The Unspeakable Act: iPod-to-Computer Copying

The iPod was designed to be the destination of a one-way trip for your tunes: music slides down the cable to the iPod, but songs on the player never make the trip back to the Mac or PC.

This design was perfectly intentional on the part of its creators. As noted earlier, Apple’s position appears on a sticker on every iPod: “Don’t steal music.” If the iPod let you copy music both ways, people might be tempted to turn the device into a pocket music-sharing service, capable of copying free copyrighted songs from computer to computer.

The truth is, though, that not everyone who wants to upload songs from the iPod to a computer is stealing music. You may perfectly have legitimate reasons for wanting to be able to do so.

For example, say your computer’s hard drive self-destructs, vaporizing the 945 MP3 files that you’ve made from your paid-for CD collection. You legally own those copies. Shouldn’t you have the right to retrieve them from your own iPod?

Most people would answer “yes.” Some might even thump their fists on the table for emphasis.

And then they would clear their throats and ask, “Well, how can I do it, should I ever need to copy files off my iPod?”


Once again, the following methods are printed here not to encourage you to steal music, but instead to help you back up and manage the songs that you already own.

The Hidden World of the iPod

Turning the iPod into a FireWire hard drive (Chapter 11) lets you copy everyday computer files ...

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