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save audio collection from Apple, move collection off iPod into a form useable elsewhere
AndyH-ha
post Oct 23 2011, 10:12
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Is there any software that can rescue audio material on an iPod from Apple? Start with a largish collection of audiobooks (about 35GB) that has been put on the iPod gradually, via iTunes, without much thought to a non-apple future. More that a few of these books have hundreds of individual files. Probably none are DRM entangled. All are mp3 format. As far as I know at the moment, there is nothing wrong with the iPod data, except that it is only usefull if one wants iPod.

The goal is to move this material onto a computer, then onto a non-apple player, in a form controllable by the user, not based on some database that is not directly accessible and changeable as desired.

It is easy to directly offload everything onto a computer hard disk, but not easy to tell what one has. What reading I've done considered ways to get iTunes and the iPod into harmony, whether to recover from hardware failures or to just make the computer database and the iPod material fully agree with each other. There was no consideration of getting it away from iTunes and iPod.

Of course the ideal thing would have been to keep a pre-iTunes backup of everything so the difficulty would never arise, but hindsight is so easy and so non-functional.
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garym
post Oct 23 2011, 13:48
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The music files are in a directory somewhere on your computer. That's what Itunes is reading. Just point some other music management system at that directory structure and you're done (e.g., foobar2000). In fact the other program can use the files and itunes can still use the files.

Yes, itunes keeps a lot of info in its own database, but it got most of this info from the audio files themselves (the metadata in the tags, e.g., artist, album, etc.). The biggest headache is that itunes puts the art in its own data base. So you'll need to get the art from the database and either embed into the files themselves or create a "folder.jpg" entry in each album subdirectory. There are several programs you can run that will do this automatically.

For tag management, I use either mp3tag, foobar2000, or dbpoweramp. I never use itunes for this, although I still have itunes pointing at my music library and I use itunes for synching with my ipods/iphones.....
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andy o
post Oct 23 2011, 19:26
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I think he doesn't have the files on the computer, just on the iPod. If this is true, the way I've done it is (ironically) with iTunes itself. Move the files to the hard drive, then open a clean iTunes library, make sure to set it up to "keep iTunes media folder organized" and "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library". Then add the folder where all the songs are, and they will be copied neatly to the iTunes media folder. I even think it separates music from podccasts and audiobooks, etc. You have to make sure that all tags are OK though, but I'm guessing tags aren't much of a problem.
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AndyH-ha
post Oct 24 2011, 03:45
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"Then add the folder where all the songs are" The files occupy fifty folders on the iPod. Does this mean they should be consolidate into one folder on the hard drive to start this process?

Is "open a clean iTunes library" an iTunes option?

Does "they will be copied neatly to the iTunes media folder" mean that the 30 some GB of data will be duplicated, or does this just involve some kind of pointers being created?

I've looked at some tags with mp3tag and with foobar2000. Most have "album name" which is most often the book title, but some do not. I can't tell what these ones are. Also, for some there seems to be no tag information that mp3tag recognizes, but sometimes foobar2000 does show something for those, which suggests they are using different kinds of tags. Still others show incomplete information in both programs.

Is this likely to cause iTunes to fail on the entire project, or just for those files it can't identify?

Since the files I can't identify are on the iPod, and have the same kind of file name as all the others (wxyz.mp3), they must have had tags that iTunes can utilize, no?

Assuming I can get it to work, will I end up with files I can immediately place on a non-apple, non-iTunes related device, or just a more tidy set for an iPod?
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andy o
post Oct 24 2011, 04:28
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You can just copy the 50 folders into one folder, iTunes will look into all the files in there and organize them according to their tags (by artist/album if music). By "open a clean iTunes library" I mean start an empty library so everything's neater and you don't end up with stuff you don't need, accidentally. If you don't have iTunes installed yet, then you're all set, just install it. If you already have it, from what I see it doesn't make it one-click easy to create another library for the same user, but you can just create another Windows user if that's a problem.

As I put it above, iTunes would copy (duplicate) the data into its own folder, only it will be now ordered. If you don't wanna do that, you can uncheck "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library", but instead copy all those 50 folders into the folder you have set to be your iTunes media folder (available in iTunes advanced preferences). When you add that folder to the library in iTunes, everything will be renamed and reordered.

You still have time to check everything is OK in iTunes itself, so it won't just "fail", you can fix whatever's wrong right there, and as the option says, iTunes will keep that folder organized.
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slks
post Dec 6 2011, 00:53
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An alternate, but probably more time-consuming way to do this, would be to copy the MP3s (all the "50 folders") to your computer, and add them to a playlist in foobar200. Then use foobar2000's "File operations" scripting capability to re-name and re-organize the files by their tags. However, if some files aren't properly tagged, foobar will have issues with that.


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db1989
post Dec 7 2011, 13:19
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To be fair, foobar2000 shouldn’t take any longer than iTunes (as suggested above) and should be able to access all the same tags relevant for filename/directory structure.
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