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Get Music Off Your iPad to Computer

Apple’s iTunes software makes it dead-simple to copy music onto your iPad, but when it comes to moving files in the opposite direction–from the iPad to your computer–there’s no obvious solution. I get an e-mail on this topic at least once a week, usually from someone who’s had his laptop stolen or watched helplessly as his hard drive crashed. After an incident like that, it can be a relief to know your music collection (or at least part of it) is backed up on an iPad.

Of course, relief can quickly turn to frustration when you plug that iPad into a new computer and can’t figure out how to grab those files. Worse yet, iTunes will sometimes prompt you to erase the iPad if it’s not recognized. Saying yes will only end in tears.

To be fair, iTunes isn’t completely useless when it comes to pulling media off your iPad. Under the iTunes File menu, there’s an option for “Transfer Purchases From iPad” that will work to pull any content purchased through the iTunes Store back to your computer. It’s a nice place to start, but to get the rest of your content off your iPad, you’ll need to download some additional software.

There are two very useful applications out there that will transfer the rest of your music, videos, playlists, and metadata off your iPad and back to your computer. Depending on the type of computer you’re transferring to, download iPad to Mac Transfer or iPad to PC Transfer from ipadintouch.com. iPadinTouch tested, reviewed, and selected a short-list of the best iPad transfers to recommend to you.  In truth, there are dozens of programs that can accomplish the same thing, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick with these two since they’re easy to use, and work with all models of iPads.