5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2012 1:14 PM by turingtest2
ninthname Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everyone-

I have been trying unsuccessfully for several weeks to move my 30,000 song iTunes library from my iMac (Lion) to a new PC at my office which runs Windows 7. I am using a 1TB external hard drive formatted FAT to move the files. I found several tutorials online that seemed to give clear instructions, but so far nothing has worked. I am looking for clear instructions and/or a link to clear instructions, if anyone can share this.

Below, for those interested, is a brief synopsis of steps taken so far.

Thanks in advance!





1. Read that just dragging the folder onto the PC won't work, as the Mac-PC indexing of file locations is totally different, so didn't bother with that.

2. Set library to 'consolidate,' setting did not stay! Repeated this three times, third time the setting remained.

3. Tried changing the library location to the external HD, then changed it back to the default location in hopes iTunes would copy the contents over. It added all movie and apps to the database, but didn't transfer the files over. It didn't add any music files to the database!

4. Set preferences to organize my library, then closed, then set to not organize, then closed, then set to organize and closed again (did this set-reset after reading a suggestion to do so on a website).

5. Double-checked the consolidate radio button was selected.

6. Used Add Folder to add the iTunes/Media/Music folder to iTunes. Almost all songs were added to the database, but no songs were added to the PC's default folder.

7. Gave up and asked for help.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Limnos Level 8 (47,146 points)

    1. Read that just dragging the folder onto the PC won't work, as the Mac-PC indexing of file locations is totally different, so didn't bother with that.

    Actually this should work if you drag the whole iTunes folder.  Drag the whole folder from drive to drive, to the correct location on the PC.


    What are the iTunes library files? - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660


    iTunes: How to move your music to a new computer [or another drive] - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527


    do not confuse moving your whole folder and library with moving just media files as in


    iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449



    Macworld - How to transfer iTunes libraries between PC and Mac - http://www.macworld.com/article/46248/2005/08/shiftitunes.html

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,604 points)

    1. Will work if the media content is inside a folder called iTunes Music or iTunes Media and that folder is inside the main iTunes folder that holds the library database.


    If you have a split library (media folder not inside the iTunes folder) there are various tricks to make the library portable again. For an older Mac-based library the database file needs to be renamed from iTunes Library to iTunes Library.itl


    On the target system hold down shift as you launch iTunes then Choose the library file on the external drive or just copy it into the User's Music folder.


    Alternatively I have a script called FindTracks that might be able to repair the broken links once the library is on the PC.



  • ninthname Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I am trying method #1, since you both said the same thing. I'll report back in about 3 hours, thanks!


  • ninthname Level 1 (0 points)

    It seems to have worked, more or less. There is a difference in the number of music files, which I will go look for a script for and see if I can reconcile that- only about 100 out of 30,000 so not too shabby.

    For others searching for solutions to this (I searched before posting, but didn't find answers newer than around 2009 for this particular process), I dragged the iTunes/iTunes Media folder to the default iTunes folder on my PC, then went into preferences and told iTunes to look at the default location (for some reason, based on what I'd done before, maybe, it was looking at the external HD which was now unplugged). I then ran

    turingtest2's script.

    Only oddity besides some missing files is that iTunes seems to think there are 42 missing songs, but I can't find any exclamation points.

    Thanks, people.


  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,604 points)

    Try fixing the missing/orphaned tracks with iTunes Folder Watch. Use its option to check for dead tracks on startup.