10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2013 10:23 AM by Lobsterass
Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've moved my iTunes library to a new computer. I didn't export the old library before I did this and I can't go back. Is there no way to get my organized playlists back? If so, what the heck was Apple thinking?

Mac Pro, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier
  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,665 points)

    If you still have the old library then in itunes File > Export Library will export the playlists. Then import it into the new iTunes

  • Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The old library is backed up on a external drive, cuz my old HD broke. I can get to the files but I don't have them in iTunes so that I can export the playlists. Should I use Timemachine somehow?

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,665 points)

    If your old library is on an external drive that is connected to your local Machine?


    Hold down the option key when opening iTunes. Select Choose library abd choose the itunes folder on your external hard drive.


    iTunes will open using that library.  Use File > Library > Export Library.


    This will give you an xml file containing your database.


    the close itunes


    Again hold option key down while opening itunes and Choose your local itunes folder.


    Then when iTunes is open File > Library > Import playlist. Select your xml file and that should bring them in.

  • Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Steve, you're THE MAN!!!!! Yes! I'm so happy. This worked fine. Not even Apple support knew how to do this....Thanx!

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,665 points)

    Your welcome

  • Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Now I have the playlists in order but iTunes can't locate the songs in them and it shows this with . There must be some easy way to solve this. I know how to point each song to it's folder but....that's a lot of work. Steve - The Genius - Taylor do you know how to fix this problem too?

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,665 points)

    If there are not to many songs with red exclammation marks



    With One or Two Songs

    To fix this for just a couple of songs, you have to tell iTunes where the song has moved to. Do this by:

    • Double-clicking the song, or single clicking the exclamation point
    • A pop-up errors should appear that reads "The song could not be used because the original file could not be found." It should offer you the option to find the file. Choose that.
    • Browse through your hard drive until you locate the missing song and iTunes adds it back.

    If you've correctly located the song, the exclamation point should disappear and it should play without problem.

    With Many Songs

    If the exclamation point has appeared for many of your songs, finding each one may take more time than you want to spend. In this case, the problem can often be solved by organizing/consolidating your iTunes library (which word is used depends on your version of iTunes).

    To do this, go to the File menu, choose Library, and then choose Organize (or consolidate) Library. In most cases, if the song is still on your hard drive, this can fix the problem.






    This may sound drastic but you know all your songs are on the external hard drive and you can access that from your itunes..


    1) Delete all tracks from the itunes and move to trash


    2) Copy the itunes Folder and all sub Folders on external drive.


    3) Paste into the username/ Music folder


    that will copy the whole itunes including playlists onto your loval drive.


    iTunes will then work normally

  • Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was trying to keep iTunes out of my smaller SSD with the system on it, as it gets too big over time.


    I wanted iTunes to be located on my separate disk for media. I guess that's how I got this problem. Do I really need to keep it inside my user folder? I've pointed it to my media disk inside iTunes preference, so I don't understand why it can't find it.

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,665 points)

    If it is on an external hard disk that needs to be up and running before you start iTunes. Otherwise iTunes will default to your local drive.


    To use that library ckick on the drive in Finder to get it running


    Then hold Option depressed and start itunes select your external Library.


    Then when you start itunes in future  you can use that library and not have the files on your located on your SSD.


    For future uses as long as the external hard drive is awake just start itunes


    The only downside is that you can't take your itunes with you on your Mac Air.


    Just remember to wake the hard drive first through finder

  • Lobsterass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You're a ******' star Steve! Thanx!


    Weird, though. I did it just like that the first time around EXCEPT holding down that option key. I pointed to the right folder via iTunes preference. Anyway, now it works thanks to YOU!