postheadericon How to Backup Your iPod and Have a Civilised Music Folder

Having unorganised music is no better than owning this.

People ask me all the time how they can transfer their iPod's music to their computer and/or organise their unsightly music folder. Well no - actually I've only been asked that once but I thought it was a good question.

As far as I know iTunes does not support this: it lets you transfer songs you have purchased on iTunes, but you're out of luck for songs you.. *ahem*.. bought somewhere else. There are a number of third-party programs varying in price and level of spyware, but as you'll see they are not necessary.

Step 1: Backup your iPod

If you don't need to backup your iPod but want to organise your music folder, skip to Step 2.

First you need to enable disk use on your iPod. Open iTunes and find your iPod under Devices. Click Enable disk use and click Apply.

Open up Windows Explorer and navigate to your iPod. Open folder options (Organize -> Folder and search options for Windows 7; Control Panel -> Folder Options in Vista and XP). Click View and then select Show hidden files and folders. Click OK.

From your iPod, open the un-hidden folder iPod_Control ->; Music. Your music is in various folders named Fxx (F00, F01, and so on.) Copy all the Fxx folders to your hard drive. This may take a while depending on how much music you have and your computer. I have done one folder as an example.

Step 2: Rename your files


Download and open Mp3tag. Click Add new directory and select the folder where you saved all the Fxx folders. If your music is properly tagged this should take only a few seconds. If your music is not properly tagged, take this opportunity to retag it you Neanderthal.

Once satisfied, click Tag - Filename. This renames all the filenames according to the tags - this is why it's so important to have properly tagged music. By default the program renames the files using the following format: Artist - Album[Track number] - Song title. Thus "Lost in the Supermarket" featured on The Clash's London Calling would be named: The Clash - London Calling[11] - Lost in the Supermarket.mp3.

Step 3: Create a new folder structure


Download and open the unimaginatively named Mp3 Folder Structure Maker. Add the directory where you stored all your music. By default, the program will organise your music by First letter of artists name -> Artist -> Song file. I think this is a bit silly, and changed it to organise by Artist name -> Album -> Song file. To do so, change folder structure to %artist%\%album% - make sure you put it in correctly or it won't work. Choose an output directory that is different from your original music folder. Click start and let the program do its work.

If you did everything correctly, your music should be more or less organised, but even with the best intentions there still may be uncooperative files. The deviant files can be found in Your new music folder -> Unknown Artist -> Unknown Album. Continue retagging and restructuring that folder until all the songs have found a home.

If you have done everything correctly, your iPod should be backed up and your music folder should be civilised. Congratulations!


Bokbokcor said...

I think it worked

Bokbokcor said...

it works (just not sure how to re tag the unknown files)