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iPod Q&A - Revised October 5, 2008

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How can I transfer or copy music from my computer to my iPod?

In the official company FAQ, Apple explains that:

iPod offers three ways to transfer music from your computer. You can select one of the following update modes from the iPod Preferences menu in iTunes:

1. Automatically update all songs and playlists. This is the default mode, in which your entire music library, including playlists, is automatically synched to your iPod. If the music library on your computer exceeds the iPod storage capacity, iTunes will offer to choose a selection of songs to sync to iPod.

2. Automatically update selected playlists. With this option, iTunes automatically copies only the playlists you have selected to iPod when you connect it to the computer. This option can be selected by accessing the Music tab of the iPod settings.

3. Manually manage music. You can also choose to transfer music to iPod manually. This allows you to drag and drop individual songs and playlists from iTunes to iPod. You can find this option by accessing the Summary tab of the iPod settings.

If the number of songs on your computer exceeds the capacity of the iPod, Apple's "AutoFill" feature within iTunes will select the number of songs, audiobooks, and podcasts that fit on the iPod as directed by the user or at random.

You can also configure your iPod to appear as a hard drive on the desktop -- with the exception of the iPod touch models (although third-party software is available) -- and manually drag files of any type to the iPod. Music files copied to the iPod in this way won't play on the iPod, without first copying them to a computer and importing them into iTunes, but this is useful for backing up or transporting any type of file. Please refer to "Using Your iPod as a Storage Drive" and "Putting iPod Into Disk Mode" from the Apple Support Site for more information.

Also see: How can I transfer or copy music from my iPod to my computer?

How can I transfer music or files between computers using the iPod? How can I move my iTunes music from my old computer to my new one using the iPod?

To transfer music or files between computers, you will need to use your iPod as a hard disk (please note that the iPod touch models officially do not support disk mode, although third-party software is available). In disk mode, you can effectively drag any file to the iPod, disconnect the iPod, connect it to another computer, and drag the file from the iPod to the second computer.

Please refer to "Using Your iPod as a Storage Disk" from the Apple Support Site for detailed instructions on how to copy legally acquired music from one computer to another using the iPod. For moving music to a new computer specifically, please refer to "Moving Music to a New Computer".

Also see:

  • How can I transfer or copy music from my iPod to my computer?
  • How can I transfer or copy music from my computer to my iPod?
  • Can I directly connect two iPods to each other and transfer music?



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