Apple's iPod, whether using flash memory or a hard drive, categorizes its content into folders. Some owners use their iPods as external hard drives, storing music and other file types on board. Navigating iPod music folders with Apple's Finder on your computer is a good way to locate content iTunes can't find. Using Finder to navigate iPod folders also allows you to explore the device's musical content for importing files to iTunes if you need to restore lost content after a hard drive crash. Since music files are typically hidden, you'll have to make them appear with Terminal.
Connect your iPod to your Mac computer using the dock connector. Hold down the "Command" and "Option" keys to prevent iTunes from automatically opening.
Locate the iPod on the Finder sidebar. Open Terminal. Enter "defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE."
Press and hold the "Option" key while clicking on and holding the Finder icon. Select "Relaunch."
Wait for Finder to restart. Note that the once-hidden music folders are now visible.
Double-click "iPod_Control" folder. Locate the "Music" folder among the other numerous subfolders. Double-click this folder to see each music file inside, labeled "F00" to "F50."
Note that each music file has a cryptic file name, typically with an ".m4a" suffix. Click and drag these folders into iTunes, which will display the proper names.
- This process does not work with the iPhone or iPod Touch.
- Conceal the hidden Finder files by entering "defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE" in the Terminal.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images