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Learn how to transfer music from an iPod to a computer

A man with iPod in his hand and using a laptop. We show you how to transfer music from an iPod to the computer. Alejandro Escamilla / Unsplash

Do you still have an old iPod, iPod Touch or other iOS device with songs that you would like to have on your desktop? Although it may sound simple, it is not always the case, especially if you want to combine old-fashioned tracks with your most recent collection. But we have the answer you are looking for. We will show you how to transfer music from an iPod to the computer, regardless of whether you have a PC or a Mac.

Preparation: Verify your computer and connect your Apple device

Table with an iPad, headphones and sound system. We show you how to transfer music from an ipod to the computer

Take a minute to verify all your software and prepare your songs. On a computer, you should install iTunes; On a Mac with MacOS Catalina or later you use Apple Music. Make sure you have the latest updates (at least, this will facilitate the next steps). If possible, make sure your mobile device is also up to date. For older iPod models and iPod Touch devices, the updates stopped some time ago, so you won't have to worry about that.

When you're ready, connect your Apple device to the computer. A standard USB port should work well for this purpose. Some reports indicate that certain USB 3.0 ports do not work well with older iPods, so if you have this problem, you can try connecting it to one that is USB 2.0.

When you connect your Apple device, some indications to synchronize and enable certain functions are likely to appear. You must deny all permissions. The reason? You don't like iTunes making decisions on its own, especially when it comes to deleting your song library.

Option 1: use the sync library

Apple Music screen

iCloud continues to receive more features and a useful feature that Apple includes is the ability to manage your music through the Apple Music Mobile cloud service. The great advantage of this method is that it is easy: you probably have all the downloads you need and moving songs can be a largely automatic process.

IPod setup screenThe disadvantage is that this method only applies to newer Apple devices with Apple Music. If you have an old iPod (like a model prior to iPod Touch), then iCloud probably won't be able to help you. In this case, review our second option.

If you have a newer model, you must follow the steps below. Keep in mind that it is not necessary that your device is plugged into your computer for this process, so it works even if you cannot connect it.

Step 1: If you subscribe to Apple Music, Sync Library is the default option. This aligns all your music on any device on which you have logged in. If at any time you disabled it, you can re-enable it with the following steps: in the configuration application of your iPod, go to the Music section and activate the Sync library; on your Mac, open the music application, then click on Music> Preferences and act it in the pestaa general. If you don't subscribe to Apple Music, you don't see these options.

Option 2: restore past purchases

ITunes screen retrieve past purchases

Step 1: If you do not have an Apple Music subscription or want to access the music you purchased from the iTunes Store, you can download previous purchases on your computer or Mac again. The process is the same on both platforms: in your iTunes or Apple Music desktop application click on Account> Purchased. This will open a window with all the songs you have purchased.

Step 2: in the new window, at the top, you see an option to select songs called Not in my library. Choose this option to see all the songs that are not currently on your device.

ITunes screen selecting songs

Step 3: Download all available albums by selecting the cloud icon in the upper right corner of the album. Keep in mind that this will occupy some bandwidth, so a good connection is suggested. Once the downloads are complete, those songs will now be in the music library of your device.

Note: As you probably noticed, this method only works with songs purchased with your iTunes account. If they were acquired with another account, you need to change your user. It is less common for an Apple device to have songs that were not downloaded from an iTunes account, but it can happen. In this case, you should try option 3. You can also get refunds for iTunes purchases, where applicable.

Option 3: use iMazing

IMazing screen

There are several applications available to help manage music between Apple devices and iTunes. Our favorite is iMazing, which manages all types of media, including songs. It is compatible with Mac and PC, and you can even use it instead of iTunes or Apple Music. These are the steps you must follow:

Step 1: Navigate to this page and download the free version of iMazing. The paid version costs $ 40 dollars and includes updates along with additional features, but if you don't plan on using iMazing as your music library (something to consider), it probably isn't necessary.

Step 2: Open iMazing: The interface will be familiar if you frequently use iTunes or Apple Music. iMazing should automatically identify your iPod or other Apple device connected to your computer and display your name in the menu on the left sidebar. If not, disconnect and plug in your iPod again.

IMazing screen recognizing iPod

Step 3: Select your device from the sidebar. This should identify the content of the device in a drop-down menu. Choose Music of that menu

Step 4: At the bottom of the iMazing window, you can see several icons for the actions related to iTunes that you can take. Select the option that says Export to iTunes.

IMazing screen recognizing songs

Step 5: Now a new window must be opened that allows you to complete some of the details. You can choose to export your entire library or just the music (select the option to only music it's a good idea if you have other content on the device). You can also choose to export to a different folder or directly to iTunes. Choose iTunes if it's the only music library you use and select Next. You can also determine what data of your songs you want to export. Unless you have little space, you can leave all the data selected. However, if you want to save some storage and increase the transfer speed, you don't need that information.