For quite some time I had looked for a way to transfer the music files on my iPod to another computer so that I could share them with my friends. I came across an interesting article that went into great detail about how to use your iPod as a storage device or secondary drive. This turned out to be disastrous.
Still, I knew the concept was a good one, so I searched for a program that would do it all for me.
After a lot of research, I finally came across the 100% free program - SharePod.
Before beginning this tutorial, there are a few things you need to know:
- SharePod now works with the iPod Touch as well as the iPhone.
- You will need Microsoft .NET 2 Framework for it to work (most Windows systems have this already).
- .m4p files are copy-protected, so they can't be played by unauthorized users at all. Virtually all of the .m4p files nowadays are bought from iTunes. If you want to put .m4p files on your iPod without using iTunes (and exercise your fair-use rights!), you can use Hymn to convert the files to standard .m4a iPod music format (which can then be imported by SharePod).
- A backup should be created of all the files on the iPod before the transfer is initiated. This will ensure that the files will not be lost in the event that something goes wrong.
Transfer Your Music
With those facts stated, let's begin:
- Create a folder on your computer called "iPod Music" or whatever you would like to call it. This will allow for easy access to the music files that you would like to share.
- Download SharePod. It's free and comes as a .zip file. Save the file. DO NOT choose OPEN or RUN when downloading this program!
- Plug your iPod into the USB port. If iTunes does not open automatically you will want to open it now. Click on the iPod symbol and make sure that the "Open iTunes when iPod is connected" is NOT checked. This check box can be found in the setting tab in the iTunes Window. After navigating to this screen the selection can be found under the heading “Options.” Eject and disconnect your iPod.
- Close iTunes.
- Plug your iPod back into the USB port. It will be recognized as new hardware (Mass Storage Device). Allow it to install itself as such.
- Go to "My Computer." You should see that your iPod has been recognized as a drive.
- Find the SharePod .zip file that you downloaded. Unzip it to your iPod's drive letter. To unzip the file, right click on the download and select “Extract All” from the menu. This will allow you to select the destination folder for the files. Select the drive created for your iPod and the program will extract all files to that drive. SharePod is now installed on your iPod! That is where you want it to be.
- Go to the drive letter representing your iPod. On my computer I simply navigate to “My Computer” then “Mark's iPod (F:).” Click on this drive to view the Sharepod file.
- Go to the SharePod folder and click to open it.
- Double click on the SharePod program file (icon looks like an iPod). This will open the program.
- Choose the songs you would like to transfer to your PC. To choose all of them click on the first one, scroll down and holding the SHIFT key click once on the last file.
- Choose TRANSFER TO PC from the main menu and choose to copy into the "iPod Music" folder you created earlier.
IMPORTANT: When choosing the folder you are copying to, make sure that on the same screen you choose to save files as: [Artist]-[Title]. Otherwise file names may be too long to import into another iPod.
- Click OK and the copying will begin. This can take some time depending on how much iPod music you have.
- Once the copying has finished be sure to use the EJECT IPOD button at the top of your screen before disconnecting your iPod.
Your music is now in the file "iPod Music" and on your iPod!
Now that you have done this on your own computer, you have the know-how to share your music or transfer it to another computer. There are help files and instructions for sharing music on the SharePod site. However, I ran into some problems using it the first couple of times and wrote this to help make it simple and pain-free for you.
There are a variety of programs that offer the user a way to transfer music and other media from an iPod to a personal computer. Below are a few alternatives to the SharePod software.
- Sci-Fi Hi-Fi – This program is available for free download. The program allows Mac users to transfer music from their iPod to a Mac computer. http://www.scifihifi.com/podworks/
- Copy Trans – This application is offered free of charge to all users. Copy Trans can transfer music from both iPod and iTouch to either a Macintosh or Windows computer.
Last Note: While I was writing this I successfully transferred 2556 songs from my iPod to my laptop.