Importing iTunes library into Catalina's Apple Music?

Jas-Singh685

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 8, 2019
40
17
So recently installed the latest Catalina beta public 4 onto a separate drive just to explore and test out. Loving the OS so far, and while I will miss iTunes, the new change will be interesting.

I'm having trouble importing my iTunes library though. Apparently an upgrade from Mojave will automatically convert the library to an Apple Music suitable format, but what about importing after a clean install?

The formats seem different, iTunes uses .itl and Music uses .musicdb. Do I need to re-add all my music and re-build the library from scratch? Adding the .itl into Music does....nothing.

Thanks in advance!
 
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shafez

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2011
108
27
Egypt
Just go to file,add to librrary and go to the music folder on mojave drive,itunes and selct itunes media and all your files will be imported even the home videos.
 

rishi.talreja

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2014
54
34
Mumbai, India
Just go to file,add to librrary and go to the music folder on mojave drive,itunes and selct itunes media and all your files will be imported even the home videos.

I don’t think that retains the play counts and some other info. Have you tried it to test if this is identical to when it imports automatically on installing Catalina?
 
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mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
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Vancouver
So recently installed the latest Catalina beta public 4 onto a separate drive just to explore and test out. Loving the OS so far, and while I will miss iTunes, the new change will be interesting.

I'm having trouble importing my iTunes library though. Apparently an upgrade from Mojave will automatically convert the library to an Apple Music suitable format, but what about importing after a clean install?

The formats seem different, iTunes uses .itl and Music uses .musicdb. Do I need to re-add all my music and re-build the library from scratch? Adding the .itl into Music does....nothing.

Thanks in advance!

I also did a clean install on an external SSD - and did not use migration since there are a lot apps on my Mojave working version that are not going to be possible to migrate ( ie 32 bit etc.)

I was able to import the Mojave (iTunes) library by placing a copy of the library.itl in the music folder - used the "option key" when opening the Music app - it does ask to "Create or Choose" a library (just like iTunes)- so I selected the old library and the Music App then asked to save as a new "Music 1" library

Once I did that - it imported all the history, with play counts, ratings, genres and all the other info seems to be there intact :)

Too bad there is no Column View :(

I am hoping they put the column view back (upcoming versions?) and then there will not be much difference over the iTunes version - although I do find it more set up for streaming music from the apple store than for playing my existing music files.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
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Oregon
I also did a clean install on an external SSD - and did not use migration since there are a lot apps on my Mojave working version that are not going to be possible to migrate ( ie 32 bit etc.)

I was able to import the Mojave (iTunes) library by placing a copy of the library.itl in the music folder - used the "option key" when opening the Music app - it does ask to "Create or Choose" a library (just like iTunes)- so I selected the old library and the Music App then asked to save as a new "Music 1" library

Once I did that - it imported all the history, with play counts, ratings, genres and all the other info seems to be there intact :)

Too bad there is no Column View :(

I am hoping they put the column view back (upcoming versions?) and then there will not be much difference over the iTunes version - although I do find it more set up for streaming music from the apple store than for playing my existing music files.
How is itunes even useable without column view? Do you have a screenshot of the closest approximation to the mojave version?
 

mikzn

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Sep 2, 2013
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Yeah this a major drawback and hard to believe :eek:

I am hoping this is not the final version or direction they want to go with it - the column browser is essential in my opinion for a large music collection. That said, maybe I have not found out how to use it properly yet - but the column browser was the main way I used to browse the music files.

On a side note - I noticed the Music App is downloading the artwork again from scratch - so I will let it run for a while and see how the Artwork looks after it has a chance to update the songs with the artwork.

here is a screen shot

music-catalina-B5.png
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,312
663
Oregon
Yeah this a major drawback and hard to believe :eek:

I am hoping this is not the final version or direction they want to go with it - the column browser is essential in my opinion for a large music collection. That said, maybe I have not found out how to use it properly yet - but the column browser was the main way I used to browse the music files.

On a side note - I noticed the Music App is downloading the artwork again from scratch - so I will let it run for a while and see how the Artwork looks after it has a chance to update the songs with the artwork.

here is a screen shot

View attachment 852699
Clunky
 

lungbutter

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2014
37
3
yeah - maybe there will be an update with a new browser/viewer before the final release of Catalina
Your hope resonates in my skull everyday. I'm managing >64,000 files.I will need to create over 800 Playlists. LOL. What a POS.
[doublepost=1566622116][/doublepost]
I’d like to know, too.

