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How to Get Music, Videos Off Your iPhone & Onto Your PC or Mac


Updated September 20, 2010: Apple has gone to great lengths to make it difficult to get music off of your iPod or iPhone.  This option is forbidden to users because Apple (and the music companies Apple must work with in order to sell music) want to make it difficult to share music libraries.  This is understandable on some level, but -- as is often the case -- steps taken to keep people from doing bad things end up hurting honest users more than anyone.

If a PC or Mac goes to electronic heaven, and the only place a user's music library still exists is on his or her iPhone, this user will want to know how to get music off the phone and back onto a computer.

The good news is that this can be done, but it requires some time, some software and (for some users and situations) some cash. In this article, we'll show you your options for getting your music and/or videos off your iPhone and back onto your computer, be it PC or Mac.



Getting Started: Choose Your System OS

To begin the process of getting your music and/or videos off of your iPhone and onto your computer, select the type of system you're using with your iPhone:






Option 1: Pod to PC

Our favorite option for getting music off an iPhone (or iPod) for Windows users is Pod to PC. This software (which was entirely free until recently and is now shareware) makes getting your media files from your iPhone to your Windows PC a snap.

Download Pod to PC for Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7

Once installed, Pod to PC looks at the contents of your iPhone (via iTunes) and presents you with a list of the device contents.

As you can see, the software presents you with a listing of the on-device playlists (left panel), a summary of the iPhone's contents (center screen) and a tab for Music & Video transfers (upper center screen).  Using these options, you can select specific tracks or video files for transfer, transfer contents by playlist or even filter media types for transfer:

Additionally, you can search for specific artists, song or video titles, etc., for completely customized transfers:

There are even helpful options in the Edit > Options menu which allow you to automatically import transferred tracks into iTunes or guard against duplicate track transfers if you've already loaded some music into iTunes.  This second feature is particularly helpful if you've lost some of your iTunes Library while other entries remain in tack on your PC.


Option 2: TuneAid

Next on the iPhone music recovery list is TuneAid.  While in some ways superior to Pod to PC for simple music transfers, TuneAid isn't as video file friendly and costs $20 to register.

Download TuneAid for Windows XP / Vista

TuneAid has many of the music features of Pod to PC and is built around a very iTunes-like look and feel:

TuneAid is also available on the Mac.




Option 1: Pod to Mac

Pod to Mac is the Mac OS equivalent to Pod to PC, but Pod to Mac is freeware.  This is our favorite Mac OS solution for getting iPhone content off the handset and onto your Mac.  The software supports both music and video files.

Download Pod to Mac for Mac OS X 10.5+

Once installed, Mac to PC looks at the contents of your iPhone (via iTunes) and presents you with a list of the device contents:

You can select specific tracks, all tracks and more, then import them directly into itunes, transfer them to your Mac desktop or automatically let the software do an automatic transfer.


Option 2: TuneAid

Also available for Windows, TuneAid is a powerful tool for transferring the contents of your iPhone to your Mac.  However, unlike Pod to Mac, TuneAid costs $20.

Download TuneAid for Mac OS X 10.4+



We hope these tools will help you recover the music stored on your iPhone or iPod.  If you know of a solution not mentioned here, please let us know and we'll include additional recovery methods.

Still have questions?  Have a comment?  Use the links below to submit them.  We love to hear from our readers.


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