Restoring media and info from iPod touch

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Let’s suppose that you’re a Mac user who has synced your most precious media and personal information to your iPod touch. Suppose once more that your Mac’s hard drive suddenly bursts into flames, melting your Mac in the process. And, just for the fun of it, let’s take that supposition to its logical conclusion and say that you’ve neglected to back up anything on that Mac’s hard drive.

How, exactly, will you get that precious data off your iPod touch (or iPhone, if that’s your portable player/talker of choice) and onto your nifty new Mac?

Many would find this challenging as the copy of iTunes on that new Mac will tell you that the iPod is synced with the now-crispy Mac and offer little more than to erase the iPod and then fill it with data from the new Mac. But there are ways to bend that iPod and iTunes to your will. Like so:

Get Info: The first step is to copy your contacts, calendar events, and bookmarks from the iPod to your Mac’s copies of Address Book, iCal, and Safari. To do so, plug the iPod into the new Mac. When iTunes offers to erase and sync the thing, click Cancel.

Select the iPod in iTunes’ Source list and click the Info tab. In the window that appears, enable Sync Address Book Contacts, Sync iCal Calendars, and Sync Safari Bookmarks. Click Apply at the bottom of the window.

iTunes will ask if you’d like to replace the information on the iPod or merge it with that self-same information on your Mac. Choose to merge it and iTunes will do exactly as you requested—copy the contact, calendar, and bookmark data from the iPod to the appropriate applications on the Mac (and, if there is any data in Address Book, iCal, and Safari, copy that onto the iPod touch or iPhone).

Get media: iTunes won’t sync media back to a computer but a third-party utility will. Ecamm Networks’ $10 iPhoneDrive allows you to copy music, videos, podcasts, and photos from your iPhone or iPod touch. You can also copy notes you’ve created on an iPod or iPhone.

In regard to photos it’s worth reminding you that you won’t get the full-sized images that once consumed vast sectors of your old Mac’s hard drive. Instead you’ll have the versions of your pictures that iTunes scaled down to work with the iPod.

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