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Help! How can I read my MAC formatted iPod on a PC?

by cat10516 / May 5, 2005 11:31 AM PDT

My iPod is formatted MAC and I want to change it to be able to read it on a PC and add more music. How do I do this without losing my music? What software is available? Please explain fully, as my knowledge of computers and software is moderate, but not extensive.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 5, 2005 9:48 PM PDT

The iPod HD will have to be formatted to enable the PC to read it. Unfortunately, the while the Mac can read both Mac and PC formats, the PC can only read the PC format.
This means that you will loose all the music currently on your iPod. There are tools available to move tracks from the iPod to your computer but the iPod does not support this procedure natively. (Thank the RIAA)
Movie the tracks from the iPod to the PC, reformat the iPod in accordance with the instructions that came with it, and move the tracks back on to the iPod.

Good luck

Hope this helps


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i found the solution!!!!!
by chloeche / July 13, 2008 12:13 PM PDT
In reply to: iPod
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MacDrive did it all for me
by Gardenwife / December 5, 2008 2:02 PM PST

I found this page while searching for the same answer on what to do with a Mac-formatted iPod on my Windows Vista PC. Thanks for the great information!

I tried MacDrive and its file explorer let me browse my iPod Classic and copy the m4v video files over to my PC without a hitch. I didn't need the other program. Best yet, the trial was free.

Then, all I did was restore my iPod to factory settings using iTunes, this time formatting it for Windows, and copy those videos back onto the iPod along with my other media.

Do any of you use an iTunes alternative? If so, what program do you like for Windows?

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by GzyOnline / February 20, 2012 5:35 PM PST

installed MacDrive then 1-click copied all the music off my (Mac formatted)iPod onto my (Windows/PC)computer using Tansee iPod Transfer software.. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!! MAC formatted iPod on Windows are NO PROBLEM!!! thanks cloeche & thanks Mediafor/Macdrive!! :-D

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Stop!!!! do not format your ipod
by fallen tree / August 14, 2006 5:55 AM PDT

clearly, these two people do not know what they are talking about. help is at hand. its called X play music. google it. you can get a free months trial. i have used it myself. you dont have to format anything. you can add files to your mac formatted ipod on a pc! its your dream come true! no formatting, no file swapping. you just use windows media player. its simple. good luck.

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Question, please...
by asdavila / October 30, 2007 4:35 AM PDT

Xplay works with Windows Vista?


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Have you checked with the folks
by boya84 / October 30, 2007 8:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Question, please...
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mac formatted ipod to pc
by chloeche / July 13, 2008 2:32 AM PDT

when i try to get music off my mac formatted ipod nto my windoows vista pc it automatically tries to format it, can someone assist

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Mac formatted iPod to PC (iPod Touch)
by angiepantslele / October 15, 2008 3:17 AM PDT

I downloaded MacDrive and XPlay and neither will read my iPod Touch. Has anyone else had this issue?

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by marcoamf / April 7, 2008 4:40 AM PDT

Something that might help. The format that Mac-formatted iPod has is called HFS. You can find a software for PC called HFSExplorer. It allows you to see the contents of your iPod. Setbacks: music names are all codes like UDFJ.mp3, for example (BUT files keep their ID3 tags intact).
Other problems you might face is that you may not play the songs on your computer because of Digital Rights Management. If you have you Apple ID and password, you may allow your computer to play those.

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Please help me, I don't know what to do.
by TallyBally / January 2, 2009 9:10 AM PST
In reply to: HFS

My problem is almost the same except my iPod is windows formatted, and I have a Mac book. I want to transfer my music from the windows onto my mac, and I don't know how. I don't want my music deleted, but I want my music. How do I transfer my music on Windows onto a Mac????

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Read all the above answers and
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 2, 2009 10:38 AM PST

you will find what you are looking for.


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My experience, Mac to PC
by yelnoc123 / February 7, 2010 10:31 PM PST

This might help someone, so here's exactly what I had to do:

I got my brother's old iPod Classic, which was Mac formatted with just over 1000 songs. Macdrive read it flawlessly, except that I had to keep iTunes from coming up - if it did, Macdrive "lost" sight of the iPod.
Then I had to move all the files into My Music - they came over in subfolders & iTunes didn't want to go down to them.
Then I had a final problem because he'd bought some of the music from the iTunes store. The solution there was that he'd only used 2 of the 5 computer limit that Apple imposes. I just had to Authorize my PC with his account & that pulled in the rest of the songs.
In the end, about 30 to 40 minutes of work, with an hour or so waiting for files to get copied back & forth.

Thanks much for the Macdrive tip - that opened the door.

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by lauriechyanne / October 14, 2011 12:27 PM PDT

How did you keep itunes from coming up?

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