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Itunes Guide: How To Get Music Onto Your Ipod

Beginners Guide To Putting Your Music Collection Onto Your New MP3 Player


Ipod with cds

So you've got your new ipod, installed itunes and let it hunt for the music already on your pc.

It's found the odd tracks you've got, and synced them with your ipod - but now you want to go further and really get music onto your ipod. Lets look at how you could do it.

I'm going to be a bit controversial and say from the start that the itunes online store isn't the best way to get music onto your pod. It's relatively expensive, and there's plenty of music that you might want that you just can't get at the Apple online store. It's ok for the odd track here or there, music videos or tv shows, but it will end up costing you a stack of cash, and it's quite addictive to build up your collection that way.

Downloading via filesharing programmes isn't that hot either. It's illegal, you don't know if you might be getting a virus or something different to the title. You also end up with a collection of songs with missing tags so you can't sort them out properly into albums / artists, etc. This is a real pain when you've got thousands of songs.

The best source of music for your ipod? The good old compact disc. Why? Well, you've probably got a stack already. The music quality of wav files on audio cd's is better than mp3 or aac files. You can't really hear the difference, but by using CD's you're keeping the high quality source, and a nice backup too. By ripping your cd's to your hard-drive all the tracks will (mostly) be tagged correctly, so making it a breeze on itunes and on your ipod. When you rip an album, itunes and your ipod know the songs all go together, so you can listen to tracks on an album together without having to create custom playlists as you would have to with lots of seperate tracks.

Cost is a good reason to stick with cd's as your audio source. Amazon (or Woolworths) can be very cheap for even new releases, often its cheaper to buy a real cd than download the album from itunes. Things get even better with second hand cds. Get down your local car-boot sales, second hand shops, ebay, and hunt out those albums you want, and easily rip them to itunes. Honestly, its the best way.

So you've followed my advice and have got a stack of cds you need to transfer to your computer. Let's get started!

Windows Media Player

This might sound a little odd, but I use Windows Media Player to rip my cd's to my computers hard-drive. You could use itunes, but on my old pc Windows Media Player rips and converts to mp3 much faster.

(Plus I guess most of you have got it on your PC's already.)

Get the latest version here and then start it up.

Windows Media Player Ripping Options

Now we've got Media Player up and running lets change some settings to make it rip the way we want to.

Click on Rip at the top of the screen, then the little arrow underneath, then "more options...".

Click on the "Rip Music" tab. Change the "Rip Music to this location" folder to a new one in My Music, maybe call it "itunes rip 1".

Make sure the format is mp3, then to make it all work quickly tick the tab about ripping automatically when a cd is put into your drive.

Now select your audio quality. I use 128kbps to fit the most songs on my ipod nano, but 256 is meant to be better. (Bitrate discussion here.)

WM Library Options

Next up we want to make sure WMP will download the tag information for the albums we're going to rip.

Click on the "Library" tab, then tick the "Retrieve additional information from the Internet".

Itunes will do this too, but there's no harm in ticking these boxes.

Click apply and OK, make sure you're in the "Rip" part of WMP, and stick your first cd in the drive. When its finished stick another in until you've ripped your album collection.

Now fire up itunes.

Adding music folder to itunes

With itunes up and running, click on "File" then "add Folder To Library" in the drop down menu. Select your folder, and itunes will add your ripped music to it's library.

Now connect your ipod, sync, and it will transfer your music across.

Marvel as you now can listen to whole albums in order instead of just a random bunch of seperate tracks. Brilliant!

Wait, don't click away! We're now going to show you how to use what I think is the best bit of itunes and ipods - playlists!

Twin deck tape player

Remember the days when you would spend hours making custom mix tapes, putting all your favourite tracks on a tape (or later a cd-r) for yourself or to share with friends?

Well, with itunes playlists you can easily do this in seconds with your newly ripped music library.

New ipod playlist

In itunes click "File" then "New Playlist".

On the left hand side of the screen you can now enter a name for your playlist - that's how you'll find it on your ipod too.

Once you've named it, click on the music icon, so you'll be back in your music library.

You can now start "drag and dropping" tracks from the main library to your playlist. The tracks don't move, you're just making a custom list. Don't worry about the order, you can always shuffle them up later.

Once your playlist is done, click on the name and you'll see the tracks. This is where you can change the order, click dragging them up or down, or right-click for lots of other options.

Now just sync your ipod, find playlists in "Music" and marvel at your 21st Century mix tape!


Comments / Questions:

I am a complete novice with an i-pod nano. I have managed to download bbc podcasts but dont have a menu on the i-pod for podcasts how do i find them?

