Moving my iTunes/iPhoto etc to a new computer

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jgmacrum, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hi there ....

    I'm going to be getting a new machine (QC 27") soon, and I'm looking for the best way to move my entire iTunes library en masse. I make backups of my home directory using rsync to an external hard drive ... is this as simple as copying my Library/iTunes directory over to the home dir on the new machine and firing up iTunes? Ideally i'd like to maintain everything - not just songs, but podcast subscriptions, iPhone applications, etc.

    In the past I transferred just the song portion of my library, but that was before I cared about the other stuff ... I just copied all of the music files into a single directory and did a mass import from within the new iTunes. That would lose a lot of the extraneous stuff that I'm looking at here.

    While I'm thinking of it - what about iPhoto as well?
  2. astroot macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    I copied over both my iTunes and iPhoto libraries this past weekend from a G4 iBook running Leopard to a 27" i7 iMac running Snow Leopard of course.

    All I did was hook an ethernet cable between the two computers, turned on File Sharing, then copied over the full iTunes directory and the full iPhoto directory. My iTunes library is about 11 GB, so that took a minute or two. iPhoto library also took a minute or two.

    iTunes worked without a hitch. I had to authorize my new computer for the DRM songs, but no problem there.

    iPhoto had to "upgrade" my library from whatever version I was running on my iBook to the new version. Didn't really take too long, and again, went off without a hitch.

    It was really about as simple as possible. Good luck with your transfer.
  3. jgmacrum thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Good to know. I shouldn't have too many DRM songs - I never bought many to begin with (I like having jewel cases, what can I say) and I upgraded everything possible to the new un-DRMed files.

    I want to make sure I get the right directories though, if I hit:

    should that be enough?

    Don't know if you have an iphone but will it remember all of the apps that you've purchased that way?
  4. astroot macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    You might want to do your entire Music folder because mine had an Amazon MP3 folder so if you do iTunes only you'll miss that. I think that's where Garageband music you create would reside as well.

    So yeah it would be the ~/Music/ folder.

    And iPhoto library is underneath ~/Pictures/ I believe.

    Yes I do have an iPhone, but I haven't synced it yet. I know the Music is all there, but I haven't checked on the Apps. I believe the Apps are located under the iTunes Library in a folder called Mobile Applications.. so that should be fine. Wouldn't hurt to do a backup of your iPhone on your old computer just in case.

    Also, you might want to remember to transfer your Address Book contents so that your iPhone contacts will be there. You can find that data here: ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/
  5. jgmacrum thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Cool, thanks much. Now I just need to get the damned thing ... the waiting is the worst part :)
  6. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    If you are moving to a new Mac all you have to do is follow the instructions on the migration assistant. It is absolutely idiot proof! I should know, I have done it several times and my wife claims I am an idiot....:D
    The migration assistant will dupolicate your old drive on the new one; all the settings, software and files.
    Good luck.
  7. astroot macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    Tell me about it! I ordered mine on October 27, a week after the announcement, and it arrived last Friday, Nov 13. Was a long wait...

    I called Apple and they were nice enough to upgrade me to 2 day shipping for free since the wait was a while. Made it from Shanghai to my doorstep in 3 days.

    I got the i7 with 4GB of RAM, but I'll just upgrade that to 8 sometime in the near future. I definitely don't need all of that horsepower but I like to future proof myself for a while. Did you go with the i5 or i7?
  8. jgmacrum thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Can you specify exactly what you're copying over? That's the thing, I don't want to completely replicate my setup ... I'm using this opportunity to do some spring cleaning :)
  9. jgmacrum thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I ordered an i5 from amazon ... will probably give up in a few days if there's no news and try to get one from a local store. I still waffle on the 5 vs 7, but the reality is that the 5 is going to almost certainly be AOK for me but the nerd in me wants the oomph of the 7. And really, I'm coming from the original G5 20" imac so both are going to seem like lightspeed to me :)
  10. astroot macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    Hey again jgmacrum, after some reading it sounds like Migration Assistant will copy EVERYTHING so you can't pick and choose, which is what I did when I copied over my stuff. Since I was going from PowerPC to Intel, in hindsight I think the way I went was the wise choice.

    Also, I did finally sync my iPhone last night to my new computer and all was well. It came up with a prompt to either merge my information, or replace my information, and I went with 'replace' and the iPhone is 100% the same. So as long as you copy over your ~/Music/ folder as well as the Address Book data, you'll be set.
  11. pandabearjohnso macrumors member


    May 27, 2009
    I have a similar problem, but need a different solution. I can't connect my old machine to the new machine via firewire b/c the old machine is already dead and i've removed the hard drive and placed it in an enclosure. I can boot from the hard drive, or I can access files from it while it is connected to the new machine.

    Is it is simple as finding the files in the directory of the old hard drive and dragging them into the appropriate place in the new machine?

    I also can't use Migration Assistant for several reasons, the biggest of which is that I want to have a different name on the HOME folder on the new machine.

    Thanks for any advice to this very newbie question!
  12. astroot macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    It is as simple as copying the files from your old HD to your new one! If you're specifically talking about iTunes, just copy over ~/Music/iTunes/ then open up iTunes and your Library should be exactly as it was on your old computer.

    If you happen to have anything in that iTunes directory on your new machine, that will get wiped out, so if that's the case you might want to use another solution.
  13. jgmacrum thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Cool, thanks. Yeah, I'm also going from PPC to Intel and will have crud for applications & such that I won't be bringing across with me. No sense in keeping that around.
  14. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I just want to copy over the mail address book, messages and settings as well as the Internet login settings. How is this done from a Leopard computer to the new 27" quad Imac w/ Snow?

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