5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 6, 2011 2:47 AM by prawn
danmac Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I had all of my iTunes files on an external hard drive with an old eMac. I want to transfer the files to my brand-new iMac.

It's easy to copy the iTunes Library folder from the external drive onto the iMac hard drive, and change the preferences so that new songs are stored onto the iMac, but it doesn't change the settings for iTunes. Then, if I "Add to Library" I get two copies of everything: the file that's on the external drive PLUS the file that's on the new iMac. If I delete all of the "old" duplicates, it will mess up my playlists.

Isn't there an easy way to point iTunes to the new Library on the iMac and have it change the location setting for all of the songs?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    is your entire iTunes folder on the external or just the iTunes music folder ?


  • danmac Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Just the music folder. The iTunes application was always on the main hard drive.
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    okay, let me rephrase my question:

    when you moved your files from the old Mac to the external, did you

    (a) drag the entire iTunes folder from <MacintoshHD>/users/<yourname>/music to the external


    (b) use the +consolidate files+ command to move the files to the external

    if (a), connect the external to the new Mac and launch iTunes while pressing option on your keyboard. when prompted, click on +choose library+ and select the iTunes folder on the external.

    if (b), copy the iTunes folder from <MacintoshHD>/users/<yourname>/music on the old Mac to <MacintoshHD>/users/<yourname>/music on the new one, overwriting the iTunes folder in place there. connect the external to your new Mac and fire up iTunes normally.

    if you want to move the media files from the external to the internal disk of your new Mac, go iTunes > preferences > advanced and point +iTunes media folder location+ to the iTunes folder in <MacintoshHD>/users/<yourname>/music. also on the advanced tab, make sure there is a tick in the boxes next to +keep iTunes media folder organized+ and +copy files to ... when adding to library+.

    then file > library > organize library > consolidate files. this will copy all your media files to the location you specified earlier in the advanced tab. when done, you can (if you want) erase the external and use it for other purposes. or keep the files there and use the external as your backup.


  • danmac Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    OUTSTANDING! Thank you! It worked like a charm.
  • prawn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    one question
    I understand all of your comments below with one exception
    How do I "point" tunes media folder location to the iTunes folder in <MacintoshHD>/users/<yourname>/music.
    I cannot find or do this!
    Please advise