1. Enable your iPod to act as a disk drive.
To do this plug your iPod into your computer and open iTunes. To enable this method, right click on your iPod icon that is in the left hand column and select iPod options. Once this has been selected you should have a screen that has 2 sets of tabs. The first (top) tab should be set to iPod. The inner (middle) tab should be set on music. If you look on that screen there is a empty box that says ENABLE DISK USE. Click the box and click ok. Once this has been completed we can now close iTunes, (or leave it open). Now go to ‘My Computer’, and see if your iPod is being recognized as a disk drive. Your iPod should fall inline after any extra hardrives or CDroms and should read ‘Removable Disk’. If your iPod is showing up, great! You have completed step 1.
2. Enable Hidden Files
This next step requires us to actully see what is on the iPod through windows explorer. Double click on your iPod icon. Once it’s opened, go to Tools > Folder Options and click the View tab. You’ll see a bunch of different options for the way Windows displays files. In the Hidden files and folders section, select “Show hidden files and folders”, then click OK. Then close that window. Now we are able to view hidden files. If you would like to change your settings back, follow the same steps except choose: Do Not show hidden files and file folders.
3. Now we are ready to go find our music on our iPod.
After hidden files are visible, you should see a new folder in your iPod. The folder name is Ipod_Control, and should look greyed out. Note: All hidden folders are greyed out, in order to distinguish hidden files from non-hidden files. Enter the Ipod_Control folder and click on the Music folder. Here you should see a bunch of folders that have F00, F01, F02, etc… Each folder contains about 50-70 songs. If you click on one of the folders you can open it and see that your music is there. The only problem with this music is that it is all renamed to random letters and numbers which I will get back to. If you want to back up your whole iPod, which is recommended if you have the diskspace. The last step we need to do is unhide the Music folder and subfolders that the music on the iPod is in. First go to your iPod as a hard drive, Open iPod_control, and you should see 3 folders greyed out. If you do not see iPod control see step 2. Click on the music folder and right click it and select properties. There should be a section that says attributes. Uncheck the hidden box and click apply. It will then ask you how you want to apply these changes. Select the “apply changes to selected subfolders and files” and click ok. Now your files should be visible for itunes to see them.
This step is by far the easiest. First open itunes. If you would like to make sure only files from your iPod are backed-up/moved than take everything out of your iTunes library. You do not have to delete the files. Keep them but move them out of your iTunes Library. IMPORTANT It might also be a good idea to have your iPod manually update for now, so you do not lose your entire music collection. To do this click on Edit tab, and click preferences. Choose iPod and first tab, Music. On the third selection you can tell your iPod to manually update, meaning you drag and drop things you want on it(you can always change this later). Now we are ready. Next choose file from top menu, and add folder to library… Now browse to the iPod that is acting as a hard drive, click and open iPod control, and you should see a music folder now. When music is blue select ok, and watch all your songs from your iPod be imported into iTunes. Now that these files are in iTunes you see that the funny letters and numbers for each song do not show up anymore. Now we have our songs in the library and the actual song files are still on the iPod. If you were to disconnect your iPod the songs would not play in iTunes. To copy all songs in your iTunes library to your computer we will use the consolidate feature, which will bring all songs from your iPod to your My music/iTunes/iTunes Music/ folder and sort the artists into folders nice and neat. Beware: This will take a little while to do so you may want to do it when you do not need your computer for a while.
Now wait and you'll have all of your music backed up or restored to your harddrive!