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?