A reader points out a straightforward way for Windows users to transfer music from an iPod to your hard drive, without extra software:
1. Connect the iPod to your PC. If iTunes starts syncing (ie erasing) your music automatically, hit the X in the upper right hand corner of iTunes display, to the left of the search box, to stop it.
2. In Control Panel, Portable Media Devices, double-click your iPod.
3. Navigate to the Music folder.
4. Select all the music folders, and drag and drop them into a folder on your hard drive, or directly into iTunes.
And you’re done! The iPod music folder structure is strange and inexplicable, but once you move your files into iTunes you can set it to automatically organize your folder by artist and album to clean that up. (To do this, in iTunes Edit menu, choose Preferences and in the Advanced tab, check “Keep iTunes Music Folder organized.”)
If you give this a go, lemme know how it goes. I’ll ammend the instructions with any additional info for other versions of Windows and iPods.
Just for the record, I did not write this article, but I would have known how to do this. But one thing I ahve noticed is that you do not need to go into the control panel. Instead just make explorer.exe show hidden folders. Then, navigate into the iPod directory, go into iPod_control, and follow step four of the article. Software