12 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2010 10:47 PM by turingtest2
David Olnick1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Just got and set up my new Macbook Pro. I have all my Itunes music on my PC laptop. I recently bought a 500GB Toshiba External Hard Drive. I don't have a very large Itunes collection..probably pretty small compared to most but can I use the External Hard Drive to transfer the music/playlists for my aging PC to the the new Macbook Pro? Thx.

Fujitsu Laptop, Windows Vista
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    Yes, you can.

    Look at this article: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to -a-new-hard-drive

    Scroll down to the section titled "Moving Between Operating Systems". It's about 1/3 of the way to the end.
  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the article, but I have a question the article didn't address. My iTunes library is fairly small; movies and music total less than 12 gigs. I will be transferring from PC to Mac; and the ethernet port on the PC does not work. I have already transferred the iTunes folder to an external hd formatted in FAT32. My intent is to open iTunes on the Mac, and replace the music folder there with the one on the external hd.

    After some reading, I am concerned about the FAT32 format. I know there is a file size limit (4gigs for video I think, maybe 2 otherwise?). My largest single file in the library is a video file; easily less than 4 gigs and IIRC less than 2 gigs. I don't wan't to mess up the transfer; will the files be fragmented on transfer if I use FAT32? Or should I reformat the external to NTFS for the transfer? I guess what I am asking is which format would work best for the in this situation? I am only concerned about copying iTunes (and about 3 gigs of pictures not in iTunes) to the Mac; once the copy is complete this particular drive will be formatted from Disk Utility and dedicated to the Mac.
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    deuceswild wrote:
    My intent is to open iTunes on the Mac, and replace the music folder there with the one on the external hd.


    that should work just fine, however, if you want to bring playlists, playcounts, and ratings over, you might want to peruse these reads first: one and two.

    After some reading, I am concerned about the FAT32 format. I know there is a file size limit (4gigs for video I think, maybe 2 otherwise?).


    the file size limit is 4 GB, period. however, concerning the transfer, the FAT32 formatted drive should be doing okay. there will be no fragmenting of files.

    JGG

  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Awesome. I'm not so worried about playlists and such; I've just recently started using iTunes on the PC; I have only set up a couple playlists. I was more concerned about getting the library over correctly.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (54,625 points)
    If your media files on the PC are inside the iTunes Media folder, which, in turn, is inside the iTunes folder that contains your library files then it should be easy.

    1. Copy entire iTunes folder (and all subfolders) from PC to Mac, either directly over a network or via an external harddrive.
    2. On the Mac rename *...\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl* as *...\iTunes\iTunes Library*
    3. On the Mac delete *...\iTunes\iTunes Library Genius.itdb* (Apparently the PC & Mac versions are not compatible - iTunes will just rebuild it later)
    4. Launch iTunes and immediately press & hold down the Option key until a dialog opens asking you to *Choose a library*. Navigate to the folder/drive you've copied from the PC and open *...\iTunes\iTunes Library*.
    5. Job done.

    If your PC has tracks that are outside your iTunes Media folder then you'll need to Consolidate the library before you start the move.

    tt2
  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, that is helpful. I found this link:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/146958/2010/03/moveitunes_windowsmac.html

    and was wondering how it fit in.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (54,625 points)
    That looks like the same thing in more words/detail. What you want to avoid is the outdated instructions for hacking the XML file around as that is too much like hard work when it's really quite easy, or so I'm told. I haven't actually made a PC to Mac transfer myself but a recent Mac user on here said he'd used the steps without any trouble.

    tt2
  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I saw similarities too; but I didn't find reference to your steps 2, 3 and 4 in the article. That's kind of what threw me.

    Message was edited by: deuceswild
  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I was doing some more reading, and came across a suggestion to simply backup iTunes to a DVD in Windows, which includes playlists, etc. Then simply run the dvd and restore to the Mac. Would this work without having to tweak the library files as some suggest?
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (54,625 points)
    Far too much work in my opinion. All you need to do is copy the folder, rename one file and delete another.

    tt2
  • deuceswild Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just to update; I am very happy to report that the transfer went flawlessly using your instructions. Thank you very much for your assistance.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (54,625 points)
    Cool

    tt2