I spent a good chunk of time this weekend figuring out how to transfer files from an iTouch to a new laptop. The original library was on an old computer and I wanted an easy way to transfer the files from the iTouch to the new laptop. Considering how easy most Apple products are to use it’s surprising that there is nothing easy about transferring your files from an iPod to another computer. Yes there is the quick transfer purchases option, but unless you bought every song from the iTunes store it’s a pretty useless feature. Many of us have invested a lot of time ripping our old CD collections or heaven forbid may have bought our mp3 music elsewhere. Why is it so hard to transfer YOUR music? The apple method requires burning CDs, DVDs or transferring the entire hard drive over. Maybe the record labels play into this, who knows, but it’s damn inconvenient. The locks on transferring files are obviously artificial since an iPod is a simple USB storage device.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to transferring your files. There are free solutions, paid solutions, and solutions that require hacking or jailbreaking the device. Some of the methods only work on certain firmware versions, and some of the paid transfer applications have limitations on the shareware versions. After much digging around and several failed attempts I finally found a program that will work on the newest iTouch firmware as of this writing and I also quickly tested it out on my iPhone. It’s called SharePod, a really polished little app that is completely free. This nifty little program recognized the iTouch in seconds and allowed me to copy all the mp3s on the device over to the laptop. I did have problems with some video files, but that may have been my mistake, I’m not sure, but I recommend testing out your files after copying them off your device onto a new computer before resyncing your iPod.
Basically SharePod lists all the albums you have and lets you select each file you want or all of them. The great thing about SharePod is that it seems to be updated on a regular basis to support the new releases. When testing it out on my iPhone it did say not all features were currently supported on my version of the phone, but I could still transfer files from the iPhone to my computer, which is really all I need. It’s nice to know that the developer is keeping this app up to date and I really hope they continue to do so.
So if you have a massive collection to transfer over to a new computer, or even just a few songs, try out SharePod, it’s the best solution I have found for something that I think should be basic functionality built into iTunes. You can see screenshots of this great little app on the SharePod site too.