Useful software for Apple iPod, iTunes (copy iPod contents to computer, multiple iTunes libraries)

“This week, Apple Computer announced that it sold a staggering 14 million iPod music players over the recently ended holiday quarter — more than 100 every minute. But as popular and well-designed as the iPod is, it’s not perfect. There are a couple of aspects of the way it works, or doesn’t work, that are becoming increasingly annoying as people acquire both more iPods and more computers,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“First, you cannot use an iPod, out of the box, to copy your music collection to multiple computers you may own. Millions of iPod owners have more than one computer, and it’s perfectly legal to copy the music you own to more than one computer. But the iPod won’t help you do this,” Mossberg reports. “Second, in families with multiple iPods sharing a single computer, the iPod’s companion software, iTunes, doesn’t allow you to have multiple music libraries. With multiple libraries, each user could see only his or her own music, and could synchronize his or her iPod with that personal music library.”

Mossberg reports, “Apple is aware of these shortcomings, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it solve the second one, multiple libraries, this year. But the first, the inability to use the iPod to copy music to multiple computers, is tougher. Apple was forced to cripple the iPod in this manner at the insistence of the record labels, which feared that it might be used to copy music too widely. So a fix probably requires negotiations with the labels, whose obsession with piracy has caused them to treat their own customers like criminals. Luckily, there are solutions to both problems available today, through third-party software or workarounds. Here’s a guide to those solutions.”

Full article here.

Links to products mentioned in case the article become unavailable:
iPod to personal computer:
CopyPod (Windows):
PodWorks (Mac):
PodUtil (Mac and Windows):

Here’s another one Mossberg doesn’t mention:
iPodRip (Mac):

Create multiple iTunes libraries:
Libra (Mac and Windows):

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  1. *Crying* Mossberg, I love you.

    Except I already know of all those solutions. But still *Hung* You da man!

    MDN Magic Word: “Large” as in “Come here and I’ll give you a large hug”

  2. What’s the big problem…

    I have a PowerBook and a PowerMac and I have all my iPod music on each computer. Easy…I use the PowerBook with the iPod and down load Music on the PowerMac…with my wireless connection from the PowerBook to the PowerMac I see all my music in iTunes. I simply drag what I want to my PowerMac iTunes Library. You can have 20 computers on your wireless system and bring all your Music to each one. EASY

  3. has this guy never heard of multiple accounts??? u can have ur own music collection if u log into ur account in os x or xp… some people need help. and number 2… u can put the songs on the ipod using it as an external HD (mp3 files) and pass it from computer to computer…

  4. You can also change the location of the music library so that each user account points to one music library. Move the library first to a shared folder, then go to iTunes Preferences->Advanced->General, then change location. Moss, my brother, you should know this.

  5. I didn’t have any problems copying songs from the ipod, just navigate to it in a terminal and copy the contents to you harddrive, assuming you want to copy all the songs this works well

  6. You can also set up a playlist for each person, and set iTunes for “manual” transferring (Preferences menu > iPod). This also prevents multiple copies of the same song on one computer if hard drive space is limited.

    I also agree about having User Switching. It is the best solution. With people sharing iTunes it is very likely that they are sharing the computer. This will be even larger issue when they start creating their own websites, blogs and podcasts with iLife. They will want to have their own desktop and folders. It is much better to have your own bedroom than to share one with others, regardless how little you are in there.

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