It's actually pretty easy, and you can even find a certain album,song, or artist and take only that to your computer from your ipod.
You do not need to download any extra programs or software. When you download a lot of programs to your computer it tends to slow things down after a while, so getting new software for each task is not a good idea. Use the tools you already have:
PC running XP or Vista
these are all you need.
note: if you do something crazy and mess up your ipod or something, don't blame me. Ipod hacks are not for the faint of heart. (although this is not any kind of "hack", considering it uses only the programs meant to be used with an ipod. perhaps you should send a note to steve jobs about that, huh?) But if you're willing to take the risk this is an easy way to get that one album back to your itunes.
Step 1: Prep Your Ipod/itunes
Eject your ipod and close itunes, then start over by plugging you ipod back in.
Step 2: Find Your Music
you can do this in your control panel>folder options>advanced tab
now go to start>search
type in the name of the artist, song, or album you want to find in your ipod.
Then click on "advanced search options"
Direct it to search your ipod drive. It should have a letter and then say "apple ipod usb" or something like that next to it in the list of places to search. It might also say the name you gavr your ipod. See the second picture for the vista view. My ipod is named resonanteye.
In vista, be sure to check "search hidden and system folders".
Step 3: Let It Look for You
right click on the column on top and check off "artist" and album to show up as columns. Now you can check that you're getting the right music.
select all the files you want and drag and drop them to your music library or to a folder on your desktop. Now they are in your computer and all you have to do is point itunes at them and "add to library"
Itunes will unscramble the filenames for you,too.
Step 4: To Backup All Your Music From the Ipod
set up your ipod like we did in step one.
Open itunes and change your library location to the drive where you want itunes to copy your music. Then change your preferences to copy files to library, and to organize your library automatically.
Step 5: Drag and Drop Inito Itunes Library Pane
go to "ipod control">"music">and open the folders in there. I do this folder by folder since my ipod is the 160G, and doing it at once crashes itunes (which is a lousy program and I only use it for this- I prefer mediamonkey.)
open the folders, highlight and select all the files, and drag and drop them into itunes. It will rename and organize everything for you, on its own.
Make sure you are in your library pane and not in your ipod, n itunes!!!
It's that simple.