How do I copy my iTunes library onto my new Mac?
I have recently bought a new computer and want to move my Itunes from my old one, onto my new one without having to download all the songs again. Some say it can be done, other say it can't - what do you say???
I say that it most assuredly can be done! In fact, whenever I buy a new computer, I do just this so that I don't lose my multi-gig music library. (actually, according to iTunes, my library is a staggering 20.16GB, 3946 songs, 13.8 days of music!)
The key to copying your library from one computer to another is to let iTunes itself do all the work while you have the old and new computers hooked together via the great, under-praised Firewire Target Mode.
1. Hook up your old computer to your new computer using Firewire Target Mode (hook up a Firewire cable between the two, then restart the old computer, holding down the T key the entire time. Eventually, you'll see the Firewire logo bouncing on the screen of the old system and a new hard disk will appear on the desktop of the new system.
2. Now, start up iTunes and go to "Preferences". Click on the Advanced tab and make sure that "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" is checked, as shown here:
3. Now, select File --> Add To Library... and find the iTunes Library on your old computer disk. Press "choose" and sit back, it's going to take a while...
4. Once that's done, go ahead and control-click on the desktop icon representing the old computer, choose 'Eject', then, once it's off your desktop, shut the old computer down by pressing the power key for a second or so. If you want, reboot the old unit or not, it's not needed any more for this process.
That should do it. It'll take a while to import all the music, but you should now have a second iTunes application full of your favorite music, all neatly saved on your new computer's hard disk.
Note that this doesn't work for licensed music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Since I haven't any of my own, i am not entirely sure how to transfer those from one system to another, but perhaps someone else can add a comment with that additional snippet of information?
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Reader Comments To Date: 53
Music purchased from iTunes can be copied in exactly the way described.
When you purchase music from iTunes you are allowed to authorize it for play on up to 5 systems. Assuming you have additional slots for your new computer all you need to do is Authorize Computer from the Advanced menu in iTunes.
See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93063 for more information.
Hey do you know if you can do that same thing syncing your iTunes between a PC and a Mac?
HELPS?!?!? I Just got a mac and i wanna move my itunes stuff from my PC, but someone stole my Ipod... what is the best way to move all my music?
I'll do you one better. Before you bring over your "purchased" music from your old Mac to your new Mac run a progam called JHymn.
This will "scrub" the m4p (protected files) and make them m4a (clean and unprotected files) on your new Mac! A very nice and easy situation for a person who wants to move from hard drive to hard drive.
Helpful, but a little vague in step 3; it took me a few tries to click on exactly the right item in the iTunes folder on the old computer. It appears the correct item is the *folder* called "iTunes Music", not any of the the *files* with names like "iTunes Music Library".
The problem I have with this is:
my old computer doesn't want to restart while pressing the T key.
What can I do??
Um.... Looks like you maybe able to end my frustration. I am hopeful. I recently was given a video IPod. Yes I am excited and pleased. Now my problem. My Mac is a G3 Pismo Powerbook which with my external hard drive really serves me fine. I have done much of what you have listed here via many frustrating try and ..... I have my tunes on the external hard drive. I have the preferences headed to the external hard drive. But.... when I open ITunes, which is also housed on my external hard drive it opens in the G3 a new I Tunes. I have trashed many over the last week. From the openned ITUnes which has none of my songs on it, if I do File>add to Library they are entered but without the play lists. What can I do? Help would be appreciated.
I'm trying to get my music on iTunes from my old-beat-up-Powerbook to my new iMac. The firewire on my Powerbook is broken. I do have an iPod. Can I transfer it somehow using the iPod?
I don't think so. In my experience iPods either work with Firewire or USB, but not both.
im trying to copy my library from my old to my new powerbook, the problem is my itunes library got so big that i put it on an external HD. i cant hook up three firewire devices at the same time. im stuck. anyone?
Anyone know why all my music downloads appear in the itunes library, but only a fraction appear on my actual ipod? Help, please!
hi! My itunes recently crashed erasing all music, but i still contained music on my ipod. SO i have copied all of my music off of my ipod to a folder within my computer using EphPod. When i tried to test it out, i noticed some songs didn't play on itunes. in fact, nothing happened. then i realized the only ones working were the songs that had the extra album info. I saw this by right clicking then properties. Then on the summary tab, the ones that worked contained all the artist information, while the ones that didn't work only showed track number with a blank space. Help plz!! thank you very much!
I would like to use multiple iTunes libraries to create a single iTunes library.
I have a library on a G3 Pismo, another on a G4 Cube, and two on external hard drives. It's silly.
Does anyone know a way to sync all of these iTunes libraries into one (super dooper) iTunes library?
Is there any reason you can't just copy your entire itunes folder to the new machine? Why do you have to use the add to library command?
Is there any reason you can't just copy your entire itunes folder to the new machine?
If I drag and drop the entire contents of ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/ the playlist information will be lost.
