As a relatively new iPod user, I’ve been doing the research on various alternatives to iTunes. I’ve already been the victim of an entire library deletion experience and let’s just say some swearing transpired.
I also needed to do an firmware upgrade on a friend’s iPod and was terrified of deleting all the music on it and needed some way to back it up first.
So what did I do? Well, early on I purchased Anapod Explorer which has all sorts of nice features including the ability to get stuff back off the iPod and do on the fly encoding from .OGG and .WMA formats. But it costs $25 and that’s per-personal-iPod, not per machine and can’t be used with friend’s units. I didn’t want to drop another $25 for this one task.
Then I discovered this great writeup at Engadget which referenced ephPod 2 on how to get your music off. They also give you a Mac option too if you are interested. (weirdly, the Mac method is much more difficult.) ephPod turned out pretty well, worked as advertised.
Oh and if you are wanting to backup/convert to MP3 your purchased iTunes stuff, go here: jhymn