iTunes help, please

So I think I did a Bad Thing when I was trying to move things off the hard drive onto an external hard drive. In the process, somehow I put things where iTunes can’t see them, and I don’t remember where I got them from, so I can’t put them back.

Anyway, the question is: if I connect my ipod to my computer (sync), can I reload the songs from the iPod back onto iTunes? Or will I end up erasing everything off the iPod by doing that? If so, can I shut off the sync feature at iTunes, connect the iPod to the computer and transfer the music to a music folder on the computer instead?

Or am I truly fucked?

You’re not fucked. This happened to me when I moved my files to an external drive. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how I fixed it, but I did it with help from the “call me now” support at

I think it just might be a matter of going into Itunes and redesignating the “Library” to be the one on the external drive. What I do recall is that it was a simple process, but it did take a long time to wait for Itunes to relearn where all the individual tracks were.

Is your “Music” directory intact on your external drive? If so, see this link:

There are utilities you can download to do what you need to do.
Apple also can do that for you, for a price.
EACH has its own price, but Apple tends to be more expensive.
I’ve had to go this route after a massive hardware failure removed my PC from the world, even the HD was toast! :frowning:

Let’s say I’ve screwed the pooch on this and that it’s a total mess. Is there any way to upload what is on the iPod to the computer without losing everything?

No, I don’t think so. I think it’s a one way transfer only.

Well, there are ways using the terminal of transferring the actual music files from the iPod to your computer but you lose the titles and album structure.

There are ways to get the songs out of the iPod, if you’re not using an iPod touch. Try googling copy music from iPod or something, I’m using my phone so I can’t.

Did you delete the files from the PC and did not copy them over to the external drive? That’s the only way this could be a mess.

If you simply moved the files and know where they are (or if you don’t know where they are but can find them by searching the external drive for an “itunes” folder or for *mp3 or *acc) then follow the advice on the page UncleRojelio linked to (or on the Windows PC link on that page.)

It’s complicated. Some of this music comes from two computers ago. Somehow I ended up with a desktop folder that I named “songs”, which is full of uploaded CD music in files called things like “AACD, AACE, etc.” Somehow iTunes was able to see that (I think), but now (since I moved things around) it can’t. I’ve gone from 20 GB of music to 9GB. The program can see the records I uploaded, and some things I downloaded from iTunes, but otherwise. . .nothing. I tried copying the aforementioned folder into the computer “music/itunes” folder, but nada. I don’t listen to this music on my computer, only on the iPod; but if that ever crashes, I’m fucked. It’s an older iPod, by the way, not a touch.

Worst case, I’d have to upload all those CDs again, which would be a real time-sucker.

So long as your data is still on either one of the hard drives, you’re not screwed. If you have an Apple Store near you, make an appointment at the genius bar. They’ll help you for free.

BTW if any of the stuff on your iPod was purchased from iTunes, I believe that when you plug it in, before it synchs, it will say something like “There are purchased items on this iPod that have been deleted from iTunes. Would you like to copy them back? If not, they will be deleted permanently.”

I did find a website that may be a help. Thanks.

Waitaminit. Are you using Mac or Windows?

If you’re using a Mac, this should be simple. Just find the sound files and drag them to the Itunes app icon. Or just double click them. Either should work. They should immediately be loaded back into Itunes. You might just have to delete the non-working entries in Itunes.

But I do believe that there is a way just to redirect your library. Don’t give up on that yet. As I said, this happened to me when I moved my data, and I had about 10,000 tracks at the time. It was all solved fairly simply.


Did you move the entirety of your iTunes folder as a single unit, including all of the iTunes Library files inside of it? If so, start iTunes while holding down the Shift key (Mac users hold the Option key). iTunes will present you with the Choose iTunes Library dialog. Use the Choose Library button and browse to the location of the folder with the iTunes Library file.

I’ll give it a try. One big plus: I just remembered that I copied all of my uploaded CD music tracks to DVDs three years ago. They won’t include any recent purchases or downloads, but the bulk of my stuff is from my own music. I can reload them onto the new computer’s iTune library. That just leaves the downloads and other orphans to deal with.

I wouldn’t attempt transfering songs from your ipod back to your computer. That’s a giant waste of time since you already have the files. If it were me, I’d uninstall iTunes, reinstall, then just direct iTunes to the external harddrive to populate your music library.

Do you know where your files are?
(search for .mp3 files or whatever format they are)

If you have found them you can drag 'n drop them into itunes.

If the files are truly lost you can get them of your ipod but you’ll prolly need to be a little more of a hacker than I think you are comfortable with. However there are excellent guides to be found.

Nothing in this process should cost money!

It sounds like you don’t have the “Copy files to iTune Media folder when adding to library” option on. I do which means that all my library songs are in the iTunes Music folder so I don’t have the problem you’ve got. I’d recommend you turn it on before you reload your songs.

As an aside, you can still lose your library, by moving the folder without telling iTunes what you’ve done, but it is easy to fix that with the iTunes preferences, Advanced settings, iTunes Media folder location, which is the same tab as the other option, above , is.

To reload the songs, use Add Folder to Library from the File menu. Browse to where your songs are and click OK. All your songs should be added back to the library, and also copied into the iTunes Music folder. You may have to check for duplicates using the File, Display duplicates command, but you will have your songs back without having to try loading from your iPod.

And if you do it this way, you can then delete the other music folder. iTunes has its own copies of the songs.

I’m getting there, after a few false starts. I’ve given up on getting things sorted out on the old computer and am loading everything off the DVDs and off a thumb drive onto the new computer, and into the proper directory. Pain in the arse, but it’s working. Next issue: how to get my Outlook files (address book) onto the new Outlook program on the new computer. Think I’ll go online to Microsoft for help with that one.