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Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello -

I currently have my iTunes Library on my desktop *(windows XP)*. All my files are on an external hard drive (Music, video, etc).

Everything is working fine.

I now want to add the exact same library on to my laptop *(Windows Vista).*

Can anyone tell me how to do so?

Is there a "setup" file or something I need to copy over to my laptop? (I have ALL iTunes files on my external hard drive, nothing is in My Documents on my desktop except for the itunes/my music folder, which I don't use. No songs are in there)

Can someone please help me?

Thank you for you time,

Windows XP
  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Can anyone help?

    Sorry to seem anxious, but I'm sitting here with my laptop and desktop both on, ready to make a move.

    Any help is apprecited.

  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    Are you looking to put the entire library onto your laptop? Or are you looking to make the laptop access the same files off the external hard drive?

  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for replying.

    I'm looking to keep my files on my external hard drive, and have my laptop access the same files.

    I want the iTunes librry that I have on my desktp, to be on my laptop (all files labeled the same way etc)

    My iTunes library on my desktop is very clean and neat (chaned the ID3 tags and genre etc to each file) and I was wondering if there is a way to copy my itunes libary from by desktop (windows xp) to my laptop (windows vista).
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    Ok the best way to do it is when your library is completely self contained in the iTunes folder.

    But I suspect you have your media files separate from your database files. Meaning, normally you have an itl and an XML file in your iTunes folder along side the iTunes Music folder. But usually people, when they put it on the external drive, just move the iTunes Music folder to the external leaving the database files on the internal. Do you know if that is the case with yours?

  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't know what XML or ITL means, but I have EVERYTHING regarding ituns copied on to my EHD (external hard drive).

    I have the icon and application for itunes on my desktop of my desktop computer.
    i open it, turn on my EHD and play music. without my EHD turned on, I can't play music.

    I have folders such as "previous copies of iTunes" etc all on my EHD.

    Hope i'm making sense.
  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think i got it. Tell me what you think.

    I connected my EHD to my laptop. Downloaded iTunes.

    Now I have an empty iTunes library in front of me.

    I opened my EHD. Went to the music folder. Selected an artist, and dragged (or cut & paste, forgot what I did) into the empty iTunes library and everything showed up in iTunes exactly how it shows up on my itunes library on my desktop computer (ID3 tags how I anted it ((genre, spelling, etc))

    I probably just have to drag the entire music folder in to the empty iTunes library and let it fill up.

    What do you think?
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    You can add the entire folder and yes you will have the same stuff showing up on your laptop. For now.

    Here is the problem with that method. Each computer will maintain its own databases of the library meaning each has its own list of stuff that is in its own library. While they will initially share all the same media files off the external drive, whenever either library makes a change (adds new songs, deletes songs, etc.) most of those changes will NOT show up in the other library unless you manually remember to mirror the same change to the other library.

    Example, if you add a new CD to library #1, it imports the songs to your external hard drive and adds those tracks to library #1. Later when you open Library #2, none of those tracks will show up. You would then have to manually go to File -> Add to Library... (or drag & drop) the new files from the external hard drive to Library #2 to get them to be added to the library listing.

    Likewise, if you delete songs from one library and have them removed (to the trash) from the external drive, the other library will not automatically know they are gone and those tracks will still be listed in that other library.

  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your help. i'm going to credit you with helping me answer my question. I think you get points or something???

    Anyway, yes, exactly what you just wrote, is what I realized after I signed off last night.

    You are correct, any changes to #1, will not show up to #2 unless I manually make the change.

    two things:

    1) is there anyway to allow #2 to get updates to #1 on it's own, or is it always going to have to be me that manually updates #2?

    2) My desktop has some sort of spyware/trojan virus on it. I've clean it all up, but just to be safe, I want to reformat.

    I realize I can just reformat and then once the drive is reformatted, DL itunes again, and dump everything back in to itunes (on my desktop, library #1), but I want iTunes on my laptop as well. If I manually update #2 (my laptop) then cool...if not..then 16,000 tracks is good enough. lol

    another question (I know...I know..I'm nuts):

    I don't like the way itunes stored my music. I would make a million folders for an artist.

