How to Move Music From One iPod to Another

by Avery Martin, studioD

Once you purchase music, you can transfer your music to an authorized iTunes library. Regardless of whether you have an iPod Touch, Nano, Shuffle or Classic iPod, the process of moving music to each device is the same. If you want different content on each device, create playlists to sync only the songs in the selected playlists to your iPod. This allows you to customize the music on each device and maximize available storage space on each iPod. Automatically download purchased music from iCloud by configuring settings for the iTunes app available on all iOS devices. For a small fee, you can also subscribe to iTunes Match to store content that wasn't purchased from the iTunes Store.

Transfer Music

Connect the iPod containing the music you want to move to your computer using the provided USB connector cable. Launch iTunes if it doesn't open automatically. On Windows, click the Start menu, then type "iTunes" into the search box. On a Mac, click "iTunes" in the Dock.

Click the "Store" menu and "Authorize Computer." Enter the Apple ID and password associated with the music purchased on your iPod. Click "Authorize."

Click "Transfer Purchases" if you get a prompt that your iPod has been synced to another iTunes library. Otherwise, right-click on your iPod in the Devices section and choose the option to transfer purchases from your iPod.

Disconnect your iPod when the transfer completes.

Create a Playlist

Click the "File" menu and "New Playlist" from the drop-down menu in iTunes.

Double-click the playlist's name in the Playlists section of the sidebar. Type a name for the playlist. Using iPod's name makes it easier to identify the correct playlist if you have multiple playlists.

Click the "Music" option in the Library section. Click on each song to move to your iPod and drag the file name to the playlist you created. Select multiple items by holding down the "Control" key in Windows or the "Command" key for a Mac.

Syncing Music

Locate the iPod you want to move your music to and connect it to your computer with the USB connector cable.

Open iTunes if it isn't already open. Click on your iPod in the Devices section and select the "Music" tab.

Check the "Sync Music" check box. Select the "Entire Music Library" radio button to sync all of your music. To sync only your iPod specific playlist, select the "Selected Playlists, Artists, Albums and Genres" radio button and then select the playlist's check box in the Playlists section.

Click "Apply" or "Sync" to update your iPod.

Automatic iCloud Downloads

Tap "Settings" on your iPod running iOS.

Scroll down and tap "iTunes and App Stores." If necessary, enter the Apple ID and password used to purchase music on your other accounts. This should be the same as your iCloud credentials. Tap "Sign In."

Turn the "Music" switch to "On" in the Automatic Downloads section to download music available within iCloud.

Turn "iTunes Match" to "On" to enable the syncing of music that was imported from a CD or downloaded to your iTunes library from a digital distributor other than Apple. Then, tap the "Settings" button at the top of the screen, tap "Music" and turn on "iTunes Match" in the Music app as well. If you enable iTunes Match, you must pay the annual subscription fee to begin using the service.

Press the Home button and tap the "iTunes" app.

Tap the "More" tab at the bottom of the screen.

Tap "Purchased" and "Music." Select the "Not On This iPod" tab then select "All Songs."

Tap "Download All" to begin downloading songs to your iPod.


  • If you use iCloud to move music between different iPod Touch devices, it won't transfer music that wasn't purchased from the iTunes Store.
  • ICloud only stores the music that you have already purchased. Each iCloud account comes with 5GB of storage space, but music, apps, video and other content purchased from Apple does not count against that storage space.
  • By subscribing to iTunes Match and using your iCloud account, you can also store music not purchased from the iTunes Store in iCloud and make all your music available to all of your computers running iTunes and devices running iOS. ITunes match automatically looks for new content and backs it up online.


  • Information in this article applies to computers running iTunes 10. Sections that require the use of iCloud or iTunes Match only work with iPod Touch third Generation or higher and other devices running iOS 5 or higher. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Items you will need

  • USB connector cable

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images