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Plugin For Winamp Allows Downloading From iPod 398

Posted by Hemos
from the busting-out-in-new-ways dept.
slicenglide writes "A newly released plugin for Winamp allows you to copy music from your iPod to your computer. Wired has picked up the story and includes a link to the WinAmp plugin page where you can grab yourself a copy. "
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Plugin For Winamp Allows Downloading From iPod

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  • Winamp? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think my grandparents use to use that back in the early twentieth century...

    • At least it remembers where in a playlist I was the next time I turn on my computer, unlike iTunes. I make static playlists because I want rated songs to play more often based on how high they're rated. Friggin iTunes Smart Playlists aren't smart enough to do that.
    • Re:Winamp? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jxs2151 (554138)
      You from Korea by any chance?
  • Wow, news to me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kazzahdrane (882423)
    I for one never realised that iPods wouldn't let you copy music *off* them. Thank god I never bought one, that would annoy the hell out of me.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's nice to see dumb people self filtering themselves out of the iPod user base.
      • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kazzahdrane (882423) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:20AM (#12632500)
        Meh, I wouldn't say I was dumb, I just never investigated iPods in enough depth to discover that you can't take music off the thing. I wonder how many people know about that when they get one, it probably surprises a few people.
        • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Jarlsberg (643324) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:28AM (#12632537) Journal
          I agree with you. If I had bought an Ipod, I would have assumed you could copy tracks back and forth, just like you can with any other MP3 player (that I've used, anyway). I don't really *get* the whole Ipod thing (why all the fuzz over a simple music player?), so I never bothered to buy one.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:36AM (#12632577)
            I don't really *get* the whole Ipod thing (why all the fuzz over a simple music player?)

            Because ITS MAED BY TEH APPAL!!!!1!one! Obviously anything that ITS MAED BY TEH APPAL!11one!!three! has to be the only thing in the entire world you should ever own. Even if it is overpriced, DRM crippled, uses a non-standard patent-encumbered format, requires software that only works on MacOS or Windows and is one big cross-promotional tie-in to an online music store that over-charges. It's ITS MAED BY TEH APPAL111oneone!!?seven! and that's all you need to know.
          • by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @08:17AM (#12632783) Journal
            Dude, have you been living in a cave???? Haven't you seen those commercials with the cool shadows dancing in front of pretty colors? This is the best tech since Intel released the Blue Man Group.

            Ipod wasn't really meant for those who understand DRM, vendor tie-down, or patent encumbered propietary formats. Its meant for joe-six-pack. However, once it became sooooo cool, even the /. crowd had to get one. I mean when living in your mothers basement, you REALLY cannot afford to let any chance to look cool pass you by ;-)
            • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Simonetta (207550) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:16AM (#12634680)
              Ipod wasn't really meant for ...It's meant for joe-six-pack.

              I don't believe that anything from Apple Computer is meant for "Joe Six-Pack". It's made for "Megan and Justin Portfolio" - the generic upper-middle-class arts-creative-type person. They have the money to pay the premium Apple price, the ability to best use the advanced design and interface character of Apple products, the distaste for technical details, and the subtle contempt for those who would feel the need or desire to skirt the restrictions imposed by Apple for the benefit of the product/company/community/class. They truly believe that bypassing DRM is bad because they feel that they are or more likely, someday will be making their well-heeled living off high priced 'intellectual property'.

              The "Joe SixPack" type middle-class Chevy-truck Saturday-night-watching-wrestling-on-TV people are using their Walmart CD players for portable music needs. They wouldn't buy Apple products even if they were in the same price range, simply because their inherent social inferiority complex alienates them from image that is created by Apple's advertisements.
            • Intel didn't release the Blue Man Group. They escaped on their own using an elaborate, yet pleasant sounding series of PVC-lined tunnels.
          • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Daytona955i (448665)
            First, I think iPod's intent to not allow you to download tracks from your iPod was to help their stance with the music industry. (namely RIAA) However it is really easy to find programs that will allow you to get songs off of your iPod. You can however, easily upload/download other files to your iPod without any external programs.

