Ultimate Guide to Backing Up and Exporting iTunes, iPod/iPhone Music Library

We are surrounded by apple products such as iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone and they have became a vital part of our daily life. Our music library is our precious collection. Losing your music collection would be very awful. In this post, we will show you some very useful free applications that you can use to back up or sync your music to an external hard drive and export/import single or multiple from an iPod to PC and vice versa.

Backing Up/Syncing Your iTunes library to an External Hard drive

Every ones music collection is very personal and dear to them. Backing up your music collection is very important. You took all this time to collect them. You do not want to lose them because of computer crash. iTunes comes with a backup library options which can be accessed from File > Library , but seriously how many people use DVD’s or CD’s to backup their music. These days external hard drives are very cheap so people usually saving their files on them . Let’s see how we can back up without using any software first.

This step involves going to iTunes library location and changing it , as lifehacker mentions.  Connect your external hard drive.Go to  iTunes  >Preferences > Advanced Tab (mac) or Edit>Preference (windows) ,  Change your music locations to your external hard drive location and make sure to check “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” and “Keep iTunes Music folder organized“.

After that go to File > Library > Orgazine Library > Consolidate Files . What this step does , copies the music from your hard drive to the external hard drive. Since you checked to keep you music organized it will copy your music by titles, name and more. After your files are copied you can delete your old music library . Remember, every time you want to play music or sync your iPod/iPhone music the external hard drive  must be connected .

Now let’s say you are a “playlist person”, which mean rather than organizing  your music as album or artist you keep your music it into playlist folder (like I do). So how do you backup your music in that format? Check out the following  free applications to backup your iTunes library.

iTunesFS (Mac)

iTunesFS makes your music library visible as if you are browsing a disk drive. You can browse and copy by playlist, artist, albums. Just copy paste your music folders to your external hard drive and your music library is backed up!

iExporter (Windows)

Export your iTunes playlist with the music files. You can export by one playist or all of them and artist as well.

iTunesExport (Windows/Mac)

This  an adobe air based application , which lest you copy you single or your entire playlist  to specialized location. If you want export your music with the m3u(iTunes playlist format) make sure you select “Copy Per Playlist“. Let me explain these options:

Don’t Copy Music : Will not copy your music, just the m3u playlist file.

Copy Per Playlist : Copies the music to a new folder with the name of the playlist.

Copy iTunes Structure : Copies music as it is organized in iTunes Folder such as Artist > Album.

Flatten : Just copies the music file on the same folder or directory .

iPlaylist Copier (Windows/Mac)

Another very useful java based application that lets you copy your iTunes playlist. The useful feature about this application is you can actually specify what format you want music to named when they are copied. You can name by Track name- Artist, Artist- Album and many more format.

All of  this three  applications are very helpful for backing up/sharing a specified playlist or entire iTunes library.

If you have multiple iTunes library check out iTunes Library Manager (mac only).

Copying/ Backing up Music from iPod/ iPod Touch/ iPhone

Now, lets say some how your computer crashed or you are at your friends house. You want to maybe backup your entire music library from your iPod/iPod Touch or iPhone. Let’s see some application you can use to achieve this.

YamiPod (iPod Only) (Window/Mac)

An useful cross platform iTunes alternative application that lets you copy music from your iPod to your computer or vice versa. Keep in mind this one does not work on iPod Touch or iPhone.

E-Z soft iPod To PC Transfer (Windows)

Transfer your video, audio from your iPod to your PC easily. It also supports iPod Touch and iPhone. You can also export by playlist as well.

SharePod (Windows)

This application has a lot of features. Allowing coping both ways, export, import playlist. Also works of iPod Touch and iPhone.

iPhone- Explorer (Mac)

Drap and drop music files, photos from your iPhone or iPod Touch to your mac easily. Great tool for backing up you music, photo and more.

iPhoneDisk (Mac)

Mount your iPhone (only) as a disk to browse, copy your files.

iPhoneBrowser (Windows)

Same as iPhoneDisk but with more functionality.

Honorable Mentions

So, there  you have it, all the way you can backup you iTunes music library and iPod/iPhone’s music. If there is something we missed in the feel free to share it in the comment.


Author:

Kawsar Ali is a web designer who also likes blogging. In his spare time he walks around with a Nikon D5100 hunting for good textures.


  • Amrit

    Hi, Can you plz tell me a way to copy the music files from ipod touch backup from itunes on win 7? Or simply how to extract itunes backup files

  • Gotdope

    Thanks!!!!! you’ve made my day with Itunes FS :-) it goes perfect with Itunes mach and save me hours relocating tracks since I’m a folder addicted!

  • Mary

    Hi, isn’t there an easier way to export an entire iTunes library to an external drive? Have been searching desperately :/

  • BigMonte

    What about Pod to Mac? how does that rate?

  • max

    hi,

    would you know hot to just sync the song ratings in itunes from the ones stored in the ipod ?

  • http://www.techowned.com/ Dave

    It may look a little complicated but once you get onto it you will see that it is as easy as pie. I have lost my music a couple of times since I started buying ipods. I would rather take a few mintues and learn how to save it than lose it.