Selling a used iPod

I have an iPod that I don’t really use any more so I’m considering unloading it on Ebay.

My question relates to the fact that it is loaded with 10,000+ songs.

Is it illegal to sell it with music included? If so, is the music accessible to the purchaser?

Also, I imagine I might have some personal data stored on the device (not sure if I’ve ever inputted any, but I may have). How do I wipe the drive clean to ensure I’m not giving away any sensitive info?


Your answer depends upon which generation of iPod you have, Google “reset ipod to factory defaults” and find your generation’s version there. Resetting will wipe all songs and settings, including your info, from the device.

Not a lawyer, but yes, I imagine selling copies of all the tunes would in fact be a copyright violation. And yes you must delete them. If you make them inaccessible to the buyer without deleting them, you won’t leave them much room on the drive to load their own music.

I have a 5th generation iPod. I have cleared it before and it was not particularly difficult, though I don’t recall the details. I found the instructions without much problem through the iTunes Store.

There is software available to transfer songs on iPods to a music library, so a buyer could have access to your music.

I don’t recall seeing any listings on eBay for “loaded” iPods.

Since this involves legal issues, let’s move it to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

To really legally do it, you’d probably have to transfer your license for listening to that music to the buyer. That would be very difficult, if not impossible, to do for 10,000+ songs.

Copyright law hasn’t really caught up to digital first-sale:

Maybe if you contacted the rightsholders, destroyed any other copies you might have and never downloaded them again, and transferred the licenses/accounts to them… but really, it’s not worth the hassle. Just wipe your iPod. They probably would anyway. Anybody who wants music can Spotify or pirate their own stuff and don’t need yours.

I seem to remember a time when people would try to sell preloaded ipods with recorded music on them on eBay - usually stuff you couldn’t get on iTunes like the Beatles or Garth Brooks.

A quick search of eBay for “loaded iPod” shows 4 current listings.

Many years ago FtGKid2 gave me for Xmas 2 non-working iPods gotten off eBay. I love to fix things. Got them both working. Anyhoo

One, my current-ish 20GB one, came with quite a few songs on it. Didn’t save any of them. Very few were ones I wanted and I’d get my own versions of the ones I did want. I don’t remember the other one having much.

It’s not all that easy in many cases to erase the songs from a less functional device, so what is the seller supposed to do?