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save audio collection from Apple, move collection off iPod into a form useable elsewhere
post Oct 23 2011, 10:12
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Is there any software that can rescue audio material on an iPod from Apple? Start with a largish collection of audiobooks (about 35GB) that has been put on the iPod gradually, via iTunes, without much thought to a non-apple future. More that a few of these books have hundreds of individual files. Probably none are DRM entangled. All are mp3 format. As far as I know at the moment, there is nothing wrong with the iPod data, except that it is only usefull if one wants iPod.

The goal is to move this material onto a computer, then onto a non-apple player, in a form controllable by the user, not based on some database that is not directly accessible and changeable as desired.

It is easy to directly offload everything onto a computer hard disk, but not easy to tell what one has. What reading I've done considered ways to get iTunes and the iPod into harmony, whether to recover from hardware failures or to just make the computer database and the iPod material fully agree with each other. There was no consideration of getting it away from iTunes and iPod.

Of course the ideal thing would have been to keep a pre-iTunes backup of everything so the difficulty would never arise, but hindsight is so easy and so non-functional.
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andy o
post Oct 24 2011, 04:28
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You can just copy the 50 folders into one folder, iTunes will look into all the files in there and organize them according to their tags (by artist/album if music). By "open a clean iTunes library" I mean start an empty library so everything's neater and you don't end up with stuff you don't need, accidentally. If you don't have iTunes installed yet, then you're all set, just install it. If you already have it, from what I see it doesn't make it one-click easy to create another library for the same user, but you can just create another Windows user if that's a problem.

As I put it above, iTunes would copy (duplicate) the data into its own folder, only it will be now ordered. If you don't wanna do that, you can uncheck "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library", but instead copy all those 50 folders into the folder you have set to be your iTunes media folder (available in iTunes advanced preferences). When you add that folder to the library in iTunes, everything will be renamed and reordered.

You still have time to check everything is OK in iTunes itself, so it won't just "fail", you can fix whatever's wrong right there, and as the option says, iTunes will keep that folder organized.
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