*Solved* iTunes - why isn't migrating to another Mac possible?!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rawdawg, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. rawdawg, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011

    rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    I'm pretty upset with how hard it is to move your library to a new Mac. I posted a few weeks back asking for advice but of course nothing helped.

    I installed a SSD in my MBP and wanted a clean install. I pointed iTunes to where Music library on my other drive which of course did nothing. I reimported it all but realized I lost all my ratings/play counts/etc all which is important to me. I didn't even think to save my playlists so I lost those too.

    Unfortunately I already reformatted the old HDD boot drive, but I did a carbon copy clone of it to a disk image. Thinking I could retrieve this info booting back into the old system I cloned the disk image onto a HDD and booted from it. But for some reason even that iTunes is showing up empty as if a new install.

    Its disappointing it's so difficult to do this with iTunes. Does anyone know what I can do? I have 180Gb of music so please don't remind me I can just use my iPod, I don't have one, just a 8Gb iPhone.
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    It's amazingly easy. Whilst iTunes is not running just copy the entire iTunes Library folder from the backup/old HDD to the new one in the correct location. This will, of course, overwrite any library on the new HDD with the old one so only do this if you are 100% sure this is what you want.

    I've used this approach to migrate my iTunes library from one Mac to another at least 5 times without any issue at all.
  3. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    thanks for the reply.. Do you think it's different wit iTunes 10 because I tried that and nothing happens. It's as if it's not there. Am I doing something wrong?
  4. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    Did you change the location of where iTunes stores it's stuff? If so then that would explain why.

    Next, you need to quit iTunes, copy, then load itunes... order matters.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It still works the same way for iTunes 10 as for iTunes 9:

    Moving your iTunes library to another computer
    ScreenCap 5.PNG
  6. mkelly macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2007
    I've never had a problem moving iTunes libraries between machines (or putting them on a network fileshare for that matter).

    I usually follow these steps:

    1. Copy iTunes Library folder from old location to new one, either via external hard drive or network share.

    2. On the new computer, hold down Option key while opening iTunes on new system. You will be prompted to either "Create New Library" or "Choose Existing Library". Click the "Choose Existing" option, then navigate to the new location where you copied the iTunes Library folder and select it.

    Voila, you're done. iTunes will open the library you just selected by default from now on.

    BTW: Step #2 also lets you have more than one iTunes Library on a single machine, under a single user account (if you wanted to do such a thing, that is).
  7. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    That trick works with iPhoto as well. One that not many people seem to know. Didnt think to use it in this scenario though. nice.
  8. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009

    That totally worked! Thank you so much!
  9. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    This is very good info. Glad it solved your problems.

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