Apple's iTunes software makes it dead simple to copy music on to your iPod, but when it comes to moving files in the opposite direction -- from the iPod to your computer -- there's no obvious solution. We get emails on this topic every so often, usually from someone who's had his laptop stolen or watched helplessly as his hard drive crashed. After an incident like that, it can be a relief to know your music collection (or at least part of it) is backed up on an iPod.
Of course, relief can quickly turn to frustration when you plug that iPod into a new computer and can't figure out how to grab those files. Worse yet, iTunes will sometimes prompt you to erase the iPod if it's not recognised. Saying yes will only end in tears.
To be fair, iTunes isn't completely useless when it comes to pulling media off your iPod. Under the iTunes File menu, there's an option for 'Transfer Purchases From iPod' that will work to pull any content purchased through the iTunes Store back to your computer. It's a useful place to start, but to get the rest of your content off your iPod, you'll need to download some additional software.
There are two very handy applications out there that will transfer the rest of your music, videos, playlists and metadata off your iPod and back to your computer. In truth, there are dozens of programs that can accomplish the same thing, but for the sake of simplicity, we'll stick with these two since they're easy to use, and work with all models of iPods and iPhones. Click continue to find out more.