PC to Mac iTunes library migration

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Garratt, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I recently retired my XP machine and upgraded to a Macbook Air. What I'm trying to do is move my iTunes library to the new Macbook.

    What's important to me as I sort most of my music by date added, is obviously to retain that Date Added data. It would also be nice to have Play Count, Skip Count along with Album, Year, and Track #.

    The second step would be to copy all this to the local or internal drive on the new Macbook Air.

    Is there a simple 'copy .xml' way to do this? or is it far more complicated than that?

    I'm working with an External Hard Drive which is unfortunately formatted for NTFS and 4 thousand some-odd songs.

    Could I simply copy everything off the external HDD directly to the Macbook Air and keep all the added dates?

    ANY help is much appreciated.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    LOTS of posts out there on this sort of thing.
    I'd be inclined to ...

    Back everything up first ... then

    a. On XP, go into iTunes > Prefs / Options > Advanced > Media Folder Location & set a sensible (large!) place for all your media to be held. If this is inside your iTunes folder, so much the better (you can move this once you're on your mac)

    b. On XP, iTunes > Prefs / Options > Advanced > Keep Media Folder Organised & Copy Files to iTunes

    c. On XP, iTunes > File > Library > Organise > consolidate (or whatever the option is once you've selected Organise)

    This will get all the media your iTunes knows about into 1 place

    d. On your Mac, rename your iTunes folder & copy over the XP one

    e. Start iTunes on your Mac while holding down the option key - it'll ask for a Library location - point it at the one you copied from XP

    f. If it doesn't find all your music etc straight away, check the iTunes > Prefs / Options > Advanced > Media Folder Location setting & correct if necessary. Exit & reopen iTunes (don't need to help down option this time - it'll remember your last choice).

    Something like that should do it.
    In general, you *don't* want to mess with iTunes xml files, as this is how you lose your date imported metadata etc - life should be simpler & is; you can basically copy libraries around & just point at them. Simple ..

    Good luck :)
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    The problem I'm running into now is at the consolidation step. I'm getting an error message saying something to the effect of 'iTunes was unable to consolidate the library. The required [file] [disc] cannot be found. ' I've read that often times when one has broken links in the library, it's unable to consolidate and gives this error. So now I'm going one by one and trying to find all the "!" marked files and then retry. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Much obliged.
  4. macrumors 601

    Dec 14, 2007

    This is precisely the process and has worked for me.
  5. Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Out of curiosity (because I don't know the solution to your problem and it seems like solutions have been posted), why do you want/need to have your music sorted by date added? Just a preference?
  6. macrumors 601

    Dec 14, 2007
    You can clean up your library with scripts found here:

    Dougs Scripts

    This is good first: Super Remove Dead Tracks v3.2
    This is good next: Music Folder Files Not Added v2.0

    And this.... Duplicates

    Looks like they are charging for the duplicate process not where they used to have a free script.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I have a tendency to listen to the music more recently added/downloads more often. It makes it easier to find it when it's sorted by date added.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I've gotten as far as deleting all the broken/missing tracks and now when I attempt to Consolidate I'm getting the error message, Copying files failed. The required folder cannot be found. It seems this is the final step I need and it keeps failing and is INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING.
  9. macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2011
    Although I don't have a mac yet but I've had experience with migrating my entire 45GB library around across windows PCs a couple times. I thought i should share my method here for your reference:

    I like to manage my own music and media files and not let iTunes do the job so i have my entire library in my data drive and a backup copy on my external harddrive. I find that this way it makes backing up my music library easier. When i reinstall my PCs I make sure to make a copy of 2 files in the iTunes folder, the "iTunes Library.itl" file and the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file. I cant actually remember what the itl file does on top of my head but the xml file links iTunes to each individual music files. I'd also write down the current file path for my library.

    After re-installation and installing a new copy of iTunes, i simply copy my music library into whatever drive and folder I want and copy and replace the new "iTunes Music Library.xml" with the backup copy that i have. I'd then open the xml file with editpad (text editor) and use the find and replace feature to update the xml with the new file path for my library.

    I might have forgotten and missed out some steps here which might render the methods useless. I'm not too sure how the file system works in Mac OS but i assume the OS itself and iTunes has a similar structure, so the method should work but don't take my words for it.

    Good luck with migrating your library :)
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    Tried to open iTunes on the mac by using "option, open iTunes" and pointing to an existing library.
    iTunes says there's no iTunes Library file in the selected folder, please try another.
    I'm ready to return the MBA and just get a windows machine. Seems like the easier option. :mad:!
  11. macrumors 601

    Dec 14, 2007
    You sure your itunes media folder points to a valid folder?

    If you have never had itunes manage your music then is spread all over your workstation.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I'm pretty sure it does, I could be wrong. All my music is in a single folder labelled shared, some is in subfolders.

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