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iPod is an innovative device to store and play audio files encoded by MP3 or AAC, while iTunes is the default tool to manage MP3 files in iTunes Library on computer and copy MP3 songs from computer to iPod. However, iTunes is bulky, especiall users who have used it to manage thousands of songs and videos. When you use it to copy MP3 songs to your iPod, it might take you a few minutes. The good news is that, besides iTunes, there are a bunch of tools available for you to copy MP3 songs to iPod. Below, I'm going to tell you how to copy MP3 songs to iPod with and without iTunes.

Part 1. Copy MP3 Songs to iPod with iTunes

iTunes is the official media management software released by Apple to manage MP3 songs on computer and copy songs to iPod. The steps of using it to copy MP3 files to iPod are simple:


  • Step 1: Run iTunes and connect your iPod to computer with USB cable. iTunes has been pre-installed on Mac. If you're using Windows PC, you're supposed to download it from Apple official site first.
  • Step 2: Set up your iPod. By default, your iPod will automatically sync with your iTunes library. To change this, go to iTunes preferences > click "Devices" > check "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically".
  • Step 3: Add your MP3 to the iTunes library if they are not there. You can also rip CD to iTunes and transfer MP3 to iPod to play anywhere as well.
  • Step 4: Select the iPod in iTunes
  • Step 5: Click the Music tab, and make sure your playlist is ticked under the Selected playlists.
  • Step 6: Click Sync and Apply.

iTunes is free to transfer MP3 to iPod. To make it work, please always ensure that you have installed the latest version. When you transfer MP3 to iPod, you might encounter some common iTunes syncing errors listed below. If it really happens, then try to transfer MP3 files to iPod without iTunes, which are mentioned below.

iTunes Sync Error 1

itunes sync error

Only can sync iPod with one iTunes library.

iTunes Sync Error 2

itunes sync error

Non-purchase songs can not be found and synced with iTunes.

iTunes Sync Error 3

itunes sync error

Erasing and syncing will replce the contents of your iPod.

Part 2. Transfer MP3 Files to iPod without iTunes

You're supposed to notice the issue while transfer MP3 songs from iTunes to your iPod: the syncing might erase all existing files on your iPod if the existing files were not the ones transferred from your iTunes Library on your computer. That's the problem people who use different computers to do the transferring could encounter. To solve the problem, the only option is stoping using iTunes, but TunesOver or other this kind of tool, because the tool never erase any content on your iPod.

Method 1: Try TunesOver, the iPod Transfer and Manager for Mac and Windows

iSkysoft TunesOver is an ideal MP3 to iPod transfer with extra features like effortlessly transferring iPod photo, video, audio files between your Windows PC, Mac and iTunes Library. It has seperate version for both Windows PC and Mac. What makes it outstanding is the ability to transfer virtually any format video & audio to iPod and other Apple devices, as well as copy DVD movies to iPod, and transfer songs and playlist with ratings and play counts from iPhone/iPad/iPod to iTunes and computer. While copying songs and playlists from iPod to iTunes Library, it will filter out the duplicate automatically.

Why choose iSkysoft TunesOver? Take a look at its main features:

Safely transfer to iPod


Transfer music and playlists to iPod without erasing contents.

Convert files to iPod


Automatically detect and convert file formats for iPod.

Manage iPod files


Manage iPod songs, videos, and photos easily.

Transfer from iPod to iTunes


Backup iPod contents to iTunes or computer.

Simple Steps to Transfer MP3 to iPod without iTunes but TunesOver

Step 1: Launch the program and connect your iPod with Mac/PC

After you install the program on your Mac, connect your iPod to Mac with a USB cable. This smart program can detect your device and show your iPod information as the below image.

Step 2: Transfer MP3 to iPod

Now you can go to the Music tab and click the "Add" button. Then you will get a pop-up window for file selection. Just select the MP3 files you want and import it to your iPod. If you are transferring some iPod incompatible files, this program will automatically convert them to fit your iPod. After the transferring, you can enjoy the MP3 files with your iPod on the go.

Note: This product currently is compatible with Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8, 10.7 and 10.6, Windows 10, Vista, 7, XP and more.

See details in the video on how to transfer MP3 to iPod with ease.

Method 2: Using MediaMonkey - Transfer MP3 to iPod on Windows and Linux

MediaMonkey is a third-party free media player to play MP3 and other audio files on your Windows and Linux computer. It can also easily transfer MP3 to iPod by going through Tools > Sync Devices. Besides iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android devices and others MP3 player devices are also supported. This article is originally written to transfer MP3 to iPod without iTunes. Ironically, you need to install iTunes because iTunes comes with the device driver for iPod that is required to detect and access the database of the iPod. Any way, it's a new way to transfer MP3 to iPod on Windows other than Mac-specific software - iTunes.

transfer mp3 to ipod using MediaMonkey 

Any Product-related questions? Tweet us @iSkysoft to Get Support Directly

Worked Very well. I have the Ipod shuffle 2GB (4th generation) introduced in 2009. TC.
Hi. I've already connected my ipod shuffle_4 to TunesOver but only the "Media" and "Playlist" appeared and when I clicked on them, there's a pop up box which says "TunesOver cannot read your iDevice. You can use iTunes to backup some information before restore.Note that iTunes restore will erase all songs and videos in your device." Is there somebody who can tell me what to do? Thanks to whoever will respond.
thank you very much for this very good app. just when i'm about to surrender on my iphone music!!!
Awesome suggestion - finally something that does what I want and not what the software does.... thanks!!
Now, this is really useful!!... somehow the ipod driver could be easily retrieved and distributed without itunes executable.
For PC users there is PhoneStick to try. I have been using it for 2 months already -brings so much music to my iPhone. love it :)))
Brilliant stumbled on this after hours of being defeated. Thank you
thx bro

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