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Pod to PC is one in a growing genre of apps designed to make up for an iTunes flaw: The inability to copy music and video from the device. Pod to PC ($10, free demo, temporary unlock code for PC World readers) allows you to automatically or manually copy any music, video and playlists from your iPod or iPhone directly to your iTunes library.
Pod to PC does what it says it does, and it works swiftly and well. You can check tracks on a one-by-one basis, or you can use the automatic transfer feature that takes every music file, video file or playlist file on your iPod and copies it over with one click. Pod to PC even has a handy media player built in for previewing files before copying--just in case you forgot what Slipknot sounds like.
Using only a minimal amount of RAM and system resources, Pod to PC only requires iTunes to be installed and running. The only drawback is that the demo version is really irritating to use.
The demo of Pod to PC crosses a line from informing the user about the full, paid version to the realm of the obnoxious. First, the Auto-transfer button is clickable instead of being grayed out, and you can even click OK on the next screen. Instead of auto-transferring, though, it instead pops up a nag screen telling you that auto-transfer is disabled in the demo and that only 10 songs at a time can be transferred. Not only that, but from the second manual transfer onward, that same screen comes back, but this time with a 60 second counter; the entire app is frozen (including any app windows you have open) until the timer counts down. There's getting people to buy the app, and then there's the ridiculous, and this is the latter.
Irritation aside, the full price of $10 makes it a bargain compared to similar-performing competitors such as CopyTrans and iPodRobot iPod Video Converter (each $20). Unlike CopyTrans, Pod to PC automatically checks for duplicate files throughout your iTunes library, and won't just create a big mess of duplicates--Pod to PC will automatically skip any files that already exist on the host computer.
As with all products of this type, being able to copy from any iPod doesn't guarantee you'll be able to play the files. Any digital rights management will still be in full force, so your iTunes will have to be authorized to play those tracks.
Out of all iPod copy apps I've reviewed, this one is the cheapest and works the best--but you'll want to go ahead and get that $10 registration code immediately. It'll save you a lot of headaches.
Note: The demo transfers only up to 10 songs at a time, and auto-transfer is disabled. Also, after the first few transfers, a 60-second nag screen pops up, halting performance until the timer reaches zero. The full version costs $10.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of Pod to PC covered by PC World was free of charge. Vendor myPod Apps is extending a free registration code to PC World readers. The code PCWORLD2009 will unlock the latest version of the software. This code must be entered in Pod to PC before October 10, 2009; refund requests must also be received by the same date.