Considering buying Ipod - several questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jersey10, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    I am considering buying an Ipod, but have several questions.

    (1) I seem to remember seeing somewhere that you could sync your Ipod with up to three computers. Now I don't see any reference to this, other than the home network option. What is the deal, can it be synced to more than one computer (i.e., a home Mac and office PC?).

    (2) I currently have Itunes and a bunch of songs I purchased via Itunes on my work PC. Once I get an Ipod and a new Mac for home, I assume that I can sign in on Itunes at home (with the Mac my new authorized Itunes computer) and all the music I purchased will be automatically downloaded onto my Mac via Itunes. Is this correct?

    (3) If something happens to your harddrive, do you lose all the music you purchased via Itunes? If so, what is the best way to backup the music you purchase on Itunes in case something happens to your hard drive?

    (4) If I use my Ipod with my work PC and later want to use it with my Mac instead, is it difficult to reformat the Ipod for use with the Mac instead of the PC? How is this done? Am I better off not syncing the Ipod to my PC if I am getting a new Mac in the next couple months?

    I would appreciate any help with these questions. Thanks!
  2. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2003
    ** it's iPod-not IPod-need to get used to that term to join the club..:D
    1- the songs that you buy from the itms can be played or "authorized" to play on up to 3 computers- there are easy ways around this, (cd burning and then copying, copying files from hd to hd) you can synch your iPod up to as many computers as you want through 3rd party software that will take your music from iPod and dump on the comp.-my sugg. is that you use your home computer for your main downloading and transfer to the work computer
    2-your mac acct. is not computer specific-you can sign on anywhere- as to the other part,don't know, haven't tried it, but someone knows....
    3-burn to cd or dvd, or put your music on external hd-which is a smart thing to do anyway, coz who wants to rerip all those cd's?? I don't think you lose anything...
    4-there are forums that discuss this-you shouldn't have to reformat iPod to play cross platform- people have done it by just plugging in to either and rocking-but you're better off not doing anything with a pc unless absolutely necessary:D
    *also check out forums for iPod specific q&a, they've been really helpful for iPod faq
  3. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    Re: Considering buying Ipod - several questions

    1) As gemio17 notes, the "three computers" applies to how many computers you can authorize to play your iTunes purchased tracks. You can sync any iPod to any number of computers, but only in one direction: computer ---> iPod. This means that each computer you sync with will overwrite the iPod's contents. You can get around this with those third-party hacks gemio17 mentions, most of which can be found through

    2) iTunes does not automatically download all purchased tracks to newly authorized computers. You will have to transfer the music files yourself....either by whatever backup method you prefer (like CDs) or by using one of those third-party utilities we've mentioned that allow you to upload from the iPod to your Mac.

    3) If something happens to your hard drive, you can't re-download your iTunes purchased tracks, so it pays to have more than one copy of all purchased song files, just in case. You can back them up to the media of your choice in the original protected AAC format, or burn audio CDs, which strips out the DRM but means you'll have to re-rip the songs. Use whichever method you prefer.

    4) I don't know if it's still necessary to re-format an iPod to go from one platform to another, but taking into consideration that syncing is a one-way proposition without those third-party utilities we keep mentioning, :) you may want to pick one computer at a time to house your primary library, and then copy it to the other one. The iPod/iTunes combo wasn't really designed to sync between multiple libraries in multiple locations.

    Hope that helps.

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