'Pod protection

This lightweight and stable app lets you back up the contents of your iPod, stress-free.

Although there have been several shareware choices to allow you to copy songs from your iPod to your computer, the freeware field has been empty--until now.

iDump offers a clean, spreadsheet-style layout that displays all music on your iPod. That lengthy list can be narrowed via the search function. Songs can be organized by terms as familiar as song name or artist to the more esoteric year, bit rate, or even location on the iPod. The app displays the song's iPod path, cracking Apple's unusual file-saving protocol. A main window tab takes you to output options, and from there you just have to choose your songs and hit Copy. Clicking once on a song selects it, and there's also a smart feature that plays the song you've selected in iTunes. Clocking in at under 1MB, iDump is small enough to live on your iPod. We'll let you figure out why that's a good thing.

iDump does have some stability problems, and it doesn't automatically import backed-up songs into iTunes once they've been copied to your hard drive, a definite drawback. Those are small quibbles, though, compared to what you get for free.

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