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Format your iPod to copy music for free

Apple and the music industry would never teach you how to copy your friends iTunes Music Library and take it home with you to add their music and videos to your iTunes Library, but I will. The first thing we need to consider is what file system your iPod needs.

As an iPod user, there are many opportunities to actually use your iPod to carry music back home with you from a friends house and add it your iTunes Library.

Let me say that again... iPods can be used to copy your friends entire iTunes Library while you are visiting them at their house. You can bring it back to your house and add it to your own iTunes Library *at no charge*.

In order to do this the iPod must be formatted so your friends computer can recognize it as "an external hard drive".

In the Windows/PC world this shows up as an (E:) or possibly (F:) drive. In the Macintosh world, the iPod mounts and displays on the desktop automatically with the name of the iPod. But here is an important difference between the operating systems. A Macintosh computers' OSX is a slightly more robust operating system.

If you connect a "Macintosh formatted" iPod to a Windows machine, the PC will display a message saying it can't read the drive until you format it (to a FAT32 File System).

If you connect an "MS-DOS Windows formatted" iPod to a Macintosh, not only does the Mac read the drive and let you copy files back and forth as functional external hard drive, the Macintosh based iTunes will allow you use the Windows formatted iPod as though it had been formatted in the Mac Extended file system. The Mac will let you use its iTunes program to sync a PC formatted iPod.

This means if you elect to format your iPod/drive as a Windows based iPod, you can use it on *BOTH* Macs and PCS.

Because you can copy Libraries from friends that are both Mac and PC users, formatting your iPod as an MS-DOS FAT32 file system is a real benefit. The only reason this is possible is because the Mac operating system is more inclusive and in many, many ways a better operating system than Windows/XP/Vista.

If you are a PC user your iPod will automatically be formatted as the MS-DOS FAT 32 file system.

If you are a Macintosh user, you can re-format your iPod to be an MS-DOS drive. Here's how you do it.

Call 707-544-4400


email me at with questions or to set up a repair.


Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday noon to 6pm.

I'm in Sonoma County... Northern California wine country,

    Frank Walburg
    Service Court
    Santa Rosa, Ca 95403-3139

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