Getting the music off your iPod

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I will preface this by saying that the purpose of this is NOT to pirate music!! I DO NOT condone such behaviour!

I have often wanted to restore my music from my iPod after I have blown away the OS. Yes I know there are a number of very good third party apps that will do this for you. In fact, if you're a Unix newb, by all means use one (iRip is excellent). But if all you want to do is copy all the music off your iPod, onto your Mac, here's how to do it!

1. Plug in your iPod.

2. Fire up either the Terminal or X11 apps.

3. From the command line, copy all the music off the iPod

 cp -r /Volumes/My\ iPod/iPod_Control/Music ~/Desktop/

Once this is completed, there will be a hidden directory on your Desktop called Music, i.e. you won't be able to see it there! If you do an ls -la on the command line, you'll get:

 bash-3.2$ ls -la ~/Desktop/
 total 2167792
 drwx------@ 10 peter  staff        340 Oct 14 11:04 .
 drwxr-xr-x+ 18 peter  staff        612 Oct 14 10:32 ..
 drwxr-xr-x@ 32 peter  staff       1088 Oct 14 11:26 Music

The @ at the end of the directory permissions is an extended attribute that is hiding the directory and for that matter all the directories in it.

4. On the command line, use the xattr command to remove the extended attribute recursively.

 xattr -dr  Music/

Now the Music directory should appear on the Desktop.

5. In iTunes, go to the File menu and choose Add to Library.... Choose the Music directory on the Dekstop and click Open.

iTunes will now import all your music from the iPod and organise it for you!

6. Clean up! Delete the Music directory and it's contents on your Desktop, as you now have two copies of your music.