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Transferring iPod songs from one computer to another

Q: My son has an iPod with music from his iTunes library on our desktop computer. How do I get his songs transferred to my laptop and then be able to get his songs on my iPod?

iPod videoA: Let’s start with the songs in your iTunes library on your desktop computer. Using your mouse, right click on a song you want to copy and select “Show in Windows Explorer”. That should take you to the physical location of the song file on your hard drive. If you want to copy the entire album instead of just the one song, navigate up one level in your folder structure until you see the folder with the album name you want to copy.

Next, you’ll need to copy the album folder or song file to some kind of external media like a flash drive or an external hard drive. You can really use whatever you want as long as both your desktop computer and your laptop can access the drive.

Once the files are copied, open up iTunes on your laptop and select “Preferences” from the “Edit” menu. You want to verify that the “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” checkbox is checked under the Advanced tab. This ensures that the music files you are copying are placed in the correct location on your laptop.

Finally, choose “Add Folder to Library” from the iTunes “File” menu. Then locate the folder or file you just copied on your external media and click “OK”. The new songs should now show up in your iTunes library on your laptop.

One other thing to note. If any of your son’s songs were purchased from the iTunes Store they will be licensed to him and you may not be able to play them. But Apple allows you to authorize up to five computers so your son can go to your laptop and authorize the computer by choosing the “Authorize Computer” option located underneath the “Store” menu in iTunes. Your son will need to enter his Apple ID and password which will then allow you to play his purchased songs.

This post was originally broadcast Friday, March 23, 2007 on Tech Talk with Noobie, a weekly radio show on WCBK 102.3 FM in Martinsville, Indiana. Tech Talk with Noobie airs every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and noon. If you have a question you would like Noobie to answer on the air, simply e-mail your question to techtalk@wcbk.com.