            Pros and cons of an iPod:
            First, an iPod has one of the best interfaces of any portable music player I've ever seen. However I think the most powerful aspect of the iPod is using
          • I wouldn't get it either if I wasn't a Mac user. The fact that it syncs my address book and calendars and allows me to keep backups of important files and short text notes on it makes it more like a portable hard drive with an interface than a music player.
          • Ok you are right it is Appal that makes the iPod, and a lot of the basement crowd has picked it up. You want to see the popularity of the iPod go check out the East Coast where New York City is. Where I live in the NordeLand of America there ain't that much iPod ness except at work.

            I have the cheapest iPod. I don't find happiness in goods. I needed one so it works under Linux ( gtkpod). Also this was the chepeast for the most ammount of storage. Also I don't take good care of my electronics so something th
          • If you dont "get" the whole ipod thing, you probably don't "get" why people pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of sunglasses or buy ferraris. Its simply something to show off your status symbol. It in no way it technologically superior to any other mp3 player, and it also costs more. (Ok the shuffle supposedly has that rediculously good sound quality, but all that is negated by the crappy stock headphones that you must use to prove that your are a true yuppy.)
            • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:4, Insightful)

              by recursiv (324497) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:32AM (#12634914) Homepage Journal
              Yeah, you got it all figured out. But what's this? I'll bet you'll be pretty confused by my case. I have and use an ipod, but keep it concealed. I replaced the headphones with normal crappy looking headphones. No one who sees me would know I have an ipod. If I don't want and don't let anyone know I have an ipod, it can't possibly be a status symbol, right?

              So why do I have it? To listen to music. It works well. Previously, I purchased another mp3 player, only slightly cheaper, and had continuous problems with it. And even when it was working as intended, it was harder to use. The ipod is something like half the size and weight, easier to use, more reliable, and the support (which I used once) is vastly superior. Possibly the smoothest technical support experience I have ever had in my life.
          • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
            Click wheel. The engineering on it is beautiful.

            Besides that, there are no real amazing things about it. But the click wheel was enough to sell me.

            What bothers me, especially about the iPod, is the attitude people have of "I like this, so you and everyone should like it too!". If the iPod doesn't sit with you, don't buy it. And tell those people who tell you to buy one to shove it in a hole.
        • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mbbac (568880)
          It surprises no one because it isn't true.
      • by OwP_Fabricated (717195) <fabricated&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:25AM (#12632529) Homepage
        It's nice to see that assholes aren't however.
      • OP is referring to the fact that you CAN take music off it, and clearly you've not done your research well in the slightest. Just use a program like ephpod.
      • If I compare you to a nazi bigot can I then call godwin and get all the zealots to shut up?
    • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:20AM (#12632497)
      Of course they allow you to copy music off of them. They're just plain old firewire/USB hard drives as far as your computer is concerned.

      The only gotchas are that the files are hidden, and the music's filenames are hashed for fast access from a metadata database. Thus when you copy the files back, you have to regenerate their names from their ID3 tags or the metadata database, as this winamp plugin does. You can do this as simply as dragging your music back into iTunes with the 'copy imported music' setting on, and there are plenty of other utilities that do it that have never gotten a /. article.
    • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:3, Informative)

      by EpsCylonB (307640)
      Ipods are definitely for Lusers (it surprises me that so many slashdotters rave about them). I don't have a HD based mp3 player yet but there are ones out there that are much more geek friendly than the apple offering. When I do buy one (when the prices fall a bit) I will definitely try and make sure I get one that plays ogg vorbis (this is one of the tests for geekiness).

      To be fair to the Ipod its just DRM'ed music you can't transfer off it, files and such can go both ways AFAIK although you do need the
    • That's why I got a Sampod [robert.to].

      It supports open, industry standards like OGG Vorbis. Also, the "DRM" is used by a wide number of vendors, giving me the choice of at least 8 on-line music stores to purchase or "lease" music from.

