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Restore music and video from iPod: the iPod_Control\Music folder

Posted by jpluimers on 2015/10/09

When you’re not a frequent iTunes user, and recycle computer systems, then every once in a while you will get you in to a situation where you have Music on your iPod, but not on your PC any more.

Whereas iTunes is great at putting music on an iPod, it cannot get it back.

There are numerous paid tools to get the music from your iPod, but doing it manually is not that hard. Below are a few links to get you started, but they all come down to this:

  1. Your iPod has a hidden folder called iPod_Control in the root
  2. Inside the iPod_Control folder is a folder called Music
  3. Inside the Music folder, there are folders named with letters and numbers like F00
  4. Each numbered folder has media (music, video or even photos!) files with a strangely encoded name like B00N.mp3 or 3DUN.m4v with supported media extensions including mp3 m4a m4p jpg gif tif m4v mov.
  5. The media files contain meta data with song, artist, album, etc.

The steps to copy them back

  1. Do not erase your iPod when opening it in iTunes!
  2. Ensure you can mount your iPod as a disk (the “enable disk use” option in iTunes)
  3. Mount your iPod as a disk in Mac or PC
  4. Ensure you can view the hidden files
  5. Copy the Music folder including all subfolders to your Mac or PC
  6. Unhide the Music folder and all Music and Music/F* folders inside it using this chflags trick from Unhiding Unix Directories | Apple Support Communities:
    1. chflags nohidden Music
    2. chflags nohidden Music/F*
  7. Add these to your iTunes library and have iTunes re-generate the correct filenames from the meta-data

Some links explaining this in more detail:

–jeroen

2 Responses to “Restore music and video from iPod: the iPod_Control\Music folder”

  1. Or use FooBar2000 to manage your iPod without iTunes :) 

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