How to copy music/movies/podcasts off your iPod Touch or iPhone and back to your HDD

In this guide we will go over how to move your music/movies/podcasts back from your iPod Touch or iPhone/iPhone 3G using the excellent shareware program iPod Access. Unfortunately for Touch and iPhone users, there are no free alternatives but iPod Access is only $20 USD and can be a good investment. For this guide I will be using the Windows version, but there is a Mac OSX version available as well that works exactly the same. Also to note, for this guide I used an iPod Touch with firmware 1.1.4.


This guide does not require much of you, all you will need is your iPod Touch/iPhone and iPod Access version 4.2 or higher (anything lower will not work).

iPod Access- iPod Access is a shareware program that allows for the copying of music, videos, podcasts and playlists from your iPod/iPhone back to your Mac or Windows PC. It does so very quickly and efficiently and is the only program that I know of that supports the iPod Touch/iPhone. Older hard drive based iPods are much easier (and free), and we will be releasing a guide on those very soon.

iPhone/iPhone 3G- You can find information about the iPhone/iPhone 3G in our hardware section, including price comparisons for potential buyers.

iPod Touch- You can find information about the iPod Touch in our hardware section, including price comparisons for potential buyers.

Getting Started

Install iPod Access and make sure that iTunes is closed. Connect your iPod/iPhone and if iTunes opens again make sure it is closed and that your device is not syncing. Then open iPod Access. On first launch, the program will ask you if you want to set your device to Manual and you will want to set Yes for this. By changing the settings to manual you make sure that you will not lose your music when iTunes opens. If you would rather disable auto-syncing manually open iTunes without your device connected, head to Preferences and to Syncing. Under Syncing hit Disable automatic syncing for all iPhones and iPods and finally hit OK.

At this point, the program will find your device and with it all playlists, music, videos and podcasts you have on there.

If you scroll down through your library you can see the program will have found your videos as well, saved as MP4 video files and most likely with "Unnamed artist" and "unnamed album".

Copying the content to your PC

Complete Backup

From here you have two options for what you want to do, you can either backup the entire iPod to your PC or you can pick and choose what you want and copy them back. The first option I will go over is completely backing up your content (this does not include playlists, but I will go over that later).

With iPod Access opened and your device connected and read, hit Backup from the interface and you will be asked where you want to save the files to.

I created a new folder on the Desktop entitled New Folder but you would do well to name it something better. After you've chosen the folder hit Ok and the program will start copying all your content back to the folder you chose. The time it takes really depends on your computer specs and the amount of content but it should not take more than 30 minutes unless you have a 32GB Touch completely filled and are using an older PC.

Manual Copying

The other option is to manually choose what music/video etc you want to copy back and that is equally as easy as backing up all the content. Highlight the content you want to copy back (use Ctrl+ click to select multiple) and then hit the Copy button from the interface and select the folder where you want to save the files from. Once again, depending on how much content you selected and the speed of your PC, this could take a little bit of time.

Once it is done you can check to make sure all your content was copied successfully by heading over to the folder you saved it in and checking the properties. As you can tell from my example, all the content was successfully copied to the folder destination of my choice and is now back on the PC.

Cloning playlists to iTunes

If you have iTunes installed on the computer, then iPod Access gives you a way to clone the playlists you have on your device to iTunes. With IA open and the device plugged in, check the right side of the screen where it says Playlists. If you want to clone all the playlists available (my example has 6) simply hit Clone All and the program will locate iTunes and clone the playlists. If you only want to move a couple, just select each one individually and hit Clone and the program will do the same process.

Finishing Up

There is one last thing to do before we close the guide and that is properly ejecting your device from the system as to not cause any possible corruption or damage. iPod Access makes it simple, hit the Eject button on the interface and your done. :)

We hope this guide has been informative and uf you have any questions or problems, please visit our Discussion Forums and post them there.

Version History

v1.0 -- First Version Published-- by DVDBack23 (21/09/2008)

Written by: Andre Yoskowitz