how to preserve itunes data while changing computer

Discussion in 'macOS' started by phuong, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. phuong macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    hello. i tried to search for this but couldn't find any answer.
    so here goes.

    i have MP and MBP, both are Tiger and each have an itunes library inside them (so i have 2 itunes libraries)

    i now just bought a AEBS, therefore have airdisk with huge capacity.
    i am planning to replace both these machines, therefore, i want to move all itunes data to the airdisk in a manner that the new machines will be able to recognize them (i.e., the new MBP will recognize and use the old itunes library from the old MBP. same thing for the MP)

    how do i go about doing this?
  2. joebells macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2005
    You should(not done this myself so caution) be able to take the whole itunes folder and drag it to the share. You could have a folder named MPMusic and MBPMusic for example and drag the corresponding iTunes into those folders. Then on the new machines when you get them you will just have to point itunes to the new folders. Its in the preferences, advanced tab. It says itunes music folder location just click change and point it to your new itunes folder and it should work. Should even keep your library data and everything. If you wanted to be safe you could make a copy of your library file and such.

    Good Luck.
  3. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    How does that keep the meta data? Isn't the library and xml files the ones that keep the user data, not the actual audio files. I've been tryin' to figure out how to merge 2 libraries forever.
  4. phuong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    afaik, there's no way yet to merge 2 libraries without losing data of one of them.
    now back to the topic. i think i am pushing it 1 step further.

    step 1- i consolidate the MP music to another location - say "tempMPmusic", then i manually move it along with other data to tempMPdata on the external.
    then i buy a firewire cable and migrate the MP user to the MBP using Migration Assistant. since most data is pulled out, i think the user data will weight 8 to 10GB at most, which is can totally be put on the MBP.

    step 2- i sell the MP, buy a new one, and migrate its user back using Migration Assistant, and finally move the itunes library back from the external. other data will probably stay there so that they're universally accesible.

    step 3- the new MP will probably have a huge hard drive - say 500GB - so i migrate the MBP users to the new MP without putting the MBP itunes away.

    step 4- sell the MBP, buy a new one, and migrate its user back from the new MP using Migration Assistant.

    now, i've never used Migration Assistant before, i don't really know how it works, and don't really know if the above steps are do-able (i.e., most people migrate users from equivalent class of Macs, like from powerbook to macbook or macbook pro, or from iMac to Mac Pro. ive never heard people do it from Mac Pro to Macbook or Macbook Pro)

    any thoughts?
  5. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Move the entire MP and MBP iTunes folders from those machines to the external drive in (as mentioned above) folders for each. The folder you are moving contains an iTunes Library file, an iTunes Music Library.xml file, and Album Artwork and iTunes Music folders. If at a later point you want to keep the Music stored elsewhere you can do this by putting the iTunes Music folder where you want to and pointing the iTunes for that machine to that location in the preferences.

    As far as when you get your new machines, on each one you need to move either everything or everything but your iTunes Music Folder into the Music folder on the new machine. It is the 2 library files that store all your playlist data and iPod/iPhone syncing data. When you launch iTunes it should see them.

    For ex. I had a Mini, I kept my music on an external. I got a new iMac. I then copied the 2 library files and Album Artwork folder over from the Mini to the iMac, plugged the external into the iMac and launched iTunes, checking the preferences to make sure I had the destination still set in there. All my playlists, etc, were still in the source column. Then I decided since my iMac had a much larger drive then the Mini, to copy the entire iTunes Music folder from the external to the iTunes folder on the iMac. All I did was relaunch iTunes and change the location of the library in the preferences and then delete the folder from the external.

    I did the same thing with my iPhoto library. It saved all albums, slideshows, events etc.

    As far as merging libraries, don't think there is anything you can really do.

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