Feeling less than impressed with the way iTunes syncs and backs up your iPod device? Sharepod comes to the rescue with a free software you can use to transfer files back and forth between your device and your computer so you can update your iPod without losing your music and movies.
What is Sharepod?
So what is Sharepod, you might be wondering. Sharepod is a free iTunes alternative software that allows you to do a lot of things iTunes won’t. Many users who can’t get iTunes to work on their PC’s use Sharepod to take music off of their iPods and put it on their computers so they can update their devices without completely losing their music.
Itunes must be installed for Sharepod to work, as the computer still must be authorized for Sharepod to make changes to the iPod.
Syncing Music to the iPod
Syncing music to your iPod is easy with Sharepod, because you don’t have to sit and wait for iTunes to determine gapless playback, which often freezes up your screen.
To sync music, simply plug in your iPod and open Sharepod. Close out of iTunes if it pops open, as Sharepod doesn’t like to make changes with iTunes running.
Select the “Copy to iPod" button in Sharepod. Browse your computer for music or movie files to transfer to the iPod. Select as many as you like, and they will immediately begin transferring to your iPod.
Copying Music to the Computer
The biggest problem with iTunes backups is that iTunes doesn’t actually backup any iPod files that you didn’t purchase from iTunes. So all those CD songs you ripped and copied to your iPod will be erased if you accidentally sync with another iTunes library or get the latest update for your device.
Fortunately, Sharepod is there for all of your non-iTunes purchases. Simply plug your iPod into the computer, open Sharepod and highlight all of the files that appear in the window. Choose the “Copy to PC" option to copy all of your music and movie files directly to any file location on your computer.
You’ll also get the option of importing the music right into your iTunes library when you copy the files to the computer, which is very handy for syncing your library in iTunes the next time.
Removing Your iPod
It’s equally important to remember to remove your iPod correctly, the same as you would using iTunes. Don’t just yank it out of the USB port after you’re finished with Sharepod.
Located at the top right of the Sharepod screen is an “Eject iPod" button. When you’re finished copying files, click this command so Sharepod can properly remove the iPod without getting any files deleted because you removed it too soon.
If you need to add or remove songs or make new playlists, you can do this in the left hand pane of the software. Simply drag and drop songs to make new playlists or delete tracks in the old playlists to remove them. Your changes will take place immediately.
So what is Sharepod? It’s more than just an iTunes alternative. It’s freeware that provides a great way to backup your iPod in a way that iTunes doesn’t allow.
My own user experience