Transferring iTunes library (but not actual files) to a new Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Brenzo, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Brenzo, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    Brenzo macrumors regular

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    Chicago
    #1
    Alright, so I'll try my best to explain what I am trying to do and hopefully this will all make sense and someone will be able to help me out.

    I purchased a new Air with a 128GB hard drive and want to transfer my iTunes library to this new machine from my old MacBook Pro. Using TuneSpan I previously transferred all my music, videos, etc. to an external hard drive. I don't have the space or the desire to put all these files on my new machine, but I would like for the files to show up in iTunes so that when I have the Air hooked up to the external, it can easily locate the files and play them (or stream them to the AppleTV.)

    I've tried exporting my Library from the MacBook Pro and then opening it on the Air, but that didn't do anything. Basically, I would like to see all the files in my new iTunes library, but for those that will permanently reside on the external, there will be the exclamation mark showing that iTunes cannot find the file locally.
     
  2. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a

    jbyun04

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    Canada
    #2
    I would like to know this as well as I've just reinstalled my 750GB in place of my Superdrive..
     
  3. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #3
    Ditto. I tried to do this earlier today. I moved all of my stuff from my Windows computer to an external and want to leave it there... I couldn't figure out how to make it so iTunes reads it. I even switched the library's location to where my music is stored with no luck.
     
  4. Brenzo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Chicago
    #4
    I'm pretty sure I could just use the 'Restore Library' function within iTunes, but that isn't what I'm looking for. It'd also be impossible due to the limited size of my hard drive compared to my iTunes library.
     
  5. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #5
    Hopefully someone will come along with the answers. I've asked Google and I'm finding all sorts of articles on how to move to an external, then move the stuff over to a new computer but none on how to train the new computer that the stuff is going to stay on the external. smh.
     
  6. msevild macrumors regular

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    Schaumburg
    #6
    If you're simply trying to store your iTunes library on an external drive just hold down option as you open up iTunes and choose the library(the entire iTunes folder) you should have dragged to your external hard drive.
     
  7. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    Location:
    VA, USA
    #7
    When I did that, it told me that an iTunes library file can't be found... I transferred all of my music, but not the actual database file. Do I need to move that as well in order for it to be found on my new computer.
     
  8. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a

    jbyun04

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    #8
    Yep you need to copy the iTunes folder that it makes in your Music folder.

    Just did the Option trick and it worked like magic!

    Thanks!!! :D
     
  9. Marky macrumors regular

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    Jan 4, 2005
    #9
    hi

    Had exact same problem, iTunes content is on an external networked drive and although my old Mac could see the content with out a hitch my new Mac simply wouldn't no matter how I tweaked things etc etc

    I then used Apples Migration assistant to transfer all my files, folders, photos, applications etc and application/system settings. This I was planning to do anyway.

    Once done my new Mac was able to access the iTunes folder on my networked drive without a hitch.

    Obviously not the solution for anyone who isn't migrating their system over but for anyone that is thinking of doing that then Migration Assistant will automatically sort this problem out for you.
     
  10. udontno, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
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    #10
    Will try again when I'm near the drive and report back.

    ETA: Okay, I did that. Now all of my songs show up in iTunes, but they all have exclamation points next to them and say that they can't be played because they can't be found. How can I fix this?
     
  11. Brenzo thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 1, 2011
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    Chicago
    #11
    Will have to try this myself tonight. Just to confirm, this won't transfer the actual media, just locate and populate the tracks/shows/movies in iTunes, correct?
     
  12. thebignewt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #12
    This happens when iTunes has the marker for the songs, but doesn't have a stored location. The database that you transferred with all the tags had a different location because it was on a different machine. This commonly happened to me when I'd delete an album from my old PC (stored music in My Music, not itunes) and the exclamation would show up 'cause the music file wasn't there anymore.
     
  13. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #13
    How do I make it have a stored location for the files other than doing each one manually?
     
  14. thebignewt macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2011
    #14
    You just highlight the top song, scroll to the bottom of the (long) list, hold Shift and click on the bottom song to highlight the entire list. Just like in Windows.
     
  15. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #15
    Okay. Forgive me for being dense or whatever... ughhh. What do I do after I highlight them?
     
  16. stisdal macrumors 6502

    stisdal

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    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    Right click on one of the files that has an exclamation point. Then click on 'get info', a popup will tell you the file cannot be found and ask if you would like to locate the file. Click yes, and then find the file on your external drive and double click it. The system will ask if you want it to try and locate other files, click yes.

    This is from memory, so there may be a missing step, but the basics are there...

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. udontno, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #17
    Okay I did that... everything went fine other than it didn't ask me if I wanted to try and locate other files. Now when I double click a song with an exclamation point and locate it, it asks me if I want to use this to try to find other files. I said yes and it told me that it could not find them.

    EDIT: Okay, I don't know what the heck I did but hey, I managed to fix it! Thanks for all the help.
     

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