This advice is a little dated but I actually had to do this yesterday so thought I’d share. This edition brought to you by the fact that you always have those random friends who have awesome music on their ipods but you can never have it because you don’t want to be a criminal and torrent it (me, yesterday). Or you lost your hard drive and all you have left is the music on your ipod engraved with SH 2005 because you got it as a college graduation gift from your godmother. If you don’t have this problem, skip down to see how you can use your old dust collecting ipod as an external hard drive.

My biggest beef with apple is how they are proprietary about all their shit. Once they’ve got their mitts in your stuff they’re never letting go. Boo apple. Long live amazon. But more on that later.

I (my friend) have (has) all this awesome music but if I try to sync the ipod with a new computer it is going to wipe it. What do I do?!

Get super pissed at apple for one. But let’s move on. First thing you do is set the ipod to “enable disk” mode — that’s on the main itunes screen. Done? OK. All ipods should be set to this anyway.

So obviously your music is all on there but apple is just being a dillweed and hiding it from you. Right? Right. You have to show the files.


On a PC, open the ipod icon in explorer (it should now show up like any other removable hard drive). Then click tools —> folder options —> view. Tell that thing to show hidden files and folders. Apply —> OK. Great, good job guys! Now when you look at your ipod you have a music folder with a ton of random shit in it that is unreadable. Once again, F U Apple. Drag that shit onto your computer. If you put it in your itunes library it should sort itself out (the ID is intact on the file, Apple is just garbling it). If it doesn’t do it automatically go to file—>library—>organize library and it will give it the little nudge it needed.

On a mac, they make it scarier but it’s not. IT’S NOT. You need to to open “terminal” in your mac (did you know command spacebar opens up the little search function? it does. Type terminal in there). Then paste this

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

killall Finder

Note: killall finder relaunches your finder it doesn’t actually kill anything. If that makes you nervous you can just relaunch it manually. I too fear the term “kill” when it comes to my expensive computer.


Now your invisible files are visible! So follow the above directions from the PC. To invisible them again, type the above into terminal but replace TRUE with FALSE.


I recommend paying $20 or whatever/year to amazon. You can put all your music in the cloud (they will even upgrade you to higher quality of any songs they have in their library) and then you can play it from any device and download any songs you want. Obviously all of this is already backed up on crashplan but they don’t have a player app so it’s not useful for on the go streaming. I’m a huge fan. I have music from every family member on there — something like 10,000 songs at my disposal. It’s marvelous. Also buy your music from there instead of itunes because then you can actually play it on anything, not just stupid itunes (is my ire against apple coming across in this piece?).


My ipod is in a drawer collecting dust because my music is all on my phone

No more my friend. When the ipod is open in itunes click “enable disk use” or “manually manage music and videos.” Now when you plug it in to any computer it will show up like an external hard drive. Drag stuff onto it like you would anything else.