View Full Version : Moving iTunes library from PC to MBA (help!)

Sep 27, 2011, 04:16 PM
Dear all:

I have a rather large iTunes library. I am moving it from a PC to a new MBA (nice to be Back on the MAC :D-- my last Mac was a MacSE).

I want to store the library on an external volume (USB directly connected to the MBA or connected to my NAS). I want the .xml and other index files on the internal SSD to maintain performance.

I have the old library on an external drive and a blank external drive ready to go.

I can re-import all the music, apps, video by dragging each item into iTunes... but, is there a better way? (I did notice that after "moving" the library to the external (using the Advanced option under Preferences), I had two "Automatically Add to iTunes" folders -- one on the internal SSD and one on the external. However, when I tried copying music files into either of these folders, nothing happened... not sure if I was using that folder correctly or which one of the folders I should have been using).

I have already tried to replace an empty .xml file (from iTunes on the MBA) with a edited copy of my old .xml file that pointed to the iTunes folder on the external drive (using the volumes\ format rather than the driveletter: format). This did not work -- iTunes did not "see" the files -- even when I ask it to "organize"...

Any help would be appreciated.

(PS: I that this is not the iTunes forum, but I received no response from a similar posting in the iPod forum, so I figured that I would post where folks need to deal with limited size SSDs and have figured out how to manage large iTunes libraries on non-internal drives).



Sep 27, 2011, 04:18 PM
I was in same position. I did it way easier. Set up home sharing, access it on mac. Import contenet. done

Sep 27, 2011, 08:24 PM
A bit more detail: PC died an untimely death (logic board)... I pulled the hard drive out and mounted it in a USB case... hence, I have the files (and a backup), but HomeShare is not an option.


Sep 27, 2011, 08:58 PM
If your files are all in the windows' itunes folder(ie. If you've been consolidating musics movies, applications, books etc to the itune folder), it's pretty straight forward.
On your mac, after first launching itunes and closing, go to music->itunes folder, and delete everything. Now copy everything in your external's users/music/itunes into it.

Sep 27, 2011, 09:26 PM
How big is your iTunes library?

There are a couple of easy ways to do this but you will need to follow a guide like this...


And then once everything is on the Air you can then let iTunes move them to the external like this...


Sep 29, 2011, 05:11 PM
Thank you for the help... I think that I have iTunes functional once again.

However, I am still struggling with one issue: I have my iTunes library on an external 500 GB HD (usb). I can connect the HD directly to the MBA, but most of the time, the HD will be connected to a NAS (using the USB ports on the NAS (Synology)). When at home, I will access the HD on the NAS via wifi, but when travelling, I want to take the HD with me and directly connect it to the MBA.

Regardless of the connection, the MBA "mounts" the drive as /Volumes/<drivename>, so I thought that this would work out really well -- iTunes has the library set up to point to that drive...

However, something is amiss. I rebuild everything with the drive connected to the MBA. I shut everything down and connected the drive to the NAS and restarted the MBA and iTunes... iTunes did not immediately launch with the files from the NAS... it wanted to completely re-organize the library (into the exact same location).

Is there a way to fix this so that I can move the HD around? Do I need to create a symbolic link that points to the drive and make sure that I update the link before accessing iTunes (I don't think alias' will work). [I am pretty sure that this is one case where I could actually make this work with drive letters on a PC... don't know... didn't try and the PC is now dead).

Suggestions? Help? (PS: Remote access to the HD via NAS from offsite isn't a good option because some of my travels don't include locations with solid high-speed internet connections -- this also means that iTunesMatch isn't going to make this problem go away). Arg... iTunes is nice, but it does have some shortcomings (some legacy and Apple-induced and some tied back to what the media "owners" will allow, but this frustrating).