Go to the main menu, scroll down to settings, then go to main menu, and make sure podcasts is ticked.

hi, i have recently bought an ipod of ebay with loads things already downloaded on it but it is formatted to an apple computer and mine is windows. How can i reformat it to a windows computer without losing all the stuff on it. Alfie.

I don't think you can.

can u rip songs on to ur computer to ur hard drive and then put them on to an ipod touch or an apple ipod touch.

Itunes can do it for you.

I have an Ipod classic at the moment but I am wanting to buy a new Ipod Nano (4th generation) soon. Will the music that is on Itunes at the moment transfer to the new Ipod when I sync it using a USb 2.0 cable? Jack.

Should do OK.

I just got an ipod touch and everyone is saying sync the music in my library that I downloaded from my cds. I have no idea how to do it. I've looked at many tutorials and they tells me nothing. I can't find a sidebar like this says: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iPod_touch_2.1_User_Guide.pdf
Can you help me? Genna.

Just look under file, import, in itunes.

hi i just got a ipod but my windows media is not letting me put songs on my ipod heko me what do i do.

You need to download itunes and use that.

Hi, I bought an ipod classic of ebay with loads of music etc on it and when i went to the computer a message came up saying it was synced with an apple computer and I don't have an apple. Is there anyway you could sync it to my computer without deleting all the stuff i have on it?

Not that I know of.

i want to put new songs on my ipod but everytime i plug it in something shows up and says the usb device not recognized. what do i do? Tom.

Try a different USB port or lead.

all my  music videos have gone off my ipod touch 1st generation 8gb, uploaded a load of songs, sync fine but when I finished my videos have gone! Still on itunes, fully charged, ipod nowhere near full, how do I get them back on the ipod and why have they gone? Vic.

When your Ipod is plugged in and shows up on itunes, click it, and make sure that in the video tab it's set up to synv those items.

I have an ipod Nano.  i need to wipe my laptop because i have a virus and that includes all my songs and everything.  i still have all of the music on my Nano.  can i take the songs that are on the Nano and put them back on the computer?  Thanks, Steve.

Check this link at lifehacker.

hi i have a ipod nano (3rd generation) and all of a sudden i turned it on and it said zero music files. I'v tried to sync it a thousand times but the music just wont come on again. But when I'm on itunes it says my music is all there. Whats wrong? please help
thanks. Lucy.

Reset your ipod.

Look, i have a ipod classic and have put a few albums of music on it, i recently got a new album and tried to sync it to the ipod through itunes and it says it has done it but my ipod doesnt have the album on it, i have restored my ipod and tried again and am running out of ideas need some help please , thanks, daniel.

Rip the album using different software, say windows media player, (make sure its mp3 format when ripped) then point itunes at the folder (file, import) instead.

Is it possible to delete a CD off the PC and then it not delete it from the ipod when its plugged in next? id like to be able to add a cd to the ipod when i want but not clog up my hard drive with music. Chris.

You need to turn manage your ipod music manually - look for the link that appears when you sync your ipod.

I have an IPod Nano and I have tried to download Itunes onto my pc but am having one hell of a time trying to get it to download. I'm running on Windows 2000 with a service pack 4 and have tried to download the 7.3.2. version, but it still keeps saying it can't find it and to try again later. Any suggestions, folks? Ta. Kes.

Uninstall previous versions of itunes and try again.

Hi mate, i've recently got an Ipod Nano but everytime i Synchronise it it seems to crash and then i have to reset it. Is there something wrong with it? Or do i have to put it on hold then Synchronise it? Thanks Mahesh.

Ok, first try resetting your ipod, then reinstall itunes.

me and my fiance are sharing an ipod and we wanna keep our music seperate i was gonna make a playlist to keep my songs away from her's but when i tried to do it automatically put it with the other songs..is there a way to put songs in a playlist to where the playlist is the only place the songs are at and not with the main songs. Ryan.

Unfortunately you can't "hide" songs from the main music list - any songs on the ipod will end up there, so you're right, the only way to do it is to create seperate playlists.

was just wondering , can you still use say sony walkman to put songs onto any i-pod it's just i already have alot of songs uploaded on that and it would take ages to do again , ? please can you shed some light on i-tunes? Katie.

Yeah, just copy the tunes from the walkman to your pc, then "import folder" in itunes.

i have a live in texas cd done by linkin park. the cd was fine but the dvd won't sync onto my itunes library. how can this be sorted out? Paul.

Try Handbrake to rip the DVD.

so i just bought the new ipod nano 8gb, i already have itunes on my computer with tons of songs. i plugged my ipod in, and pulled up my computer clicked on ipod and started dragging songs over from itunes. i unplug my ipod and it says that i dont have any songs on it. so i re-plug it into my computer and then it tells me i have to have itunes 7.0 so i download it but it wont come up on my computer i am going nuts can someone help me, i just want to put some gosh darn songs on it. Kira.

