FREE Easy-to-Use iTunes Library Copy/Move Software
How To Copy Your Entire iTunes Library In 3 Simple Steps And Less Than 10 Minutes...
Yesterday I finally broke down and decided it was finally time to move my iTunes library from my old notebook to my new desktop computer. I had put this off for months because it's a hassle to do it manually... especially with the size of my iTunes library.
My daughter pressured me into doing it so she could sync her iPod with her Mac... but not without my geekiness coming out first.
I did all the usual things to copy my libraries (I actually needed to copy old libraries from 3 different computers). Google was my best resource, but even with Google I couldn't find anything automatic.
Everything involved a lot of steps and a lot of editing. My library was waaaay to big to be edited by hand to copy over. Plus, I didn't have iTunes set to automatically manage my music, so my files were all over the place.
In the end I took a few hours and wrote a simple utility to do all the hard work for me. I know... only a true geek (like me) would spend 6 hours writing a program to save 3 hours of work. But it was fun and it was a challenge.
And now I can turn my creation loose on the world ;-) Check it out below...
The process is 3 very simple steps.
Isn't that easy? Here's a short video that walks you through the entire process...
Watch the Video Tutorial (7 minutes)...
You can see how easy it is. If you're interested, here's what happens behind the scenes...
When I first tried to move my iTunes library I thought it would be as simple as exporting it from one computer to the other.
The "Export..." menu option in iTunes just creates a big playlist of your entire iTunes library (including TV shows, movies, etc.). That file is almost worthless when moved to another computer. It just points to all the songs, videos, podcasts, etc. on your old computer. Not much help.
But it at least tells iTunes Library Mover where everything is located in your iTunes library. It also has all the extended information like ratings, playcounts, etc.
The magic in this process is iTunes Library Mover. It takes the library export you created in step 1 and does 2 things with it...
First, it copies all the library items to a portable drive so you can move them to a new location. This is very important... and what I thought the "Export..." option would do to begin with.
Second, it creates a new library export file so the new iTunes library thinks the export came from the new iTunes location. Make sense? You're basically fooling your new iTunes to think it is simply importing it's own library.
The iTunes Library Mover does all the hard work for you without changing or modifying your old iTunes configuration at all so you can keep enjoying iTunes from the original location.
Depending on how big your iTunes library is it may take a little time to perform this whole process. On my biggest library it took 15 or 20 minutes (I didn't time it).
Now you just take your Library Mover files to the new iTunes computer. It's ok if the new computer already has an iTunes music library. The new library will not overwrite your existing library... it will add to it.
Select "Import..." from the new iTunes location and choose the new library created by iTunes Library Mover. This even works moving your iTunes library from a PC to a Mac (although it won't work from a Mac to a PC because the iTunes Library Mover won't run on a Mac ).
NOTE: Make sure before you import that you have the new iTunes configured to "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library." You can check this option in the Advanced tab of the preferences.
You need to check that option so the files will be copied from your portable drive into your iTunes Music folder when you import your old library.
I also like to check "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" so I can make sure my imported songs follow the naming style of the new iTunes.
That's all. I wish there were more I could tell you. I only tested this on my machines (including a Mac). It's possible it won't work as well for you... although I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work.
If you have questions or if the iTunes Library Mover doesn't work for you feel free to drop me an email and maybe I can help you out. Since this is free software that I developed in my spare time I can't make any promises... but I can probably get you taken care of.
Although this worked for me, I don't give any guarantees of how well it will work for you.
Click here to Download the iTunes Library Mover. It is distributed as a .zip file (482k) with a single program inside. You can run the program from any location on your computer (there is no need to install it). The iTunes Library Mover is for MS Windows computers and does not run on Mac.
You can email me at squark192 at ps3click.com. I typed the email address out so automated spambots don't pull it off this page and blast me with viagra ads. Justs convert that to a regular email address (replace the word at with @).
Feel free to share the iTunes Library Mover with anyone you want. You can copy it and post it anywhere you want. The only thing I ask is that you distribute it as is with no modifications and you must leave the copyright intact.
Copyright © 2008 Matt Harward. All rights reserved.