Clean Install/Migration of iTunes content?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wolfenkraft, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. wolfenkraft macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    Hey all,

    I've really appreciated the help and community of macrumors over the years. I think this is my first time actually asking a question though so let's see how this goes. :)

    I have a 2008 uMB, I ordered an ultimate 11" mba.

    My uMB is currently being backed up with TM, except for my iTunes library which is stored on the same external drive, just in a separate folder. As a developer, I've installed all manner of things on my computer over the years. As I've upgraded from mac to mac, I've just used the migration assistant and copied over everything whole-hog.

    Here's what I want to do: Keep my mba as pristine as possible. I essentially want to do a clean install, but I want to migrate over my iTunes content so my iOS devices will keep syncing without a hiccup, I REALLY don't want to lose my app data and settings for my iPhone and iPad. I also want the ability to just migrate over certain other things like my documents and only some of my apps.

    Any ideas? Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    When you say "only some of my apps", things have the potential of being horrifically complex. Any drag-n-drop app you can copy, but if it had an installer, you'll want to reinstall.

    You'll still have an iTunes folder inside the Music folder in your home directory, and that's going to have references to the files on your external HD. Move the iTunes folder over and connect the external hard drive. Then configure iTunes to use your internal drive for media storage, and consolidate the library.
  3. wolfenkraft thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    Maybe I'm not being fully clear in what I'm looking for. Some vs. all of the apps, I can deal with getting all the apps, I'll just use AppZapper or something.

    I want to keep my iTunes library on the external, it is too large to reasonably store internally. I can't just drag and drop anything, right? I mean it's stored in Time Machine, not a mirror of my disk.
  4. CorvetteZR1 macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2011
    UC San Diego
    I had the same problem. I ended up just starting all my accounts over. I lost all my itunes content but I didn't really care at the end of the day. It was kind of nice starting fresh. There really isn't an easy way to do what you're asking, I tried, trust me.
  5. wolfenkraft thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    So, if I use the Apple prescribed way of backing up, there's no way to keep my iOS devices to keep syncing and backing up appropriately?
  6. AndrewS, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    AndrewS macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Bourbon Country
    Here's what you do - and this is assuming that the path in iTunes to your iTunes Media folder will be the same on both your old load and your new one. I had iTunes backing my iPad/iPhone apps when I synced them.

    1) Backup 3 locations to an external drive
    a) /Users/<username>/Music/iTunes (the whole thing)
    b) /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/
    c) /Users/<username>/Library/Mobilesync

    2) write down the exact path for your iTunes Media/Music folder - whatever it is

    3) In iTunes go to /Preferences/Advanced and make sure you check "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized" and "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library"

    3) Make sure you deauthorize and log out of iTunes.

    4) Reload Lion

    5) Open iTunes and set your iTunes Media path to the Exact same one you had on your old load (check carefully - old iTunes used to use iTunes Music while newer iTunes uses iTunes Media)

    6) In iTunes go to /Preferences/Advanced and make sure you check "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized" and "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library"

    7) Quit iTunes

    8) Copy the above 3 directories/files to the same locations on your new load

    9) Open iTunes and authorize and log in

    10) Your music/iPad/iPhone will work without reloading and everything should be intact and match as it did on your old load.

    11) If you want to change the path to your iTunes Media/Music folder, you can then change it in Preferences/Advanced

    12) Then go to Files/Library/Organize Library and check "Consolidate Files" and "Upgrade to iTunes Media Organization" and click OK. This will correctly copy your files to the new location and fix all the preferences and xml pointers to your music.

    I just did this from an old Macbook Pro that was my main machine to a new Macbook Air. I plugged in my iPhone and iPad, they backed up, didn't reload everything and even did a firmware update to 4.3.5.
  7. wolfenkraft thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008

    Thanks! My MBA is currently in Anchorage going through customs. When I get it, I'll try this out. Hopefully I don't get screwed because I've been running iTunes 10.5 beta.

    Maybe I'll just do the normal setup as new user/machine and then reinstall 10.5 beta and then do your steps.

    Also, quick question, can I use the migration assistant after I do this to get my documents?
  8. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    migration tool worked wonders for me

    you can select just your music folder, documents and such

    I migrated everything just to be safe. it's migrating just the app data that the programs create. It's an apple tool for apple programs. They didn't mess it up.
  9. wolfenkraft thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    I don't think you understand what I want to do. "I migrated everything just to be safe" is exactly not what I want to do. I literally want my iTunes to sync properly, my documents, and that's it. I'll deal with my apps separately. I don't want all of my cruft from all of my open source stuff and things like that. I've got . files everywhere and like 3 versions of python and ruby and all manner of other things.

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