Backing up an iPods music is easy as there are a ton of apps out there that will allow users to select songs and transfer them back to iTunes. Now when it comes to backing up playlists, that functionality is hard to find.
I did a lot of Googling and a lot of testing and came up with one solution; iRip.
iRip is a Mac and Windows application that can transfer music, movies and playlists from your iPod to iTunes. Now backing up music and movies isn’t all that special, but the fact that it can backup playlists was the one feature I couldn’t find anywhere else.
The way it works is that it imports all the songs on any given playlist into iTunes and keeps the playlist intact. The good news is that it doesn’t duplicate all your music in iTunes either. It only copies over what isn’t already in iTunes and links the songs that already exist in iTunes to the playlist being backed up.
The only downside I found was that it was very particular about exact matches between the iPod and iTunes files. It did import some duplicates, however, out of nearly 14,000 songs and 10 playlists, there were not that many duplicates that I had to clean up.
iRip does come with a price tag of $20, but it’s not a bad price seeing as it’s the only application I could find to backup my iPod playlists, and not screw up my iTunes library.