Re-Importing iTunes After Clean Install


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 19, 2004
Hey all, I'm sure this is a simple issue, but I'm having trouble figuring out. I just did a clean install of Tiger, and now I want to re-import all my old iTunes music. In addition to backing up all my music, I backed up the following files:
  • iTunes 4 Music Library
  • iTunes 4 Music Library (Old) <-- I don't know, this is what was in there
  • iTunes Music Library.xml
I tried dragging & dropping some songs into the Music folder, as well and dragging and dropping those files into the iTunes folder, but I couldn't see any of the files when I opened iTunes. So, what am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance for any advice. :)


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Nina, for some reason, your file structure is slightly different from mine, but I don't think it matters. Did you back up everything that was in the folder:


? If you did, you basically should be able to drag that folder (itunes) back into your music folder, and away you go.

But it sounds like that didn't work.

Actually, another question...did you let iTunes organize your music, or did you select the option to do it yourself? I'm assuming you let iTunes organize / copy.

If so, the structure should be something like this:


contains one or two folders: iTunes Music and Previous iTunes Libraries in my case, which seem to correspond to the first two items in your list (are those really files, or are they folders? All your music should be in the first of the two folders. The latter seems to just have an old copy of the XML file in it.

Then, I also have two data files in the folder -- one is called iTunes Library, and comes up as an "iTunes data file," and the other is called iTunes Music Library.xml.

If you put all this stuff back in /users/(you)/music/itunes/ and iTunes still doesn't see it, try this one additional step: open iTunes, go to preferences, and then the advanced tab, and at the top, where it says Music Folder Location, click the change button. Then, navigate to the folder:

/users/(you)/music/itunes/itunes 4 music library/

And see if this solves your problem. You might have to restart iTunes after you do that. :)

Hope it helps? :eek:


macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2005
2 options

for either option, have itunes running and open.

1. drag the music files (aac, mp3, etc etc) into itunes. itunes will then create a new library

2. better method: drag you music files and the itunes data files (the library one, for example)

that should do the trick. option 1 requires a lot of time especially on older machines and you lose any and all playlists. thats why i would try option 2

good luck!


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 19, 2004
Thanks guys!

Mohan (hi :)) -- sorry, yes, my folder structure is like what you described. I backed up the music and those files onto quite a few DVDs. I did previously have iTunes arrange my music for me, so everything is in folders by artist / album.

Right now I've imported about 1/5 of my music collection back in, along with those additional 3 iTunes files. The 3 files are in:

and the music is in:
users/nina/music/iTunes/iTunes Music

I can't yet see anything within, though. Will I only be able to see it once all the music is imported? I checked under preferences, and yes, iTunes does know to look at that "iTunes Music" folder for everything. Sorry if there's dumb questions, this seems to be more complex than I originally imagined. :)