Thr33. Yeah finally bought into the Apple ecosystem all the while for decades for Windows tech. I'll never look back but will use it begrudgingly for work. Where's Visio for Project for mac OS? Eh,... haha that's where they GET YOU if you any real planning.
 
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haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,255
395
Silicon Valley, CA
Yeah this a major drawback and hard to believe :eek:

I am hoping this is not the final version or direction they want to go with it - the column browser is essential in my opinion for a large music collection. That said, maybe I have not found out how to use it properly yet - but the column browser was the main way I used to browse the music files.

On a side note - I noticed the Music App is downloading the artwork again from scratch - so I will let it run for a while and see how the Artwork looks after it has a chance to update the songs with the artwork.

here is a screen shot

View attachment 852699
In curating my very large media library I actually have always put the art into each song. Over the various versions and across devices, I had too ,much trouble with the automatic function.
[doublepost=1566659585][/doublepost]I might make another attempt at Music. Has anybody had trouble with duplicated songs? I have a large library all synced to my iCloud Music library. I also have Apple Music.
On occasion I have had real fiascos that are are a pain to clean up.
I have also seen iTunes lose track of songs on the local drive wanting to download them again.
 
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mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
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In curating my very large media library I actually have always put the art into each song. Over the various versions and across devices, I had too ,much trouble with the automatic function.

Yeah this is not importing well for me at all in Catalina and I have been trying to figure out why the artwork has been messed up

In fact Artwork has really has not been great in the past few versions of iTunes in recent MacOS like Sierra, High Sierra and Mojave. I am getting the feeling this is because Apple was preparing to slowly evolve the sync process of purchases, artwork, play-counts, Star Ratings, Downloads to use iCloud to sync and somehow these are being stored in a hidden area on the mac locally - but also syncing to iCloud and other devices and updating apple with all your music info whether or not you purchased it from apple?.

When I installed Catalina - i copied the entire music folder and library from Mojave and all the actual music files to the "Music" folder on Catalina - hoping that the artwork would be in the "Album Artwork Folder" and would update the new Catalina install (whether artwork was imbedded in the music file or not) - this worked for playlists, playcounts and most of the meta data but not for the artwork - especially any custom / hi res artwork that I have manually added in Mojave and earlier.

I am wondering if this has been moved somewhere and will need to be syncronized on line and stored in a hidden file to hide access to the artwork files from users?

itunes-prefs.png
 

mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
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Vancouver
Your hope resonates in my skull everyday. I'm managing >64,000 files.I will need to create over 800 Playlists. LOL. What a POS.

Playlists import fine - its the search / column browser for large libraries like yours that I can't understand - makes no sense :rolleyes:
 

lungbutter

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2014
37
3
Playlists import fine - its the search / column browser for large libraries like yours that I can't understand - makes no sense :rolleyes:

I can't get my playlists to import. Now that I'm on Beta 7 I'm tempted to try building a new library and see if anything good happens.
 

mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
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Vancouver
I can't get my playlists to import. Now that I'm on Beta 7 I'm tempted to try building a new library and see if anything good happens.

thats a pain - did you copying the old itunes folder from another (prior) OS into the Music Folder? This is what I did and it created a new folder "Music 1" automatically and imported everything fine except the artwork ( partially imported the art work)

I am also on Beta 7 - not much difference that I can tell over the prior version
 

lungbutter

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2014
37
3
thats a pain - did you copying the old itunes folder from another (prior) OS into the Music Folder? This is what I did and it created a new folder "Music 1" automatically and imported everything fine except the artwork ( partially imported the art work)

I am also on Beta 7 - not much difference that I can tell over the prior version
Naw. My iTunes folder is where it's always been, on the system drive, however, my library is on an external drive as it's too big. I tried copying the .itl file from the external directory where the library and music live and placing it under \Users\Name\Music\Music but that didn't make a difference. I don't think I understood the directions or maybe it needs to be under \Users\Name\Music.

