Restoring iTunes library from an iPod
What happens when your PC is involved in a spectacular crash or your hard drive just dies and you lose your iTunes library?
Well, first off, you should have a backup, especially if you have music that you've paid for. But experience tells me that not everyone backs up their stuff and I still get emails from people who have lost their entire iTunes library.
So what can they do?
Well, if you have all your tunes loaded onto your iPod then there are ways that you can recover your iTunes library from your iPod. One Windows-based utility that allows you to do this is called CopyPod:
"CopyPod is the ultimate backup & recovery tool for your iPod. You are one click away from retrieving your music, ratings, playlists, playcounts to your PC. CopyPod is a lifesaver when sending your iPod for repair, in cases of computer/hard drive crash, or just to backup up to a different drive. CopyPod will do the job effortlessly."
CopyPod costs $19.90 but there is a 14-day free trial available for download from the website.
If you are a Mac user there's a utility called PodWorks:
PodWorks is a Mac OS X (Cocoa) application that compensates for the iPod's only downside: Apple only allows you to copy songs to your iPod. If you have two Macs and want to use your iPod to transfer music from one to the other, or you only store your MP3s on your iPod and need to copy them back onto your hard drive after a disk failure, you are out of luck!
This is where PodWorks comes in: it allows you to copy songs from any Mac iPod to any Mac running OS X 10.2 or higher (including Panther).
There's a feature-limited trial version available and a license costs $8.
However, if you don't have all your tunes loaded onto your iPod then Apple may be able to help. It seems that they have the capability to press a button and allow your to re-download all your iTunes purchases again. At least Wil Wheaton was able to pull this off!