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If you have access to the old computer where your media used to be (as in, you’re moving from a working system to a new working system and want to re-sync,) it might be easier for you to just follow Apple’s tutorial to backing up your i OS device’s music and media to an external hard drive, importing it to the new computer, and then connecting your i OS device to sync.
Either way, make sure you keep good backups of the media on your i Phone, i Pod Touch, or i Pad – Apple doesn’t make it easy to save your music and media and move them back from your device to another computer if you don’t have backups.
If you still have the sync warning up, there should be a button to transfer purchases.
If not, go up to the File menu and choose “Transfer purchases from…” or right-click the device in the i Tunes sidebar and select “Transfer purchases from” there.
The trouble with this method is that if you care about play counts, ratings, and other metadata, they may be lost.
If you’d rather use a free utility to do it, try De Tune, a free Mac utility that will back up your i OS device, it’s music, movies, ringtones, voice memos, and playlists to your Mac.
You’ll have to log in to your i Tunes account to prove that you are the actual owner of the device, but once you do, all of your app purchases will appear in i Tunes on the new computer.
This trick doesn’t just work for apps – if you’ve purchased movies or downloaded music from i Tunes, it works for those files as well.
Unfortunately De Tune and Senuti are Mac only, but Windows users will have better luck using Media Monkey or Winamp to see, manage, and back up their i OS device’s files than Mac users will.Here are some ways to get the job done: The Free (and Not So Easy) Way If you’re okay using an alternative media player, Songbird (Mac/Windows), Media Monkey (Windows) and Winamp (Windows) all allow you to plug in your i OS device and will let you back up your files from it without jailbreaking it.Once you have them installed and your i OS device connected, all three apps should recognize it, allow you to browse and control it, and will even let you replace i Tunes by syncing new music to it, downloading what you have already back to your computer, and play the songs on the device already.Here’s a step-by-step from Apple on how to do this.Music Can Be Difficult If your i OS device is loaded up with music–let’s say songs you’ve ripped from CDs or downloaded from other music stores that aren’t i Tunes but you used to have in your i Tunes library, transferring purchases won’t work.
When you’ve just rebuilt your computer and reinstalled all of your applications, if you’re smart you’ve backed up your music and added it back to your music library.