    Example: Madonna (i have no songs from her, not sure why I'm using her as an example)

    itunes would make a MODONNA folder, then a folder for each album, and then a folder for each song. ***????

    what i did was on EHD was make a folder for the Artist, and in the artist folder, made a folder for each album, and thats it.

    Now I forget if my way is by me consoldidating my albums or something??

    I just rememeber i had to change my settings to go from Apple's way to organize, to my way of organizing my music.

    Am I making sense? If so, ahhh...I don't even know what I'm trying to ask. lol
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    Yes, if you click on the helpful or solved buttons next to my posts, it will give me points each time. If you just mark the whole thread as answered, no points are awarded.

    Anyway, the way iTunes SHOULD be organizing your folder is that you would have a main folder for the artist, Madonna, then inside that folder you should see folders for each album, and then if you pick any of the album folders you should see all the songs from that album. It should NOT have a folder for each song.

    The best way to take care of your iTunes library and using it on two different computer with a single external drive is to have your library completely self contained. As I said before your database files are probably on your internal drive and your media files are on the other external. Same for both computers, so each has their own library.

    What you would like to have is the database files and the media files all in a single iTunes folder. Then you can copy the entire folder to the external drive. Then you can open iTunes and have it go to that location to get the library. You can do this for each computer and now both are using the EXACT same library and each will see changes made by the other. However the catch is that both computers can not access the library at the same time.

    Here is what I would do if I were you. Use these instructions to create a new library on the external hard drive...

    How to open an alternate iTunes Library file or create a new one

    and I would put it in the same place as you store your iTunes media files. On the external drive, are your songs in a folder called iTunes and then inside that is the iTunes Music folder? Or do you only have the iTunes Music folder on the external drive? If the latter, then create an iTunes folder and then drag and drop the iTunes Music folder into it. Create your new library inside the iTunes folder.

    When you create it, the library will be empty. You can now use the File -> Add to Library... command (or drag & drop the music folder onto the iTunes window) and it should now add ALL your media into that library. IF you allowed iTunes to manage your locations before, then none of the media files will need to be copied since they are already in the proper organization. However if you customized your folder structure, then BEFORE you add the media files, be sure to change the iTunes preferences to NOT copy the stuff or organize the folder so that when you add them, they will simply be added and not copied. Does this make sense so far?

    If all goes well, you will now have a self contained library on your external in the folder iTunes folder which when opened, at a minimum, will have the database files (.itl and .xml files) and also the iTunes Music folder.

    Now to get your other computer to use the same library, plug the external drive into that computer and use the exact same instructions as before...

    How to open an alternate iTunes Library file or create a new one

    and use the option to open an existing library and point it to the library on the external. It should load right up.

    How it works is that each computer is using the same database files off the external. So any changes made by one library are written to that database file. When you then open the library on the other computer, it accesses the exact same database file, so it is reading and using the exact same library. You can now move this external drive to any number of computers and have them access the library the same way and you are always using and modifying the same SINGLE library.

    You can now reformat your desktop if you want to start it over because of viruses. Be sure that if you use iTunes purchased tunes, that you FIRST de-authorize the desktop from your iTunes account before you wipe it. After your reinstall everything on the desktop including iTunes, you only have to open iTunes as per the instructions and point it back to your external drive library location and you are good to go.

  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    wow you've been a HUGE help.
    By chance would you be willing to email me at my work address?

    I would appreicate if you would email me there.

    In any case, THANK YOU for everything.
  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    sent you an email....
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    Didn't get it.
  • Juddah Kie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    still didn't get it?
  • kbend Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am new to Apple Discussions and did not know how to ping you on my question, but I see you answering so many questions that I knew you were my best bet to resolve my issue.
    I have a new laptop. I copied everything from my old to my new. I renamed the iTunes file to iTunes.orig and then pulled my old file into the same location. I held down the shift key and and selected the directory. All of the music that I copied from CD's is now available and some of the music that I have downloaded. In Explorer, I can see the folders for the music that is missing. The folders actually show the album and songs that I am expecting to see in my Music list. But there are quite a few songs that do not show in the Music list or in my custom lists.
    Any ideas how to resolve my issue?

    Thank you so much for your help.

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