The Bottom Line
Among programs designed to transfer music from an iPod to a computer, Senuti is good, though a bit basic. Its plain interface will probably frustrate power users with complex needs, but for beginning users who just want to copy or back up the contents of their iPod, iPhone, or iPad, it's a solid option.
- Simple to use for basic backups and transfers
- Speedy - tansferred 2.41 GB in 9 minutes
- Can use iTunes and Senuti at the same time
- Basic, plain interface
- Lack of icons or labels makes identifying files at a glance tough
- Method of showing what songs are in iTunes or not is initially unclear
- Online help is very basic
- A program designed to transfer music from iPod to computer
- Runs on Mac OS X only, though it can read Windows-formatted iPods set to disk mode
- Transfers songs, videos, podcasts; also transfers metadata like ratings, playcounts, and cover art
- Not an iPhone app; a desktop software package
- Price: US$18
Guide Review - Senuti, iPod Transfer Software
Senuti gets its strange-sounding name from an obvious source: it's iTunes spelled backwards. It's clever, since that's what Senuti does. Instead of transferring music and other content from an iTunes library to an iPod, it transfers the content on those devices back to a desktop iTunes library.
Apple hasn't included that feature in iTunes due to concerns about unauthorized music sharing, but it's often necessary to move files in both directions. If you're trying to recover from a hard drive crash or moving your iTunes library to a new computer, software that can transfer music from iPod to computer, like Senuti, is crucial.
Using Senuti: Simple and Quick
Using Senuti to transfer music from iPod to computer is simple. Attach an iPod, iPad, or iPhone to the computer you want to transfer to and launch Senuti. It Displays the contents of the device in a window, allowing you to sort the items by name, artist, album, and other criteria. When you've selected the songs you want to move, click the "Transfer" button (or drag and drop songs into iTunes via Senuti's interface). The songs are then transferred to the iTunes library (if you've got more than one iTunes library, run the one you want to receive the transfer).
Senuti transfers content quickly: my test of 590 songs, a 2.41 GB transfer, moved in just 9 minutes. In my first test, Senuti didn't transfer playcounts and star ratings, despite settings for that. I unchecked the settings, rechecked them, and tried my transfer again. This time, everything moved correctly. I couldn't reproduce this behavior, so it may have been a one-time quirk; if you encounter a transfer that doesn't move all your data, try this technique.
Like other iPod to computer programs, Senuti doesn't transfer apps (not a big deal, since apps can be redownloaded for free) or iBooks. It would be nice to see iBooks transfers added to future versions.
Limited Interface & Help
While Senuti is easy to use, the trade-off for this simplicity is that it lacks some of the sophisticated touches other programs offer. Senuti's interface doesn't offer easy ways to browse songs by artist or genre, and it doesn't include icons or other quick ways of determining whether a file is a video, song, or iBook.
Other iPod to computer programs make it easier to quickly see if a song on the iPod is in iTunes. Senuti marks songs not present in iTunes with a blue dot, but there's no label that explains what the dot is. A tool tip reveals this when you hover over the dot, but it's not clear that you have to do that.
Senuti's online help could also use improvement. While it addresses basic uses of the program and a few questions, a more-complete user guide and FAQ would make a big difference.
The Bottom Line
Despite these drawbacks, thanks to its speed and simple interface, Senuti is a good program for Mac users looking for a basic way to transfer music from iPod to computer.