Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2005 10:36 PM by Sara.M.
Scott Rose Level 3 (895 points)
Hi gang,

I'm having difficulty transferring an entire iTunes Library to a new machine, and having iTunes recognize all the songs & playlists. Can anyone help shed some light on this for me?

Here are the details:

My friend just bought a new iBook G4 to replace her old iMac G3. The old iMac G3 is running iTunes 4.9, and the new iBook G4 is also running iTunes 4.9. We did not go through the Migration Assistant, because she only wanted a few little things copied over to her new machine. Of those things is her iTunes Music Library.

I used a FireWire drive to copy her entire "iTunes" folder from her old computer (from Macintosh HD>Users>userfolder>Music>iTunes) into her new computer. I put the "iTunes" folder in the exact same place on the new machine (Macintosh HD>Users>userfolder>Music>iTunes).

However, when launching iTunes 4.9 on the new machine, the entire Library is empty, and the playlists do not show up.

iTunes' preferences show that it's looking for the music in the appropriate place on her hard drive, but the music is not showing up. The user names are DIFFERENT on the two machines, but iTunes recognizes the new location as the right location.

So I manually dragged the "iTunes Music" folder into iTunes, and all of the songs are back -- but all of her playlists are still gone!

Does anybody have any ideas as to what I've done wrong?

I thought it was a simple matter of just taking the entire "iTunes" folder and transferring it from one machine to the next.

All of her songs are currently showing up, but she would certainly like all 50 of her playlists back.

Any ideas?

  • Jeff* Level 5 (4,900 points)
    did you go into the Preferences for iTune and set the new Music folder location?
  • Scott Rose Level 3 (895 points)
    Yep, it was already set. And when I went into preferences to set it AGAIN, nothing happened. iTunes just won't read this old music folder.

    By the way, ths has happened on 3 other computers I tried it on also.

    There seems to be no way to transfer the iTunes Music Library & all the playlists from one computer to another.
  • Jeff* Level 5 (4,900 points)
    thats very strange

    I have done it numerous times moving my primary music folder to my other computers, and then I finally got tired of doing that so I moved my iTunes folder to an external FireWire drive and set the Preferences on all computers to recognize that drive to play/download/etc music...
  • Jack deWees Level 1 (20 points)
    I am having a similar problem... sort of. I've transferred my iTunes library to a firewire drive for use with my powerbook on a long road trip. I've changed the location in iTunes preferences, but it does not show me any of my music, only the one song that lives on my powerbook. Any thoughts?

    Thank you.
  • Scott Rose Level 3 (895 points)
    You need to consolidate the music library (under the "Advanced" menu).

    In regards to my original problem, I think it might be a permissions thing. I'm going to try repairing permissions and see what happens.
  • Jack deWees Level 1 (20 points)
    I have consolidated the library already under the advanced menu and still nothing.
    Also... I just tested the firewire drive out with iTunes on my powermac and it worked fine. Seems to be a powerbook thing. ?

    Any help from anyone is appreciated as I'm hitting the road in a couple of days.
  • Jeff* Level 5 (4,900 points)
    that is very strange

    I have done the same thing of moving my iTunes folder to a 60G 2.5" bus powered firewire drive and went into iTunes ->Advanced->Change and selected the folder on the firewire drive and everything works fine

    are you using the same cable on the PB and the Desktop machine?

    does the firewire drive mount on the PB?

    are you using the same version OS?
  • Jack deWees Level 1 (20 points)
    Yes... same cable; tried both firewire and USB

    Yes... the firewire drive mounts on my PB

    Yes... using Tiger on both machines

    Seems I'm out of luck. I've just packed up my PowerMac and I'm about to pack up my AirPort and modem. Hopefully I'll get this worked out on the road--MD to AZ--I should have plenty of time in cheap motels to mess with it. I'll check this board whenever I can get Internet access.

    Thanks for the help... any other thoughts are still welcome.
  • CharityJF Level 2 (190 points)
    Scott, as this was now a while ago, did you have any luck with solving the problem? I'm now in the same boat, having used set up assistant to transfer my files over with a firewire cable from my old mac to my new iBook. I haven't tried dragging songs into the library the way you have, just cos I'm scared to lose my playlists and comments etc for each song!

    If you found a solution I'd LOVE to know about it.
  • Scott Rose Level 3 (895 points)
    I finally found the answer, but this is not documented anywhere, including Apple's website. The key lies in preparing your music on the old computer FIRST before making the switch to the new computer. Here's the steps:

    1. Export your current library on the old machine. File > Export Library. This saves all the playlists, ratings, etc. as an XML file.
    2. Move this file over to the new computer, along with your iTunes Music Folder.
    3. Launch iTunes on the new computer. (You will now have an empty library and no play lists.)
    4. Go to the Advanced tab in iTunes Preferences and choose the new location for your music folder. Also check "Copy music to iTunes Music folder when adding to library."
    5. Go to File > Open, and select your old music file (iTunes Library). This will import all of the new music into your new music file and into your library.
    6. Choose File > Import. Select the library XML file you Exported in step 1. This will restore your play lists, ratings, etc. (Note: If any of the songs in your old music folder are not in your current music folder, they will not show up in the play lists.

    That's it!

    Hope this helps,
  • CharityJF Level 2 (190 points)
    I haven't done this yet, as I just need a couple of clarifications... but if this works Scott, you'll be my favourite person!

    I was just wondering which file you meant exactly in step 5; is this a data file or xml file? Is this the one on the new computer or from the old one?

    Also, I do actually now have all the music in my library, but without playlists, star ratings etc., so will these steps work just as well, or should I do things slightly differently so that I can just do the work with the data and xml files, rather than transferring all my music again?

    Thanks again Scott
  • Scott Rose Level 3 (895 points)
    You know, I'm not really sure what I meant in step #5... that seems to be a typo on my end, but I'm not sure what I meant. I'm not near my normal computer to test it out right at this moment.

    To answeryour 2nd question, yes I believe you can just do the XML thing without re-transferring all of your music again.

    I'm not really the expert on this... I'm sort of reiterating what somebody ELSE told me. Apple should REALLY post this information in a knowledge base article somewhere. I'll write Apple about it.
  • Michael Atwell Level 1 (30 points)
    Actually, there have been some excellent posts by Sara.M. on this. She has an excellent solution to this here.

    Victoria Herring, "Can I safely move .xml file [old] to new??", 08:34pm Nov 7, 2005 CDT

    Make sure you click "View All" in you browser, if the entire thread doesn't appear.

    Very useful info. Big thanks to Sara.M.!!!

    Hope this helps!
  • Sara.M. Level 4 (2,070 points)
    Great explanation, Scott.

    I haven't had the same problems transferring, but I've been using newer versions of iTunes.

    One note about step 5 - do you mean File->Add to Library right? There is no Open option under the File menu. And when you say "Select your old music file (iTunes LIbrary), I think you mean select your old music fileS (ie choose the iTunes Music folder) - or am I confused?
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