Top Programs to Transfer iPod to Computer

Deciding between the dozens of programs that transfer iPods to computers can be maddening. After all, they all appear to do similar things and make similar claims. How do you decide which one offers the best combination of features, speed, and price?

Read on to learn which iPod-to-computer transfer programs get top marks and which you should avoid.

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CopyTrans Transfer iPod
CopyTrans screenshot. image copyright WindSolutions

CopyTrans offers the most all-around solid experience of any program on this list to users looking to transfer the contents of their iPod to their computer. With its relatively speedy transfer, detailed interface, and ability to copy metadata—to say nothing of an appealing price—it's an attractive package. Support for transferring iBooks content would be a nice addition in future versions, but CopyTrans is a terrific option.

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senuti Transfer iPod
Senuti. image copyright Fading Red

Senuti—iTunes spelled backward, since it performs the reverse of that software's function—is a blazingly fast tool for Mac users who want to transfer the contents of their iPods. While its interface is a bit plain, its speed, simplicity, and ability to transfer metadata, videos, and podcasts make it a powerful tool.

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iRip Transfer iPod
iRip. image copyright The Little App Factory

Not all programs on this list have the ability to transfer iBooks files, as well as music, podcasts, and videos, but iRip does. In addition to that valuable feature, it is relatively quick when performing transfers and handles most metadata well.

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TouchCopy Transfer iPod
TouchCopy. image copyright Wide Angle Software

Of the first four programs on this list, TouchCopy offers the fullest set of features: it transfers music, video, podcasts, and additional data like address book entries, text messages, voicemails, and ringtones. These powerful features are very valuable, though middling transfer speed and some interface quirks and occasional crashes hold it back.

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iCopyBot Transfer iPod
iCopyBot. image copyright VOWSoft

At this point in the list, the programs become a bit more buggy. Of these buggy programs, iCopyBot offers a solid, and only somewhat flawed, package. It transfers iBooks files, photos, ringtones, voice memos, and podcasts in addition to music, and it does it pretty quickly. It's let down by its interface and problems handling more advanced uses (like computers with multiple iTunes libraries).

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ImTOO iPod Computer Transfer

ImToo Transfer iPod
ImToo iPod Computer Transfer. image copyright ImToo

ImToo's iPod Computer Transfer is fast and can move both iBooks files and ringtones, but it doesn't transfer ratings or playcounts. It also requires a separate US$29.99 purchase to get iPad support. With many other programs offering included iPad support, that extra cost is tough to take.

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iPod Rip

iPod Rip Transfer iPod
iPod Rip. image copyright Xilisoft

Xilisoft's iPod Rip is another program that doesn't include iPad support, and can't move iBooks, song ratings, and playcounts. It does, however, transfer songs, album art, voice memos—and does so reasonably quickly.

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TuneAid Transfer iPod
TuneAid. image copyright DigiDNA

TuneAid is a pretty bare bones program: it moves your iPod's music and doesn't do anything else. It's reasonably speedy and easy to use, but with so few other features, it's hard to recommend it.

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Pod to Mac

Pod to Mac Transfer iPod
Pod to Mac. image copyright Macroplant

Pod to Mac is blazingly fast and can move album art, song ratings, ringtones, and photos. It has a easy to handle interface, too. So why doesn't it rate higher? We encountered crashes during transfers, had buggy transfers of types of data, and it can't move iBooks.

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Pod to PC

Pod to PC Transfer iPod
Pod to PC. image copyright Macroplant

The PC sibling of Pod to Mac has some of the same problems, but not as many strengths. While it can move music, playcounts, ratings, and album art, it crashes too often, has a less clear interface, and is slow.

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iCopyExpert Transfer iPod
iCopyExpert. image copyright iCopyExpert

ICopyExpert isn't a bad program, but it's slower than most and can't move files other than music and video stored in the iPod's library. If it could add some additional functionality or improve transfer speed, it would likely be ranked higher.

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Media Widget

Media Widget Transfer iPod
Media Widget. image copyright Bootstrap Development

Media Widget is another program that suffers from both slow speed and a lack of features. While it moves music (and playcounts, ratings, and album art), it can't move other kinds of files, and transferring just 2.4 GB of data took over 45 minutes during our test.

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iPod PC Transfer

iPod PC Transfer
iPod PC Transfer. image copyright iPod PC Transfer

IPod PC Transfer has a few weird quirks not encountered in any of the other programs. For one, it doesn't transfer to the iTunes folder by default. Second, and more importantly, it seems to make two copies of every file it transfers, making your transfer take up twice as much room as it should. Inexplicable choices in functionality, those.

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Song Exporter Pro

song exporter pro
Song Exporter Pro. Rocha Software Ltda

Song Exporter Pro is an iOS app that lets you easily share songs from your device to a computer via the Wi-Fi. It can't move many aspects of an iTunes library (podcasts, movies, etc.), so it's not a great choice for moving an entire library. Still, that's not really what it's designed for; if you want to share just a few songs with friends, though, it's a simple, powerful, cheap program that's definitely worth a look.

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Bigasoft iPod Transfer

Bigasoft iPod Transfer
Bigasoft iPod Transfer. image copyright Bigasoft

While Bigasoft iPod Transfer is amazingly fast, it's not really an iPod transfer program as much as it is a tool to simply move files from one place to another. As a result, it doesn't move ratings, playcounts, iBooks files, photos, or ringtones. Speed doesn't make up for so many missing features.

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iPod Access

iPod Access Transfer iPod
iPod Access. image copyright Findley Designs

While testing iPod Access, it didn't always work. When it did work, we couldn't tell why the bugs previously encountered had now resolved themselves. When it works, it's a solid program. Though it lacks more advanced features, its music transfer is very fast.

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iPod 2 iPod

iPod 2 iPod Transfer iPod
iPod 2 iPod. image copyright The Boys Downunder

Far and away the slowest program on the list, taking 80 minutes to transfer the same files that took most programs between 10 and 30 minutes. The reason? It arbitrarily converts some files it transfers from AAC to MP3 without making this clear or allowing you to turn off this feature. It doesn't offer many features besides music transfer, either.​

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xPort Transfer iPod
xPort. image copyright XtremSoft

xPort software hasn't been updated since May of 2011, which makes compatibility with newer generations of Apple devices and later versions of iTunes unlikely. If the developers of the program can't be bothered to update it at least every two years, you shouldn't be bothered to use it.

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TanseeiOS Music&Video Transfer

Tansee iPod Transfer
Tansee iPod Transfer. image copyright Tansee

Tansee copies music, podcasts, and voice memos. Its support of Apple devices iOS is fairly well updated. However, if you want to transfer photos and camera video, you'll have to purchase a separate piece of software, Tansee iOS Photo&Camera Transfer. This means that for the broad range of functionality offered by other options in a single app, you have to get two with Tansee at a cost of about US$50, which doesn't compete well against those others.