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Tip #10: Move Music from Your iPod Back to Your PC

Apple lets you easily copy music from your computer to your iPod. But it doesn't let you copy files in the other direction—from your iPod back to your PC. So what do you do when you want to restore files that you've accidentally deleted from your computer's hard disk, or copy iPod music files to a different computer?

Unfortunately, you can't use the method discussed in Tip #9 to move your music files, because your iPod automatically configures these as "hidden" files that don't normally appear in Windows Explorer or My Computer. What you need is a third-party utility that sees these hidden files and lets you see them, too. These iPod file management programs not only display all the hidden files on your iPod, they also decode your iPod's database information so that you know which albums, songs, and playlists you're looking at.

You can use an iPod file management program to copy individual music tracks from your iPod to any computer on which the program is installed. You can also use these programs to copy files to your iPod, or to delete files that are already stored on your iPod.

Where can you find an iPod file management program? There are lots of them out there, including the following:

Some of these programs are freeware, some are shareware, and some have to be purchased outright. But whatever the price, it's worth it for gaining control of the files stored on your iPod.

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