If your music is located under one common Folder (e.g.-‘iTunes’), then it is easiest to physically copy that folder and all its sub-folders in one simple process. It can be done quickly, and incrementally – several times a day, when necessary. In the case of any data loss, just re-copy your entire (or partial) music library back to wherever it was, placing it in the main Folder that the previous iTunes expected. Along with the ‘iTunes Library.itl’ metadata file, this completes a full ‘restore’ of your music to the time of your last backup.
Use of a backup software program will greatly help. It will allow you to easily perform incremental backups of only the files that have changed. WinXP has such a facility built-in. I use a free program called FileSync (http://www.fileware.com ). There are many out there. Some use Zipped files or proprietary formats, others use standard file formats. I like FileSync as it uses normal file formats that can be viewed/managed via any Windows program or utility.
If you are heavily invested in your Library data (Playlists, Play Counts, Ratings, Last Played, Date Added, etc.), it is crucial that you also make and archive multiple backups of your ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file. See: What are the iTunes Library files?
There are at least two easy methods for backing up to en ExHD:
- Just 'drag & drop' the complete 'iTunes' folder (and all sub-folders to your ExHD. Windows Explorer is fine for this 'brute-force' method.
- Download, install and use FileSync to setup a backup process that can be run with just several mouse-clicks. This will do a comparison of your current files and copy over (to any destination, preferably an ExHD) those files that have changed.
In your specific case, with an ExHD, I would do the following:
- Download and install FileSync: http://www.fileware.com
- Set up the Source Path as your 'iTunes' folder (and all sub-folders)
- Set up the Target Path as the 'Music Backup' folder of the ExHD (create it if needed)
- Create another sub-folder within the 'iTunes' folder labeled 'Legacy Libraries'
- Create yet another sub-folder within the 'iTunes' folder labeled 'Playlists'
- Use iTunes to ‘Export’ your Playlists to the ‘Playlists’ folder (in both TXT & XML form for each)
- Each time that you close iTunes, wait for it to finish writing the database files (both ITL & XML), then copy both over to the 'Legacy Libraries' folder and rename them with some sequential increment
- Run FileSync every day or so. More often if you are adding to or changing your iTunes Library information
If set up properly, FileSync will scan your complete 'iTunes' folder and compare it to the files on the ExHD. Any new changes will be displayed and you can copy some or all of them onto the ExHD.
The ‘iTunes’ folder will (should) contain:
- The two Library database files (iTunes Library.itl & iTunes Music Library.xml)
- The ‘iTunes Music’ folder (where all the Artist/Album folders are)
- The 'Legacy Libraries' folder where copies of previous Libraries are archived
- The 'Playlists' folder where copies of your Playlists are archived
You may also wish to include other folders where you store data files. Word & Excel docs, Pictures, anything that you create that needs to be backed up.
This is very easy. Do it more often than you think you should. HD space is very cheap, but the time to recover from a problem is costly. Frequent, complete, and multiple sets of backups are a great and inexpensive insurance policy for your valuable music (and data) collection.
If your music is located under one common Folder (e.g.-‘iTunes’), then it is easiest to physically copy that folder and all its sub-folders in one simple process
What does any of your response have to do with the OP's question? dragging files from iTunes?
Have you selected Manually Manage Music?
-Download and install FileSync: http://www.fileware.com
That might be what you would do, but why would Tom download a Windows program for his Mac?
And why would anyone download an application from a page that has not been updated in 7 years?
I can't find the "Manually Manage" thing in prefs...anywhere. I know that's a pref for devices like iPhones.
It's just the most bizarre thing. You drag a few titles to the desktop, or to a folder, and the cursor even shows a "3" (indictating you are dragging 3 items), you let go....and nothing. They remaining in iTunes, no copy is made.
Ugh! Frustrating. I have done this for years, and this problem actually started about a week ago. It seems to come and go and tonight it's really stuck!
I tried creating a playlist of just the songs I want to drag out, but that didn't help either.
I have experienced this as well, I think it started in Leopard, but it has occured in all the latest OS. I have also identified the problem (for me at least, please confirm): it is the Wacom tablet. I have been using an Intuos 3 Wacom tablet, and Wacom have completely stopped developing new drivers to work together with the new Mac OS.
If you indeed also have a Wacom tablet, try unplugging it, connecting a magic mouse or some other mouse, and restart your computer and see if it solves the problem, it did for me.
Does this have anything to do with Apple upgrades? If I want to drag or export a piece of music, even my own music, onto my desktop, than I should be able to do this. Lately, all of a sudden besides the fact that I can't drag or export music to my desktop, itunes is opening in a new window, full size, unable to make smaller, unable see see it in a window on my desktop. This is very frustrating.
What is going on with this?