      I simply plugged it into my Windows XP laptop and it worked--no software to install. Just press the "sync" button from Windows Media player 10.

      Copying music off is as easy as copying music on.

      • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @08:14AM (#12632764) Homepage Journal
        It supports open, industry standards like OGG Vorbis.


        As much as I support OGG Vorbis, and have nearly all my music on my iRiver, I think calling it "industry standard" is way off the mark. MP3 is by far the most widely supported format, and therefore closest to being a de facto standard. The only other competitor is WAV.
      • by cduffy (652)
        No, I'm not joking. I occasionally want voice recorder functionality, and just about everyone seems to use some proprietary format or another for their hardware -- while Speex gets compression rates with the best of them, and works on all the platforms I use.

        Once upon a time I might have bought a player with Vorbis support -- but my money's gotten tighter since then, so my requirements have gone up. Where's the dedicated hardware with Speex support?
    • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:2, Interesting)

      by newend (796893)
      I am also surprised. Especially since the first time I tried to copy music off a friend's iPod onto my computer it worked. The only problem I noticed was that it truncated file names (a bitch and a half to go back and fix).
    • Thats because its bullsjit.

      My iPod is filled with my own ripped MP3's, and copy fine back and forth using iTunes (the program)

      What is disallowed, and is now possible due to this plugin, is iTunes (the store) downloaded AAC music onto your iPod WHICH HAS DRM, was disallowed off.

      Big news: DRM places restrictions on you. Winamp helps. Film at 11.
      • My iPod is filled with my own ripped MP3's, and copy fine back and forth using iTunes (the program)


        which version of Itunes/pod firmware?

        I have the latest Itunes (tiger) and 2.1 firmware on my 3rd gen and I cannot copy from the ipod back to Itunes within the Itunes application. You have utils like podripper that will help you but the Itunes application doesn't support this (anymore)

        • Re:Wow, news to me (Score:2, Informative)

          by iainl (136759)
          1) enable your iPod for hard-disc use in the options.

          2) look on the disk (on Windows they're in a hidden directory) and copy all those shiny mp3 files off to a temp directory.

          3) introduce them to iTunes and ask it to consolidate your library if you want the filenames to be sorted out.

          This certainly works on Windows, so I'd be surprised if it doesn't work on OSX as well.
          • Yep this would work except they are hidden files and Finder doesn't like'em... of course having a Unix underbelly means you can use tools like konqueror and mc to manipulate files.
            On this note... has someone figured out how to get fish:// urls supported on OSX(tiger)??
            alternatly, has anyone been succesful in mounting their own "idisk" server?
          • I found a wonderful freeware app called Zortam (google for it) that will populate id3 from file name or vice versa as well as a whole bunch of other options.
    • I've never really seen a need to copy music off of my iPod. I copy the music to the iPod with iTunes. The music remains in my library on my computer as well as on my iPod. If you need to use the iPod as a hard drive to MOVE your music you can do that just fine too. Just configure it to work as a data HardDrive and copy the files to the drive. Then copy them back to where ever you want. The difference is you can't play those files on the iPod. They are just data. You could conceivably have the same s
      • I agree except for one thing? what if you have a major disk failure? As you are already essentially "backing up" your music to the iPod couldn't you just use it to restore? Of course this is assuming you keep everything on it (barring you have more mp3s than will fit then you should be looking at alternative methods for backup)
    • Except that the Ipod doesn't prevent it. They're all there in a hidden directory that is easy to get to with a CLI or other tools. Itunes just doesn't support it.
    • You know what would annoy the hell out of me? Having to manually manage the music on my music player. With iTunes and a few smart playlists, it automatically puts things on there that I would be putting on there manually. (And the second purpose of this is to have a backup of your player music.)

      I have smart playlists set up as such, that always synchronize with the iPod every time I connect it to the 'puter:
      1) A playlist that always has the latest 2gb of music I've added to my library
      2) A playlist that con
    • I for one never realised that iPods wouldn't let you copy music *off* them. Thank god I never bought one, that would annoy the hell out of me.

