iPod Transferring songs Mac->PC on iPod 3G


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 2, 2003
I'm trying to transfer songs between my home mac and my work PC. I have 2nd and 3rd gen iPods. I bought a USB 2.0 adaptor for my 30GB 3G from the local apple store, but when I try to connect to the PC, it says my iPod needs to be formatted for windows, even though i have an app on the PC for extracting iPod songs to iTunes. I thought this was an issue that went away with the 3G (needing to be formatted for windows or mac).

To top it off, this coincides with my iPod's newfound inability to hold a charge.

So, I'm debating about either getting a new battery, or getting rid of the 3G and getting a new 4G, which should certainly be able to transfer my songs.

Any ideas?



macrumors member
Apr 29, 2005
Copy to DVD

I believe that you can't transfer songs via your ipod because the ipod is formatted for mac and pc's don't recognize mac formatted hard disks. I had a similar problem transferring songs for my wife from a mac to a pc. I ended up copying the iTunes directory from the mac onto a DVD-R ( less than 4 GB of music) and transferring it to the PC.
If you have more than 4.7Gb of songs on your hard disk, you can copy it onto more than one DVD with Toast.
The 4th generation ipods can't transfer music from mac to pc for the same reason. I don't believe the battery issue is related.
Hope this helps.


macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2004
If I were you, I'd save all the songs on your Mac, and then reformat your iPod on the PC. That will make it readable on both PC and Mac, and from there you can use the program on you PC (if it works) or you could use your iPod like a portable hard drive and transfer the songs that way.


macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2004
I got a 4th gen ipod, and I was wonderin' if there's an easier way to do this, than reformatting.

Dr. Dastardly

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
I live in a giant bucket!
SamIchi said:
I got a 4th gen ipod, and I was wonderin' if there's an easier way to do this, than reformatting.
If the iPod is formatted with an Apple then you will have to reformat it. The PC will not be able to recognize it as a device. iPods formatted by a PC can be read by both PC and Mac. The PC has to be able to recognize it as a device before you can do anything with it. But its really not that big of a deal. Just plug it into the PC, you will lose all your music on your iPod but when you sync back up to your back it will all be restored anyway.


macrumors member
May 6, 2005
To transfer songs from one machine to the other using a portable hard drive follow these instructions:

Note the above the procedure assumes you are using your ipod as a portable hard drive, but the procedure is valid for any portable hard drive.

I used this procedure and it worked for me.

As far as the formatting for your ipod. If you wipe it and reformat it in Windows it will work properly on both the Mac and the Windows PC, although you will only be able to update the iPod software from the Windows PC from that point on.

You have to wipe your iPod to reformat it but, as long as your collection is on one computer or the other, its really not an issue.

Hope this helps