Can I "Add to Library" the iTunes database file "iTunes Library" or "iTunes Music Library.xml?" Will that import all the audio files and the playlist information?
hi, i want to move my library to a new mac but i do not let itunes organise my music, i have renamed the music in itunes but obviusly it doesnt update the original file in my music folder can i move the music without losing the changes i made in itunes?i dont want itunes to manage my folder as i have 96gb of music and it will just be a mess!!!
Welll, I've got all my music on the new mac but they just appear in the library and not in the playlists!!! Nightmare - I'm amazed that this is such a labour of love.
This probably won't make any sense to anyone. But try and follow me anyway...HAHA! In my library folder, in my itunes i have over a thousand songs. But when i plug my ipod in, a new folder pops up to download. homepc update i think is the name..the number in that folder and the number in the library folder never match. Im always missing 4 or 5 songs on my ipod. I know its not a big deal but i just wanted to know if anyone could help me figure out why that is. Thank you in advance. Sorry if that was too confusing...
1. Network your two computers (macs or PCs!!)
2. Share wherever your music is (ext harddrives are OK!)
3a. use add to library as described above (pc ppl goto Network Neighborhood and find that itunes music folder, Macs, mount the location with finder)
3b. copy the old itunes music folder to the new one(the parentheses are the same as 3a...)
4. go into the OLD itunes folder, you will see a itunes library file. copy that over your old one.
5. boot up new itunes. (did i mention that it CAN'T BE RUNNING WHILE YOU DO THIS)
6. should be exactly the same as old itunes.
7 crank up the bass and enjoy...
Someone asked if you could transfer a library between a PC to a Mac... No one answered it... I was also wondering the same thing. After doing a little research i found that you can but it will cost you some tunes.
Check this out...http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300173 there you will find good info on transfering libraries.
hope it helps
I was wondering how I get songs from my itunes library onto my ipod, it is proving very difficult. Some of the songs have been downloaded from the internet. can u help?
I recently bought an ipod in America and i live in Ireland but i cannot download my itunes. Therefore i am unable to listen to songs or watch dvds, etc... on it. Now i am looking for advice on what to do as i really want to set it up so i can use it. Any suggestions.
does anyone know of a way to copy my itunes library from my pc with windows xp to my mac which i got a couple of days ago?
Ok this is how to do it, playlists and all, Mac or Windows.
1. On the new Mac, authorize your iTunes account
2. Copy all your entire iTunes folder from the old computer to the new Mac. Make sure iTunes is not running on the new machine. You can do this 100 different ways. You can even use your ipod as a disk and copy the files to it and then move them to the new Mac. I just mounted my PC over wireless and copied everything. Put them in the iTunes folder on the new Mac.
3. On the old machine, go into iTunes and "Export Library". On my PC, this created a file named "Library.xml". Copy this file to your new Mac. This is how you get all your playlists.
4. Launch iTunes on the new Mac. You probably won't see any music. Don't worry.
5. On the new Mac, pick Import in iTunes and import the Library.xml file.
6. Wait for iTunes to do its thing. Presto, all music and all play lists. Life is good.
Hope this helps. Doing the above, I copied all my iTunes music from my Windows XP to my new MacBook Pro with playlists.
My 8 month old MacBook was destroyed by my son's 8 oz. glass of water. Hence, all my music from my Ipod, too. I don't have 2 computers to communicate. How do I save my I-tunes. All my music is from CDs anyway, never purchased from I-tunes store.
me again. what i meant to say was, i still have the music on my ipod but when i try to put it on my new MacBook, the new computer wants to erase it! Therese
Therese, are you reading the article above, and the comments? They explain exactly how to solve the problem you're having. If nothing else, try using Senuti (go to versiontracker.com to get a copy) as detailed. It'll work, really. I've done it plenty of times.
My issue is after synching my new iphone with itunes my recently transfered library becomes invalid and receive this msg itunes cannot play this song because the original file can't be found. If i reload the back up from disc then itunes library is back. however, if i synch again with iphone the same problem repeats. Any help from one of you experts out there would be much appreciated.
Happy New Years!!
How do I download my purchased itunes play list from my PC onto my new iphone? My PC is running Windows 2000 and Outlook Express.
I copied the files from one mac to another over ethernet by deleting the itunes folder from the music folder on the new machine and then dragging the itunes folder from the old mac to the new one. Next open itunes and under file click add to library.. and then point to the new itunes folder you just dragged over. All the titles magically appeared in my music folder. I had to get the album artwork again, but that is easy by going to advanced get album artwork.
Hope this helps
Hello, Quick question. I had all my music and movies downloaded on my external hard drive which has failed. All my movies are still in itunes but for some reason will not download to my ipod. Can anyone please help!
Does this trick work regardless of OS version? I am trying to copy my iTunes music from my old mac running Tiger to my new mac running Leopard. Thanks!
i just successfully transferred my itunes over, thank you very much for your help, but now my old machine will not turn back off. i ejected the system as you said and now, it starts to boot up and then just shuts down. any ideas??
sorry, i meant to say, "it won't turn back on."
