Q. I have an extensive music collection on my iPod but I have not saved it to the iTunes music library on my computer. If my iPod should become lost, stolen or damaged, my music is gone. How can I copy music from my iPod to an external drive or to my computer as a separate file (and not to iTunes) so I can save it with my Carbonite backup program?
A. Apple originally designed music transfers to the iPod to be a one-way street back in 2001 when the device made its debut. Through the iTunes media-management program for the Mac and Windows operating systems, music files from a computer could be copied over to an iPod — but not from an iPod back to a computer. This was done in an attempt to thwart piracy and to respect copyrights (as one should do when transferring personally purchased content).
If you wish to avoid iTunes altogether and deposit the contents of your iPod into a separate folder, however, one fairly simple way to do so is through an iPod transfer utility program. More than a dozen of these programs for Windows and Mac can be found online, including CopyTrans, iExplorer and iMazing. Some programs are free, while some cost around $40 but include tech support and additional features like contacts and photo backup. You can often download limited trial versions to test out before having to haul out the credit card.
Once you select and install a transfer utility, connect your iPod so the program can see its contents and display it on the computer. From here, just select the songs — or the entire library — and point the program’s transfer destination to the folder and location of your choice. When you have everything copied to another drive, run the Carbonite program to include the music folder in the backup.
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