Migration assistant and an extrenal HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by KingofAwesome, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. KingofAwesome macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    I'm waiting on a shiny new iMac to arrive later this week, and I'm planning on using the Migration Assistant to get my mail, photos, etc. from my mini to the new machine. The only thing I'm concerned about is my iTunes library, which is on an external USB drive. It seems like there are fours ways this could go:

    1. I would guess that if I boot the mini in target disk mode, the iMac won't be able to transfer from the external drive through the mini to its own internal drive, because that seems absurd. It would be nice, but unlikely.

    2. I could just plug the drive into the iMac and import that folder, but then I'd lose play counts, ratings, playlists, and so on. So that option seems to be good "if all else fails," but I'd rather keep the metadata intact.

    3. After running the migration assistant, I could delete all the documents off the mini, uninstall some applications, and then move the library to the internal drive and rerun the migration assistant. However, this also seems like a lot of work.

    4. This is my favorite option if it works: manually copy the iTunes XML file to the new machine, plug in the USB drive, open iTunes, change the library location to the internal drive, and select "consolidate library." And, of course, backup everything first.

    Any thoughts? Am I just an ex-PC guy who isn't thinking like a Mac, or is my plan so crazy it just might work?
  2. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    why not just plug the drive into your new imac and then drag and drop the library folder into itunes? or if thats where all your music is, just put the itunes library folder into the itunes folder in the music folder on the imac. then open itunes.
  3. KingofAwesome thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    That's sorta my "if all else fails" option listed above. However, that won't retain playlists, ratings, play counts, or podcast subscriptions, so I'm trying to do this in a way that will keep all that extra info.
  4. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    I made the exact same move -- from a Mac with my iTunes on an external HD to a new Mac with iTunes on the internal HD.

    Are your iTunes music library files (eg. the .xml file) on the internal or external HD? If they're on the internal HD, they will be moved over to the new Mac when you use Migration Assistant, and all your playlists, ratings, everything will be retained on the new Mac. Before you launch iTunes on the new Mac, plug in your external HD (because iTunes still thinks the music is in that location). Play some songs to make sure it's working. Then go into the Advanced tab of iTunes preferences, and change the location of your music folder. It will be set to your external HD, so change it to somewhere on your internal HD (the Music folder). Then in the main iTunes window, go to Advanced>Consolidate Library. That will move all the actual music files onto the internal HD. Once you're sure everything is working, you can delete the files off the external HD if you want. That's the procedure I used, and it left my iTunes on my new computer exactly as it was on my old one, with all my playlists, ratings, playcounts, etc. If your iTunes library files are on the external HD I'm not sure how you would do it...

    hope that helps
  5. KingofAwesome thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    I'm 95% sure the iTunes library file is on the system HD and I'll double-check tonight. It looks like you did what I was hoping I'd be able to do, but before I start iTunes I'm going to make a backup. Thanks a lot!

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