatically syncing with your iOS device mostly the same for Windows and Mac:
- Make sure there are no iOS devices connected to your computer. Then, open iTunes. In Windows, go to Edit > Preferences. On a Mac, go to iTunes > Preferences.
- Then, on both Windows and Mac, click the Devices tab and check the Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box. Then, click OK and close iTunes.
Copy Music From Your iPod to Your Computer
Now, you can connect your iPod to your computer. It should show up as a drive in both File Explorer on Windows and in Finder on Mac. Open the iPod drive and navigate to the iPod_Control > Music folder. You’ll see folders labeled with an “F” and a number.
Select all the folders in the iPod_Control > Music folder and copy and paste them to a location on your hard drive. This will transfer your music from your iPod to your computer.
The files all have random four-letter file names. If you’ve copied the music files onto a Windows PC, you can see the tags for each music file in File Explorer. But, you will not see the tags in Finder on a Mac.