In the past upgrading the firmware on my iPod Touch has been a painful experience (unless I have been doing something wrong), in that the upgrade has reset my Touch and removed all my music and videos. As I don’t retain copies of my CD’s in iTunes this has meant that after the upgrade I have had to go through the lengthy process of re-importing my CD collection. Thus for along time I have been on the hunt for a program that will allow me to copy my media files back onto my PC so that it makes the re-importing a lot quicker and less tedious.
Although there are a number of commercial programs available, I have been using a program called iPhoneBrowser (http://code.google.com/p/iphonebrowser/). This program looks a bit like Windows Explorer, allowing me to see the whole of the folder structure of the Touch and backing up selected files to a PC.
Even though it is a powerful program it has a couple of draw backs.
- You have to be familiar with Unix / Linux folder structures making the hunting down of where you music is stored frustrating;
- The music (and videos) files do not have user friendly names (i.e. IHAX.m4a) and there is no knowing what track is what until you import them in to iTunes.
So my hunt has continued, until the beginning of the week when I discovered SharePod (http://www.getsharepod.com/about/), a free standalone application that when copying your media files gives them recognisable filenames.
After several tests of copying music from the Touch to a PC using SharePod I decided to take the plunge and upgrade the firmware to the latest version (3.0/7A341). The first step was to backup all my media on the Touch. SharePod was very impressive, copying 1,300 audio tracks to the PC in half an hour. The next step was to perform the upgrade itself. This went very smoothly and after the upgrade I discovered that this time the Touch had not been wiped clean with all my media still there. Initially I was a bit annoyed at having gone to all the trouble of backing up my Touch but then when I thought about it if I hadn’t I would not have discovered the brilliant SharePod.
Aside: Anyone interested in jailbreaking their iPod Touch (or iPhone) should take a look at this instructional video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM_QovWugN8