How to get music off an iPod Touch, iPhone in Windows

May 9, 2008

How to get music off an iPod Touch, iPhone in Windows The iPod Touch and iPhone are not like other iPods; possessing no "disk use" mode. With other iPods it is possible to use that mode to access the flash memory or hard drive directly and pull music off the iPod, this is not possible with the iPod Touch or iPhone. But, there is a free and easy method of getting music from your iPod Touch or iPhone to you PC.

There are several paid programs that will do this for you, one such example is Xplay 3 (Windows only) which is also capable of accessing both Mac and Windows formatted iPods. This is the type of software that you’ll use once, twice or very rarely and is, in my opinion not worth paying for unless you’re going to use it often.

Here is how I went about getting the music off my iPod Touch (this method would also work with an iPhone):

Disclaimer: The iPod Touch used in this example was used with a PC first then a Mac and then a PC again so if you’re going from a Mac to a PC transfer with it, this may not work but you’re free to try.

Step 1, download iPhoneBrowser from GoogleCode.

Step 2, install iPhoneBrowser

Step 3, connect iPod Touch

Step 3a, cancel iTunes synching process if it starts and you don’t want the library on the iPod Touch or iPhone changed

Step 4, launch iPhoneBrowser

In iPhoneBrowser navigate to "iTunes_Control/Music" then right click the Music folder and either select "Backup folder" or "Save Folder In" to select where you want the files saved to.


All those numbered folders contain your music but you won’t recognize any of the files because of the naming system that is used by all iPods.  The files still contain the appropriate information and will be there when imported to your media player of choice; if you have AAC files then there is no choice and you’ll be using iTunes.

I don’t know where iPhoneBrowser saves files when you select the backup option, I never could find them so its best to go with the "Save Folder In" option and specify the directory, just pick one that’s to your liking; I used iTunes Music.

There is a downside to iPhoneBrowser and it’s not clear if it’s a Vista problem or just a problem with the program but while it’s transferring files from your iPod Touch or iPhone it will say "Not Responding" but is still working.  It will remain in that state until the backup is finished.

I can’t give it points for polish but it works, it’s free and gets files off your iPod Touch or iPhone.

Other utilities such as EphPod should be used by those who have other iPods such as Nanos, Videos or Classics because it and similar utilities rely on the ability of the iPod to be used as mass storage by Windows which the iPod Touch and iPhone can not be and thus require special software.

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