By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, February 11, 2007

Q My computer's hard drive crashed, but I still have my songs on my iPod. How can I copy them back?

AYou'll need to install extra software to do the job: Apple has never allowed iPod-to-computer copying of MP3s and only recently enabled transfers of songs purchased from the iTunes Store.

If you use Windows, the program to get is the simple, effective Music Rescue ( It's free to try but will periodically remind you to pay up (£10, about $20 at current rates). Music Rescue also comes in a Mac version, but the free Senuti ( is a simpler, nag-free option if you don't need Music Rescue's extra features, such as checking for duplicates between the iPod's collection and the computer's iTunes library.

With each program, you have to enable an iPod's "disk use" option to make it appear as an extra hard drive on a Mac or PC's desktop.

To do that, connect the iPod, let iTunes start up -- make sure you decline its offer to "Erase and Sync" your iPod -- select your iPod from the left-hand column and click the "Enable disk use" checkbox. (In versions older than iTunes 7, click the iPod icon in the bottom-right corner to change your iPod settings.)

Those "Snap" pop-up previews of Web links I see on some sites are too distracting. Can I turn them off?

Some people find these previews -- the thumbnail-sized views some sites offer of the page that a link will send you to -- helpful, and some find them annoying. You can banish them from your browser by going to the Web site of the company that serves them up, Snap, of Pasadena, Calif.

At this site (, you can click a link that will tell Snap not to send these previews to your browser. Your browser must be set to accept cookies for this to work.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071

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