      That isn't exactly true. I bought an album off of iTunes exactly one day before my hard drive gave up the ghost on my iMac and I hadn't yet copied it to my iBook, but it was on my iPod. When I got my new hard drive I just opened up a shell and copied /Volumes/iPod/iPod_Control/Music to my desktop and then did a Spotlight searcy for the album name. The exact num

  • Big Deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:08AM (#12632432) Homepage
    iPods store the music totally openly in the directory structure. You can download the music from any file browser that can see the disk - like the command line on OS X for example. It's hardly rocket science.
    • Re:Big Deal (Score:5, Interesting)

      by flamearrows (821733) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:10AM (#12632440)
      But it isn't obvious to the common users, nor is it an easy or efficient method of doing so. The winamp plug-in solves both problems.
      • Some reviewers crap all over iTunes and say that "the MuVo allows for easy directory browsing so you have no need for a specific program". I agree with you, that is much, much less obvious to ordinary users than a single program acting as the sync, database, storage manager and music player. As iTunes or WinAmp with this plugin.
        • Re:Big Deal (Score:4, Insightful)

          by wootest (694923) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:13AM (#12633239)
          Most reviewers who do demand direct directory access are generally clueless about how metadata, organization or both combined work with the devices. Even the iPod shuffle needs to store play order when used in the playlist mode - how do you suppose you put a few songs to the top of the list using folder structures?

          Low-level mavens might be more comfortable with folder arrangements as they involve 'less magic'. But things that can be in more places than one at the same time are just not good things to run directly on folder structures, because they'd require maintenance. I guess playlists are doable via folders of aliases/shortcuts/symlinks, but anything more complicated than that is just not tenable - like smart playlists.
    • Re:Big Deal (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Trillan (597339) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:20AM (#12632494) Homepage Journal
      The real problem is that the story is in the mainstream media now.
    • Re:Big Deal (Score:2, Funny)

      by selderrr (523988)
      It's hardly rocket science

      um.. no... or there would have to be a rocket involved, not ?
    • Re:Big Deal (Score:2, Funny)

      by iainl (136759)
      As someone who did some Rocket Science at university, I'd have to say that it isn't exactly Brain Surgery.
  • Windows ME (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:09AM (#12632434)
    ""Using it with third-gen iPod and Windows ME," wrote Brian Cape in the Winamp forum. "Absolutely superb, no problems at all." "

    No problems at all with Windows ME? It's a miricle!
  • by DikSeaCup (767041) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:09AM (#12632435) Homepage
    I've already been able to do this. Now, I don't get the files in the nifty directory structure of Artist/Album/track# songtitle.mp3, but hey, all I need after copying the files off of the iPod (using standard windows copying), I can just add the copied directory into *any* iTunes Library and iTunes will be nice enough to sort things however I told iTunes to do so.

    Of course I didn't read the article, so there might be something to it ... but I suspect it's not that hard to get the files via a Linux installation. The only platform I have that I have had trouble pulling the files off of the iPod on is Mac.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:12AM (#12632453)
    To copy songs from your iPod on mac os x, open up the terminal and type:

    # Change directory to the ipod music directory. (I'm not sure if iPod Control is the exact name I'm not on a mac at the moment, but it's similar.)
    cd /Volumes/name_of_ipod/iPod Control/music

    # View the files on the iPod
    ls

    # Then copy whatever the files called.
    cp name_of_file

    No plugins, downloads, whatever required :)
  • now taking bets! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How long will Apple take to *fix* this?
    • Probably as soon as they hear the news and figure out a way to convince us that 'it is for our own good'.
    • They won't.

      Actually, Apples don't care much about the DRM, they just want to sell iPods, and tunes.

      The ones who really cares are in the Phonographic industry, so what you really asking is:

      When de RIAA will demand this to be fixed?

