Restoring Music From Your iPod to iTunes August 18th, 2011
I guess it was only a matter of time before I did something stupid.
I’m always advocating the need to take regular backups and ensure that you keep a copy of all of your important data; in fairness, I usually do and I did it’s just that I forgot to include my iTunes library in my backup routine. My only saving grace is that I still have all my music on my iPod.
Apple in all of their wisdom has made it surprising difficult to copy data from your iPod into your iTunes library from within iTunes itself, or rather they have made it impossible. You’d have thought that this would make perfect sense in terms of a feature but alas, no.
All is not lost however, there is of course a way to simply restore your music back into your library from iTunes, just follow this simple guide.
Caveat: I have used a machine that currently does not have iTunes installed to produce this guide; the recovered data was then placed onto an external hard drive before restoring to my main machine with iTunes installed. I did it this way to ensure that iTunes did not auto sync with my iPod when it was connected and wipe any data, I was just being cautious. You can of course follow the steps in this guide on the same machine as you currently have your iTunes on, but, you must ensure that iTunes does not automatically sync initially or you face the possibility of overwriting all of your music with nothing.
Notes: I have used a Windows 7 based machine to initially connect my iPod and backup the data (my iPod was originally formatted and used with a Windows machine). Then, my new main machine which contains my iTunes is a MacBook Pro; if your iTunes is on a Windows based machine some of the following steps will be slightly different i.e. you will not be able to use the OS X specific keyboard shortcuts and will need to find the options using the menus within iTunes itself, other than that the process is identical.
Firstly, on my windows machine:
- Connect your iPod to your computer using the sync cable.
- Navigate to My Computer; you should see your iPod connected as an external drive, double click on the icon.
- Next you need to un-hide hidden folders; Click on Organize followed by Folder and search items. Click the View tab and check the option to Show hidden files, folder, and drives.
- Click OK to return to the explorer window.
- You should now see a folder called iPod_Control, double click this.
- Copy the entire folder called Music to a backup location of your choice; in my case I copied this to an external drive.
- You can now disconnect your iPod.
Secondly, on my Mac:
- Load iTunes from the dock and navigate to iTunes preferences by pressing ⌘, and clicking on the Advanced tab.
- Check both options to Keep iTunes Media folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.
- Finally you need to import the music in the backup folder into your library, to do this press ⌘o and navigate to the folder containing the backup up data and click Choose.
Once you have done that, iTunes should automatically sort out the files for you and copy them back into your iTunes library.
How To Sync iTunes With HTC Desire Via HTC Sync August 1st, 2010
With the release of FroYo on the HTC Desire, HTC also bring us the ability to sync directly with iTunes via HTC Sync. In order to use this new feature, you will need to download and install both the latest version of iTunes (v9 or greater) and HTC Sync [Mirror] (v3.0.5387).
The new version of HTC Sync not only gives the ability to sync with iTunes, but also allows far greater control over which items to sync with your PC and also, which items to backup from your phone; you can now control separately music, photos, calendar, contacts, bookmarks and documents.
Note: You need to uninstall the old version of HTC Sync before installing the new version and, although not prompted to do so, sync doesn’t seem to work until you have restarted your phone and PC after the install.
All in all, a very welcomed update.
Speed Up iTunes January 27th, 2010
Love it or hate it, iTunes has become the de facto application for music handling on my machine; so much so that it has become one of those applications which I would say I couldn’t live without (OK, so perhaps that takes it a little too far but you see where I am going with this).
The problem is that iTunes is an application that Apple never intended to make for Windows; I guess you could say they became a victim of their own success and found themselves having to recode a Windows version as its popularity (and the popularity of the iPod range) grew. It works much faster in Mac OS X, which translated could be written as saying iTunes for Windows is a complete bloat ware that takes up far too much RAM and runs slower than it should, certainly this has become more and more apparent as iTunes has been updated and updated. The cynic in me would start to question whether Apple isn’t too serious about Windows and want to demonstrate to people that iTunes works much faster on Mac OS X because it is a better OS (thereby attempting to increase their sales of Mac hardware and OS X), but with a few simple steps it’s easy to speed things up a little and make iTunes for Windows a little more bearable:
Remove Smart Playlists
A lot of people will love the Smart Playlist feature, if you are one of them then you can skip this, otherwise removing them can make the application start-up speed up to 3 times quicker. If you like me would give up almost anything for speed, then simply remove all the Smart Playlists (the ones with the purple icon) and restart iTunes to feel the improved performance. If you don’t want to remove Smart Playlists altogether then editing them and disabling Live Updating will make a slight difference.