Restart your PC, and reset your ipod, and try again.

I borrow a friends Ipod touch with full of both albums from Itunes, he bought the ipod like that and does not know the pasword, accidntally I plug the ipod into the usb of my pc while itunes software was downloading all of the sadden my files got deleted how can i get those files back. Jose.

Sorry, they're gone. If you plug an ipod into your pc, and itunes doesn't recognise it, make sure you don't let it delete all the songs!

Can I put songs from my mp3player onto my ipod nano?Do I have to get songs from itunes?Is that the only way?Help!!!!!!!!!!!! Eli.

Simply copy the songs off your mp3 player onto your pc. Fire up itunes, then press "file", "import" and itunes will then transfer them to your Nano.

need to create aplaylist that 'merges' one song onto another for an ipod based dj set....help the pressure is on! Rod.

I don't think you can do that - the Ipod will play tracks immediatly after another, but you can't mix them, however this link may be of interest.

I want to put my complete CD collection on to IPOD. I have nearly filled up one classic and want to continue on another. How do I go about this without getting the same CD's on both IPOD's. Dave.

This link tells you how to do it.

I have a laptop PC with itunes installed that supports my iPod.  My wife has a Creative Zen.  Can she install it onto the PC.  We are not bothered about transferring files from itunes to the Zen, I just want to know if the Creative software will live happily with the Apple software, or will they beat the hell out of each other? Paul.

Great question. I have no idea! I would have thought that both should work together fine.

Hi i have an ipod nano and i have songs on it but i forgot how to put songs on it i have brought some but i dont know how to put them on HELP!!! PLEASE rob

Check out this link:

Hi im looking at getting an ipod touch but have read somewhere you can only put songs bought from itunes on them, is this true? is it possible to add my own cd's onto it? Tracey.

You can put any songs onto your ipod. If they're already on your pc, just tell itunes (the  free software that you download when you've got an ipod) where they are, or itunes can "rip" your audio cd collection for you, then transfer it to your ipod. You do not have to buy anything  from itunes. Ever.

I have bought an ipod from e-bay, all is good but i can't get the music from my itunes library to go onto it...help!!! Ree.

We need to figure out if the ipod lead you've got is ok - when you plug it into your pc, does the ipod show its connected and start charging? is there anyone else you know who's got a similair ipod who you could borrow their lead off? You could also try the lead in a different USB socket on your pc - don't go through a hub, go straight into the PC. (Or Mac.) The ipod also may need resetting, try this link. Also try your ipod and lead in a different computer if you can to see if that solves the problem.

How can I retrieve the music I copied from my music cd from the Creative Zen. Denise.

All you have to do is atatch your zen to your pc, then it should appear as a mass storage device or drive in "my computer". Click on it, and explore unitil you find the files you want, then right-click "copy", go to your music folder on your desktop, then right-click "paste" them there.

When you start to setup you ipod what if you get your ipod charged before you get itunes installed does that affect if you can sync music onto you ipod? because i did that and now its not letting sync music onto my ipod. Kim.

Try resetting your Ipod and starting again.

Alright. i accidentally deleted one song from an album. i went and got the cd and put the song back onto my ipod but now it's in the wrong order (i'm a bit obsessive about stuff like that you see) and i was wondering if there's a way to change the song order so that the album plays as it would do on cd. cheers. Michael.

The simplest way is to simply delete the album from your pc (and itunes) then rip it again and sync your ipod. Another way is to right click the song in itunes, get info, click the info tab, then change the track number, (eg 4 of 17) if there already is a track 4, then make sure you change that too. Then sync.

cheers mate
i recon i'll just rip the whole album again nice one michael.

Can you please help - I have just bought an Ipod Touch - I have a Creative Zen with lots of music on it - can you please tell me if I can tranfer this to my new Ipod - I only have very basic knowledge of computers and downloading. Gerard.

Sure, what you need to do is copy the music off your Zen to your computers hard-drive first. Normally this is done with a usb cable, then click "start" bottom left of screen "my computer" then click on the device. Have a look for the music folder, right-click it, "copy" then go to your "my music" folder on your pc and right-click "paste". Once it's finished you can download itunes (if you haven't already) and it will look for and include that music on your ipod.

Hello, i have got an ipod classic and i've synced my iTunes with the ipod but when i switch it on it still thinks there is no music on it. any suggestions of how i can get it to work? Joe.

See if you can roll back to software on the ipod and try syncing again.
You could also try resetting it, see this article.

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