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I keep my music collection on my iPod, but since I got my first iPhone two and a half years ago I have quit using the iPod as a portable music device. It's just an external HD. Benefit of having it as an external HD is that when it's connected to some other computer iTunes can play its music and update iTunes database.

It would be nice if I could copy data from the iPod to an external USB HD and give away the iPod to somebody who doesn't have one.

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yes - with a suitable plugin. itunes agent comes to mind and appears to still be in development though google has a few more i have never heard of.

As for copying music straight off the ipod sharepod works gloriously for me - i tested it on a refurb ipod i got- Alternately you can copy out the music folder in the hidden ipod control folder, and use the tags to rename the files back to somehting human readable with something like mp3tag

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I may be wrong on this, but the iPod files are read through a folder called "iPod_Control". Assuming this is all that is required, getting this folder from another iPod (by browsing it in disk mode) and putting it on an appropriately-formatted HDD could do the trick. I imagine it's easier to use something like iTunes Agent or similar, though.

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You can put it into what apple calls "disk mode" which varies by unit, but usually involves holding down a button for 4 seconds after resetting.

(see: Apple Support's Putting iPod into Disk Mode)

The disc will be formatted as HFS files system. In windows, there are several open source options for mounting the volume. I would recommend something that mounts the volume as read-only.

The music is stored in a fairly flat file system, but the filenames are hashes (or something) tied to the iPod database. The tags are intact though, so you can use any program that is geared towards reading the tags en masse and renaming the files based upon the tag information.

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actually no - a FAT32 ipod in disc mode is still fat32. – Journeyman Geek Feb 9 '11 at 14:57
that's not a no, that's a maybe. My experience with them is that they were hfs, but whatever, that's one less step that is needed to take. – horatio Feb 9 '11 at 15:00
How exactly does doing this answer the OP's question, which is not how to treat an iPod as an external HD? – martineau Feb 9 '11 at 19:53
"It would be nice if I could copy data from the iPod" – horatio Feb 9 '11 at 20:34

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