      More importand, they'll demand Apple to fix it, or demand WinAmp to stop providing the plugin? Or both!?
  • Meh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Idimmu Xul (204345)
    I can copy music from my iRiver to my hdd without th e need for any such plugins, it's just like a removable hdd using the USB Mass Storage Device drivers.

    I pity you fools and your shiny white shackles!
    • by mbbac (568880)
      Ipod owners can do the same thing. This just makes it easy for the clueless.
    • I pitty you fools who trust everything they read as fact.

      As it has been mention many times already, it is possible to do this without a plugin, it's just not completely obvious on how to do it.
  • This is news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by moonbender (547943) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <rednebnoom>> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:15AM (#12632470)
    Maybe this is news for Winamp users - I doubt it, but I don't use it myself. But there has been software to download songs from the iPod to your harddrive for ages. The inability to do so is pretty much limited to iTunes, every other application dealing with the iPod (and there are dozens) enables you to do that. One popular example for Windows is EphPod [ephpod.com]. Lots and lots more can be found for multiple platforms at iPodlounge [ipodlounge.com].

    Personally, I use foo_pod [hydrogenaudio.org], a plugin for the foobar2000 [foobar2000.org] audio player. It's quite powerful, including such features as automatic conversion of formats the iPod doesn't know (e.g. ogg or shorten) and automatic generation of audiobooks. For what it's worth - Wired seems to care - foobar and foo_pod are yet half as small than Winamp and that plugin is. Hah.
  • I might be wrong, but I believe an iPod just shows up as removable media when I connect it to my Windows machine via USB or FireWire. I can simply browse the drive, and copy and paste any files I like, music or not. Why is this new?
  • hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by mrselfdestrukt (149193) <nollie_A7_firstcounsel_com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:18AM (#12632489) Homepage Journal
    But isn't that illegal?
    You are going to make jesus cry.
    N
  • Bah (Score:5, Informative)

    by zaxios (776027) <zaxios@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:20AM (#12632501) Journal
    This is hardly new nor interesting. There are plenty of programs that work with the iPod other than iTunes. Behold just a few:

    - Anapod Explorer [redchairsoftware.com]

    - PodUtils [kennettnet.co.uk]

    - GTKpod [sourceforge.net]

    - GNUpod [gnu.org]

    And rhythmbox, for example, offers nice integration of music management and iPod operability -- if that's what is supposed to have made this newsworthy.
    • Re:Bah (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sacrilicious (316896)
      I've tried two of the utilities you mention (G*) and in each case gave up on getting them to function. I'm sure with enough time and fiddling it would have happened, but getting them to work wasn't high-enough priority for me to warrant putting in lots of time. If this new winamp thing "just works", no compilation/configuring involved, I would consider that a big step forward.
  • by Will Fisher (731585) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:21AM (#12632503)
    Here is a direct link to the homepage [mlipod.com] for the winamp iPod plugin.

    We have many other features than just copy to hard drive, mlipod provides fully fledged iPod management. Go check it out!

    Will - Lead dev for mlipod
    • Great work! I've been using EphPod for ages as it supports Winamp playlists but obviously this is even better, especially since it doesn't crash all the time like EphPod... ;)

      I'm glad there are more and more alternatives to iTunes, it's such a horrid program to use IMO.
  • Newly released? (Score:4, Informative)

    by HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:28AM (#12632535)
    A friend of mine has been using this plugin for months, and prefers to use it in favor of iTunes. It's hardly new though, the earliest release listed on their Sourceforge filelist [sourceforge.net] is from April 2004.
  • FYI about shuffles (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Hobo (783784) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:33AM (#12632562)
    I've been using this for a while, it works with Ipod Shuffles as well, just drag/drop, haven't tried any of the advanced features though
  • by gadlaw (562280)
    People want to be able to use their music and their devices as they see fit and they will find a way to make that happen when companies try to cripple their otherwise good products. I bought my iPod thinking that it was probably locked down and the ability to transfer songs and files would be limited but I knew you people out there would fix the problem. It is annoying when locked down proprietary design locks the features down of a device I would otherwise buy and so I will look elsewhere when that happens
  • by jmcmunn (307798) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:38AM (#12632584)
    There are a ton of programs that already let you do this. Perhaps the coolest in my eyes is a program called SharePod which runs directly from the iPod hard drive, and so requires no installation. It is for Windows only, however, which is the only limitation.