The tech gurus in my department at school just upgraded my Powerbook G4 from Tiger to Leopard. I've lost access to Photoshop Elements and iLife, so they now want to *downgrade* me back to Tiger.
HOWEVER, none of them can tell me whether the music in my iTunes library (burned *and* downloaded) will survive the reinstallation of the older OS.
Any ideas? Help? Advice?? Thanks!!
ok everyone. I am the dumbest person when it comes to computers but all your mumbo jumbo about copying this url that ... made no sense at all.
So I took about 10 minutes and my way is the easiest and quickest way possible. I spent about an hour reading everyone's comments and directions and came up with nothing. I figured it out and transfered about 6,000 songs in 10 minutes. THIS IS SO EASY! and it really works.
Preferences - sharing - click the tab that says share entire library
and click the tab that says enable password so only you can transfer all your songs (BTW this is on your pc)
Then on your mac ... do the same. Then authorize your computer under store.
MAGIC - your songs are transfered.
Regarding copying music from ipod to new computer, what about this situation...Origianlly my music resides on a Dell PC and I now own a Mac Book Pro. How do I copy my music files from PC to Mac?
Hi I tired pressing T on my old mac whilst connected ot the new MAc and all i see is a Y kinda logo hoping around the screen for ever, and thats where it stays. I dont see any HD on my new MAC and the old MAC screen stays blue with the Y hoping aorund!! Any advice how to fix that? and allow me to transfer the itunes to my new MAC.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
I'm with Rani on this. I had the same problem to a ... "T"... Since I just got this Macbook (and am trying to transfer from my Powerbook to Macbook) I thought I could do Migration Assistant, only it seems like this "self-working" program is pretty useless if you have the smallest problem somewhere. I'm now trying an Erase & Install of the Macbook I just got so that I can try doing it through Set Up Assistant.
I have a question. I'm supposed to get one of the new, environmentally-friendly MacBook's for my birthday, and currently, I have a PowerBook G4 that I've had since I was younger. Will transferring my iTunes library between the two models work? I mean, there's a huge age and technology difference.
Also, can this technique work with programs, too? (I have an old version of Finale™ NotePad on my PowerBook, and I REALLY want to keep it, since I lost the disk for it). When I tried to transfer PhotoShop™ between my mom's iBook G4 and my PowerBook G4, it wouldn't send all of the data, and it (the program) wouldn't open or run.
And one more thing... My PowerBook currently has... oh, about 12GB left on it's hard drive. I've deleted EVERYTHING I can think of (old photos, unused programs, old documents, etc) and STILL, it has only a little bit of space left. HOW CAN I POSSIBLY GET MORE SPACE?!
I need to use my PowerBook for the rest of High School, and I'm not sure if that will happen!
Can you help me? You'd be a TOTAL lifesaver. I live practically half of my life (an uber unhealthy amount, I know) on my laptop, and the advice would save me a lot of unneeded hassle.
I was just wondering, because these problems have been causing me frustration for a LONG time.
thanks for this, saved me lots of time.
Does this work with a USB 2.0 connection. New MacBook does not have a fire wire port.
My pc died and I took my hardrive out cause it contained all my itunes music, pics and resume.
I just bought a mac pro laptop, how can I transfer this to my laptop? Or is it impossilble to do?
How do i transfer my songs from my itunes library if i have no access to my old pc. it got a virus and now cannot be turned on, but seeing as it had all my sons songs on and not all of them were on his ipod i need to transfer them all to my new pc. Any ideas??
Thank you so, so much for the invaluable advice…
I have my itunes on my PC. My imac hard drive crashed. I am in the process of replacing my hard drive on my imac and would like to get my iTunes library from my windows pc. I have purchased a copy of touchcopy and I do have an iPhone. what would be the best method of getting my old iTunes library on my Apple iMac?
Does exporting ur windows iTunes ans copying it to the new MacBook pro also bring all the movies you hav also? Also does the FireWire way explained above work between windows xp to mac os x? I need to kno soon bc I'm getting a MacBook pro for college an I want to be able to bring over my iTunes that has thousands of songs, and like 100 videos. I have much o it downloaded from the iTunes store as well.
Been struggling with transferring music from Mac to Mac.
Local Mac guys weren't much help. I improvised a bit but your advise was invaluable. Thanks
Dude, just activate HOMESHARING from iTunes, but it has to be activated in both computers.
Im giving my old work laptop back and then getting my new one the next day, is there a way i can tranfer my itunes onto a external hard drive then put everything onto my new laptop when i get it.
Thanks Dave, this worked great...got all the great music from my old computer on to my new computer.
Hi this worked great thanks but now I just have a whole load of tracks in my music library and NO sub folders any where with all the tracks broken down into categories. i.e. Band Names - Tracks etc etc Its all just one muddle can this be fixed ?
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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