Hey guys, former iOS advisor here. Your guide works, and it looks a great way to transfer all of your content from your iOS device to your new computer when you don’t have access to the original computer but it is way easy to just pull the data right off of your old computer.
The tricky part is really just making sure everything is stored properly (everything in your iTunes folder) on your original computer. To do this go to File > Library > Organize Library. You should have an option to “Organize Library,” and “Reorganize files in the folder ‘iTunes Media.’” Check both (the reorganize option might be greyed out, if so just ignore it) and click OK. Let iTunes do it’s thing and when it is all finished up just copy your entire iTunes folder over to the new computer with your method of choice (i.e. external hard drive, direct network connection).
Replace any old iTunes folder your computer may have created with the new one. After it finishes copying, hold down the option key when you open up iTunes. You can specify which iTunes library you want to use and you can choose your newly transfered library. iTunes will open up with absolutely everything (including play counts, and playlists).
Next time you hook up your iOS device it will recognize it as the same iTunes library. At most it will ask you to reauthorize your purchased content for this computer, but it will start syncing just like it did on your old computer, no questions asked and no need to take the risky step of “replacing apps and their data.”
One thing this does not transfer is contacts and calendars. Go to your info tab under your device, check everything you want to sync to your computer (DO NOT check anything under advanced!!!!) and you should be good to go. It also doesn’t transfer photos so be sure to grab your iPhoto Library from the original computer as well."
Will this work when going from a Windows 7 iTunes folder to a Macbook Pro iTunes folder?
Aha! I think I figured it out.
If I click on iTunes Store on the left panel, then I can select from a bunch of options along the top of the screen that results. If I click Apps, I can click "Not on This Computer" at top, right. That lists all the apps on the iPad that are not on the computer. There is a link at the bottom (absent now because there are none) that allows me to download all those apps that I previously purchased but that are not on the new authorized computer.
After it downloaded all those apps, I was curious about particular apps that have data. There is a section on the apps screen in iTunes on the computer (bottom part of the screen) with text indicating that data for that app can be downloaded to the computer. I noticed an app that had never been on the new computer was listed, and I was able to download all its data.
So now I'm confident that I can sync the apps without losing app data. It was this step (described in the previous two paragraphs) that I needed.
After downloading all the data from that app just to satisfy myself that I had access to it, I clicked back over to somewhere on the left panel (I don't recall what now). I got a popup message asking if I wanted to apply the changes. Previously, I had Canceled from that message on the assumption that since I was missing apps in the list of apps on the computer, the corresponding apps would be deleted from the iPad, and I think I was right about that. This time, since I now had all the apps on the computer, I clicked Apply.
This time I got another popup that indicated I had purchased stuff on the iPad that had not been transferred to the computer yet. Would I like to copy it to the computer? You bet! So that's where I am now.
Now it seems to be going through a normal 6-7 step sync process.