    http://sturm.t35.com/sharepod/ [t35.com]

    There are also about a dozen alternatives here, on iPodlounge.com

    http://www.ipodlounge.com/index.php/ipod-software/ [ipodlounge.com]

    Kudos to the WinAmp guys for doing this though, I'll probably check it out to see how they did it.
  • Reality Check (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:51AM (#12632654)

    1) any iPod, if initialized using Windows (meaning it's FAT32 formatted), is a standard USB Mass Storage Device that you can plug into any windows box that supports those and start using it as a removable HDD

    2) nothing prevents you from downloading your DRM-free songs from your iPod using only Windows Explorer. However, iTunes arranges all music files in 32/64/128/256 (something like that) folders named 00 through FF (in hex). So your Metallica - St.Anger tracks would be scattered in some 10 folders or so... and it's not that easy to compile the whole album by hand. iPod uses its internal database to find files. All this winamp plugin provides is a convenient way to copy files from your iPod back to your hdd by parsing through this database file and renaming files using the template specified.

    This also means that you can not simply copy mp3 folder to iPod and play them... you have to update the database. This is why you have to use iTunes (or this winamp plugin or similar util) to upload music to your iPod player.

    Yes, it's stupid, compared to the way iRiver players handle files and folders.

    3) I've been using this plugin for about a year now, this is hardly news. I recommend NOT to use it to upload files to your iPod, it once corrupted its database and I had to erase it and copy all the music again.

    4) there is also a plugin for Total Commander (my shell of choice) that provides similar functionality:

    http://www.totalcmd.net/plugring/ipod.html [totalcmd.net]

    • For a minute there I wondered why you posted that as AC, rather than yourself. Then I noticed you implied voluntarily having Metallica's St Anger on your computer ;)
  • by Domini (103836) <lailoken@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @07:57AM (#12632677) Journal
    Total Commander [ghisler.com] can see the files on the iPod using this [totalcmd.net] file system plugin. (link to download may be broken, but plugin can be found elsewhere...)

    TC is all you really ever need, and can replace explorer quite effectively with loads of added bonuses.

    I've also used a neat OS X util called Senuti (iTunes backward) to be able to copy from and to the iPod and do all sorts of other cool things.

    (Next to zsh and vi, it's the cheese!) ;)
  • I've been doing this forever. I run Linux on my main machine, but use my old Win98 laptop with the Winamp plugin to send my stuff to my iPod. Don't have time to mess around with the iPod in Linux right now (hhaha but ironically, i have time to check slashdot today).

    Here's the Win98 iPod USB driver [republika.pl] that I use to get it to talk to the Winamp plugin.

  • by Digital Pizza (855175) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:43PM (#12636514)
    ... at least as long as the songs didn't come from the Apple store. All of mine are ripped from CD's or vinyl to MP3.

    The iPod's Music folder is hidden only in the Finder. On a Mac you can still get to it easily enough via the shell or an alternative file browser; go here:

    /Volumes/[iPod's name]/iPod_Control/Music/

    There are a bunch of folders with names like "F00", "F01", "F02" .. up to "F49" on mine. The MP3's are under these folders. The filenames and ID's are still intact, so it'd be easy to import them all into another program.

    If you want a nice GUI tool to do this, on Mac there is "iPod Access" and "iPodRip" (both shareware), and there is the free program "gtkpod", which I use on my Linux box at work to listen to my iPod songs.

    Apple really doesn't lock you out of your iPod, which is one reason why I love it! Of course, mine's HFS+ formatted; is it hard to do this on Windows?

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