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Ask Max: iPod Touch Sync To Mac Without Erasing Downloads

Asked on 12/06/2008:

I have an iPod 80GB that I have used over a couple of years. I have downloaded music and videos etc from the ITunes store and are happy with its performance.
Now I recently purchased and iPod touch 32GB and want to give the 80GB to my wife.

My question is, since I have already purchased (downloaded) some music and utilities using a gift card to the iPod touch, how can I maintain the integrity of the info on it when I try to sync it without erasing everything and getting all of the music and videos from the 80GB on it as well?

I hope I have been clear in explaining my situation and would greatly appreciate any help you may offer.


This is a new problem that is unique to the iPod Touch and iPhone. Because it is really more of a mobile Apple computer than an iPod, you have the ability to buy music, video, and applications without ever having connected it to a Apple computer. Then you run into a problem because it will still want to sync with Apple computers just like a regular iPod, and that process assumes that your library on your computer is the single source of content for your iPod.

Apple knew this was a problem so the added the "Transfer Purchases" option to iTunes for iPod Touches and iPhones. To access this feature connect your iPod touch to the computer and open iTunes. Right Click or [control] Click on the iPod Touch's icon in the Devices section. Select "Transfer Purchases" from the popup menu and then your purchases will be added to the iTunes library.

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