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“How do I copy music from my iPod back to my computer?”

This is one of those common questions we get all the time. Typically a drive fails and the iTunes music library wasn’t properly backed up. Or maybe someone wants an easy way to copy music from a friend’s iPod. This week we’ll take a quick look at a number of tools you can use to move music and videos from your iPod back onto your computer:

» iPodRip ($20)
» TuneAid ($15)
» Backstage ($10)
» YamiPod (Free)

In researching this tip, I found dozens of utilities that do basically the same thing. This is by no means a comprehensive list. But if you need to get your music back onto your Mac or PC, read the full tip for mini-reviews of several utilities that do the trick.

Free vs. Paid

There are a mix of free and commercial software in this list. In general I found the commercial software in this list to be slightly easier to use than their free counterparts. Less technical readers who value their music might opt to pay for an easier tool. More technical readers can save a few bucks by working with tools that are less polished.

From my limited testing, TuneAid ($15) is the utility I like best out of this collection. Although, I’ll probably save the money and go with the free YamiPod should I need to recover music from an iPod in the near future.

iPodRip – $20

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iPodRip.pngLink: iPodRip

iPodRip offers an automatic recovery option that sucks everything off your iPod directly back into iTunes. Or you can choose a manual import which allows you to sort through all the music and movies on your iPod as shown above.

In my tests, iPodRip worked great. The free demo allows you to recover up to 200 songs/movies before having to pay for a full license.

TuneAid – $15

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TuneAid.pngLink: TuneAid

The TuneAid window looks a lot like iTunes. It has nice big buttons at the top of the window to “Copy to iTunes” or “Copy to Folder.” You can sort through your music by Genre, Artists, Album, or Playlists.

In my tests, TuneAid also worked great. I could not tell from the interface or the website how many songs can be recovered during the free trial mode.

Backstage – $10

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BackStage.pngLink: Backstage

Backstage also lets you easily browse your iPod library via artist and album. This is the only tool I tested that also identified categories such as TV Shows, Podcasts, and Audiobooks. Which could be a nice touch depending on your media library.

In my tests, Backstage also did the trick. As with TuneAid, I could not tell from their website or interface the limitations on the free demo version.

YamiPod – Free

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YamiPod.pngLink: YamiPod

YamiPod is a freeware application that copies music and movies from your iPod. Appropriately, YAMI stands for Yet Another iPod Manager. Unlike the commercial utilities listed above, YamiPod does not integrate with iTunes. In fact, it won’t run if iTunes is running.

YamiPod is a little less polished than it’s commercial counterparts. The download link didn’t work for me the first time I tried. But a few initial glitches aside, this tool does a fine job recovering music and movies to to a folder on your hard drive. And it’s free.

Source: This is a question we get at least once a month, and I’ve been meaning to write up a tip for recovering music from an iPod for some time. For an excellent, deeper look into this topic I recommend reading Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer – The Definitive Guide at iLounge.

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