Basically, I have all my songs and they even have the artwork. I have no playlists though and it's killing me.
 

haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,255
395
Silicon Valley, CA
I deleted all Music caches, folders, and Preferences. I added Music to the Full Disk Access permissions, since the Library lives on its own disk. I started Music with Option key down and selected iTunes.itl. That seems to work well so far.
 

mikey8811

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2019
94
12
I deleted all Music caches, folders, and Preferences. I added Music to the Full Disk Access permissions, since the Library lives on its own disk. I started Music with Option key down and selected iTunes.itl. That seems to work well so far.

Hi

My iTunes library is on an external HDD. So when I update to Catalina and launch Music, I hold down the option key and select and select the iTunes.itl on that external HDD? The Music folder on my Mac is empty.

What happens with my iPhone backups in iTunes which are also on the external HDD? I had created a symlink to it in Mojave. Will that be retained or will I have to recreate it?

Thanks
 

haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,255
395
Silicon Valley, CA
Hi

My iTunes library is on an external HDD. So when I update to Catalina and launch Music, I hold down the option key and select and select the iTunes.itl on that external HDD? The Music folder on my Mac is empty.

What happens with my iPhone backups in iTunes which are also on the external HDD? I had created a symlink to it in Mojave. Will that be retained or will I have to recreate it?

Thanks
Remember to provide Music with full disk access or you will get weird error messages. The Finder is now handling iPhone sync. I have not played with that, but I suspect the backups just carry forward.
 

mikey8811

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2019
94
12
Remember to provide Music with full disk access or you will get weird error messages. The Finder is now handling iPhone sync. I have not played with that, but I suspect the backups just carry forward.


Thanks.

I just noticed that currently only smbd and terminal have full disk access.

iTunes doesn't have full disk access but libraries on external HDD's seem to work - strange.
 

lungbutter

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2014
37
3
I can't get my playlists to import. Now that I'm on Beta 7 I'm tempted to try building a new library and see if anything good happens.
Sorry it's been longer that it should be.

So... while i had my oxygen mask on, i added another library. this time i pointed to just the .itl on the external and let'er rip.

I'd be damned if not only did my music comes across, so did media and for my problem.... PLAYLISTS!

So, it imports then goes straight to indexing my media. at that point i was feeling pretty god about the ingestion of music into the app. So they did fix that.

Bugs withMusic on IOS:
Told me it synched. i saw the names and albums and even songs. Nothing playable. no artwork also.

Next beta. it actually appears to sync. i now have the artist, album, song and some metadata.art if f*cked up. same covers used for other albums. arg. sStill won't play anything. forced to listening to satellite radio. ugh.

This beta: resynched phone and all is almost okay. yesterday, carmode froze solid while running the music IOS app. had to hard boot. did so and like nothing happened.

In summary, i feel confident enough in the Music app that i'll use it but still expect surprises. on 13.2 beta 2.
 

lungbutter

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2014
37
3
In curating my very large media library I actually have always put the art into each song. Over the various versions and across devices, I had too ,much trouble with the automatic function.
[doublepost=1566659585][/doublepost]I might make another attempt at Music. Has anybody had trouble with duplicated songs? I have a large library all synced to my iCloud Music library. I also have Apple Music.
On occasion I have had real fiascos that are are a pain to clean up.
I have also seen iTunes lose track of songs on the local drive wanting to download them again.
Hey Mizn,

you ever get your problems resolved. it tokk me over four weeks to figure out how to even get a library on an external SSD impoterted with playlists and mdiea. media came first then i still had to et Pplaylists. well low and be hold, reading tall the posts on this over and over, i finally found what worked for me. you have to point to the .itl on the root music folder of where your library is especially external. what a relief. it makes the Music app usable for me again.

Got the latest DEV beta on here and it's doing almost normal. Still needs work. i think we'll see that over several dot revisions. that is, unl;ess the storm gates have opened with stupid iphone users that call support for something that's totally obvious. JMHO.

Hope its workin' for ya!
Hi

My iTunes library is on an external HDD. So when I update to Catalina and launch Music, I hold down the option key and select and select the iTunes.itl on that external HDD? The Music folder on my Mac is empty.

What happens with my iPhone backups in iTunes which are also on the external HDD? I had created a symlink to it in Mojave. Will that be retained or will I have to recreate it?

Thanks
Yah mahn.
Remember to provide Music with full disk access or you will get weird error messages. The Finder is now handling iPhone sync. I have not played with that, but I suspect the backups just carry forward.
Latest ebta, best most stable expeirience so far. i'm liking that better than using iTunes.
 
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