Disable Automatic Syncing
When a device is connected to a machine running iTunes, iTunes automatically starts syncing which I find quite annoying. It can result in your iTunes getting frozen for up to 30 seconds or more. Users don’t always connect devices such as iPods or iPhones for transferring songs; what if you only want to charge your device? In such cases automatic launching of iTunes and syncing doesn’t make sense and isn’t needed. To disable automatic syncing, simply select your connected device from the left sidebar and uncheck the Automatic Sync option.
Disable Options That Are Not Needed
A little bit of common sense if required here as there are various different options that you will come across in the Preferences menu and some may be needed depending on your individual setups, however a couple I would recommend would be to disable Crossfade Songs and Sound Enhancer under the Playback tab and Look for Remote Speakers Connected to AirTunes and Look for iPhone and iPod Touch Remotes under the devices tab. You can also disable Look for Apple TV under the Apple TV tab unless of course you have one! Most users will not need any of these options enabled and yet by default they are enabled adding to the burden, surely it would have made sense to ship iTunes in a more ‘lean’ configuration for the majority and allow the minority who own all these other devices (and let’s face it the kind of person who does is more than technically savvy enough to do this) to configure iTunes to their needs?
While browsing your playlists, you will notice that unnecessary columns are displayed by default (yes, I know it’s a Pop song thanks). Who wants to scroll all the way to the right and then back to the left to view all the columns? It is better to reduce this clutter by hiding those columns that are not needed. This can be done by right-clicking the column bar on top and then unchecking not-needed columns. Not sure if this makes a huge difference to speed or not but it means that you can customise your view to exactly how you want to see it.
Finally, although I haven’t tried this myself I read somewhere that by keeping the Preferences window open whilst songs are converting, the whole process will be quicker! Now there is logic to this; when you are converting a large collection of songs to ACC format, you will notice that after a few conversions the whole process slows down. This is because after each change the iTunes User Interface gets updated (which takes forever when converting large collections). So, how to speed up the conversion and disable the iTunes User Interface from getting updated? Go to Edit and select Preferences; now let it remain open until all conversions are complete!
I’m sure there are other ways to speed things up too, if you know of any leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
iPhone Sync To Windows 7 Issue November 2nd, 2009
There have been a lot of reports recently by numerous people around the internet, that there seems to be ongoing problems with people syncing their iPhone to iTunes in a Windows 7 environment. The official Apple forums [Link] have got a number of threads related to the issue so it does appear that this is definitely a problem and this is not just a bunch of die hard Apple fans trying to add a negative taste to what has been otherwise, a successful launch for Microsoft’s latest operating system.
Now, looking at the problems people are facing, there does seem to be some common similarities; most people who are reporting the problem are using a motherboard with an Intel P55 chipset and the problem seems to be affecting more people using Windows 7 x64. Both of these are not conclusive though, as it is also affecting people using other chipsets and Windows 7 x86, although certainly, less so.
The official advice – as always – seems to be a workaround, suggesting that you should use a USB hub or PCI USB card for connecting your iPhone, and disabling Power Management for each of the USB root hubs on your machine, but none of these seem to work universally for everyone which to me would suggest that neither Apple or Microsoft still really understand what the problem is and that there isn’t an imminent fix.
Fortunately, I don’t have an iPhone so am not affected by this, how about you? Have you had problems with iPhone/iTunes syncing with Windows 7? If so, have you been able to fix it or come up with a workaround? Share your thoughts!
802.11n Standard Finally Agreed After Nearly 7 Years September 13th, 2009
It’s been over 2 and a half years since the 802.11 draft-n spec was finalised by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Since then, the IEEE have been working hard to finalise the standard to ensure that not only equipment designed back then to the draft-n standard, but also newer equipment all works as it should. So what does it mean? Well, essentially the new standard can theoretically connect at speeds of up to 300Mbps, which is around 6 times the speed of the existing 802.11g standard. Good news is that the BT Home Hub 2.0 (relevant as BT is the largest ISP in the country, supplying Home Hubs to all of it’s users) already supports this so will allow us to have fast local wireless connections, ideal for playing say, iTunes through the shared library on the desktop upstairs.
The final standard is going to be published sometime in mid-October.