From the iTunes Help file:
To create backup CDs or DVDs:
Choose File > Library > “Back up to Disc.”
Select your options, and then click Next.
Insert a blank disc (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, or DVD-RW).
Click Back Up.
iTunes burns the number of items that fit on one disc, and then asks you to insert subsequent discs to continue burning the remaining files. Don’t eject a disc while a backup is in progress.
To restore backed-up files:
Insert a backup disc.
A dialog appears, asking if you want to restore. To replace files in your iTunes library with files from the disc, select “Overwrite existing files.”
Click Restore and follow the onscreen prompts.
Programs purchased from the Audible website are not backed up.
Discs you create using the iTunes backup feature can be used only to restore; they can’t be played in a CD or DVD player.
Go to the top of this page, click "support", then type "back up itunes to dvd" or similar into the Search Support Bar.
The click on the article that meets your needs, likely this one:
Well that brings me to a question I need answered..
I just purchased a new HP Laptop, and my entire Itunes Library of Music is on my Desktop PC...so if I wanted to transfer all of my music (some is purchased through ITunes, but the majority is from CD's) could I just create a backup DVD (or create a Data DVD) and then insert that DVD into my new laptop and load my songs into my library that way?
If you create a backup using iTunes menu File - Backup library, then Restore from backup on the new computer, everything (artwork, ratings, playlists) will be copie dover.
If you create a DAta DVD, only the songs, movies, etc. will be trasnferred over. No artwork, ratings, playlists etc. will transfer.
If you network the computers, you can simply copy \Music\iTunes\ folder from one to the other and retain everything.
Yep it looks like backup to disc has been removed to make way for using iCloud as the backup for your library. Given that opting to use iCloud for your non-store purchases will produce revenue for Apple I wouldn't expect backup to disc to be restored in the next build though it remains an outside possibilty that the feature has gone AWOL in error.
Fortunately there is a better way. I use SyncToy to clone the changes in my library to a portable drive. Carbon Copy Cloner would seem to be the Mac equivalent (assuming you don't already have Time Machine sorting it out for you). Much easier than swapping out piles of discs.
I've just fought the exact same battle. The only way around it was to download 10.3.X, eliminate 10.4, and do a reinstall. On the iMac it was no problem...rename your current library something else, then rename the last 10.3 library to, oh what is it, itunes music library.xml (the same name as your current library was). Then drag 10.4 to the trash, go into Time Machine and reinstall iTunes from a previous backup. On the PC, I had to do a complete deletion of all files, uninstall the software, run CC Cleaner to clear the registry, then download 10.3.x and reload my library.
Not fun....but it worked.
I'm not part of the cloud....and don't plan to be.
I've got no plans to use the paid for iCloud service either, but that doesn't preclude me from updating iTunes.
FWIW the XML file isn't normally read in by iTunes but is provided to let third party software inspect the library. Every time you upgrade iTunes the old library file [iTunes Library (Mac) or iTunes Library.itl (PC)] should be archived in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder. If you downgrade the application you also need to restore an earlier copy of the library or iTunes will issue a warning that the library was created with a newer version and decline to load. You shouldn't have to completely rebuild the library with the consequent loss of ratings, playlists, playcounts etc.
The main reason I'm such a, well, fanatic, about the backup to disc option is that I simply do not consider any kind of hard drive a proper backup. Hard drives fail, and I really, really like having something that I can put on a shelf and access at any time.
Had Apple not taken this option away, I would never, ever had considered such a drastic step. It was fortunate that my primary machine was the iMac. That way, I was able to relatively easily make discs after I had banished 10.4, then used those to restore the Windows box. As you can imagine, Time Machine wasn't much of a help with Windows XP.
Yes indeed, I did (of course) restore an earlier copy of the library. Apologies if I did not make that clear up above.
And as you can certaiinly tell from my post above, I am sick and tired of any computer software maker taking away valuable tools in order to (try to) sell me something...like cloud storage.