Get songs and playlists off the iPhone

You can pull all the data off any iPhone or iPod for free with a piece of open-source software.

It's easy to get songs on to an iPhone; it's notoriously hard to get them off. Whenever you plug someone else's iPhone or iPod into a computer, iTunes wants to erase everything on that player. Here's an easy way to get your songs and videos off your iPhone.

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Thanks to Alan for sending along a link to Pod to PC. It's free software that allows you to take the files off your iPhone without messing with iTunes. You can download the software from CNET's Download.com.

Once you have it installed, launch the program. It nagged me to visit its Web site every time I launched it, which was rather annoying, but a small price to pay. The first time you launch it, you'll pick your language and get an explanation screen. Also, it will warn you not to have iTunes running at the same time as Pod to PC. Finally, you'll get the main screen, which lists the playlists on your phone and an overall summary of what's on there.

When you click on a playlist, you'll see all the tracks in that playlist. A gold star by a song indicates you don't already have it in iTunes. A blue check mark means you already have it. You also have another tab that allows video previews of any unprotected videos. To transfer files, check off the boxes. You have an option to check all the tracks in a playlist.

Go to edit and options and you'll see that the files will be saved to your iTunes music folder by default, but you can edit that if you want. When you're ready to get the files off the phone, press the big, red transfer button. As the files are being moved, a green arrow will appear next to them.

Once the files have finished transferring, you'll get a notice of how many files transferred. I stopped mine at four, to keep this short. And it tells you that the playlist of those tracks has been saved to your desktop. That's important. Using the playlist makes it easier to add the tracks to iTunes. Otherwise, you'd have to hunt them all down one by one and add them manually.

Now close Pod to PC.

Open iTunes.

Go to File, select Library, then Import Playlist.

Open the playlist.

iTunes will add the new songs to the library. And they'll show up in the main library.

And there you have it. Now you can get any file off an iPod or iPhone. You can also get Pod to Mac, which does the same thing for Macs or Pod Photo Transfer, which copies photos off an iPod or iPhone.

 

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