How to Export Music From an IPod

by Kelsey Childress

If you purchased a new computer, re-installed some components of your old computer, or just need to transfer some songs from your iPod to your computer, there are several easy ways you can do it on a PC or a Mac. Even if your computer isn't letting you copy and paste songs into the iTunes library, it is possible to still transfer songs, with the help of another program.

Use the sync feature in iTunes. This is the easiest way to transfer your music from your iPod to your computer. Make sure the iPod is connected to your computer and is showing up in the left-hand pane of iTunes. If iTunes is set to automatically sync with your iPod, you may be able to transfer your music by choosing "Sync Purchases From iPod." If the iPod is set to manually update, you can still sync. Go to "File" from the drop-down menu then click on "Sync Purchases from iPod." This may or may not transfer all of your songs into iTunes.

Drag and drop songs. If the sync purchase feature does not work, try to drag and drop songs into the iTunes library. Open up the song list on your iPod in iTunes. Click or select the songs you want to transfer to your computer, and drag them to either "Library" or "Music" at the top of the iTunes left-side navigation pane.

Use the iPod as an external device. Another option is to click the arrow button next to the iPod icon, effectively "disconnecting" it from iTunes. However, the iPod is still physically connected to the computer through the USB port and so it still shows up on your desktop. If you open the iPod from your desktop, you may be able to view your songs. Copy and paste the iPod songs folder onto the desktop. Then open up the iTunes Library folder, usually found in "Music" under the Finder in a Mac and either under Music or the iTunes program on a PC. Drag the copied music folder that was on the desktop into the iTunes music folder.

Use an external program. If none of the above options work, you will need to install an extra program that will export the songs for you. Senuti and iPodRip are available programs that can do this for you. Senuti offers a free trial version that will transfer the first 1000 songs or work for 30 days for free. After that, the full version is available for a charge. Senuti will locate your iPod on your computer and then allow you to choose the iTunes folder to copy them into. The songs on your iPod will still be intact.

Re-install or upgrade your software. If it still isn't working, you may need to update your iTunes or iPod software. For Mac, click on the apple at the top left on the desktop bar and click on "Software Update." PC users can go to "File" and then "Check for Updates" in iTunes (this is also another option for Mac users). For updating iPod software, when you plug in your iPod using the USB cable, iTunes should open and let you know whether or not the software is up-to-date. If it isn't, it should give you the option to update.

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About the Author

Kelsey Childress runs a freelance creative business called Awen Creative that specializes in SEO Web content, social media marketing and blogging. She has been writing for online and in-print publications for over six years, and has a bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.