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iPod Hardware and Accessories All iPod hardware discussions.

iPod - The Official "How To Transfer Your iPod or iTunes Library to Your New Mac" Thread

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Ryvyan's Avatar
Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: Singapore
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Mac Specs: 30gb Black iPod Video || White MacBook 2.0GHz 1GB-RAM & an absolute beauty

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I have another friend whose PC crashed and she lost all her photographs and songs and playlists, but they're all safely in her iPod. Unfortunately, the newly restored PC failed to detect her iPod as a hard drive at all (even though it was previously enabled), so she could not even transfer the files out safely. Anyone has any ideas as to how she could do it? Thanks!
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Dr. Dizzy

Member Since: Jul 25, 2007
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HOWTO: Move your iTunes music while preserving library data (when you don’t let iTunes manage your music library)

Follow the link to the solution:


Copy of part of the text:

… if the ITL file is corrupted or damaged, then iTunes will revert to the XML file in order to rebuild it (and consequently, your library data). So the plan is to edit the XML file to reflect the changes in our file paths, and somehow damage the ITL file in order to get iTunes to rebuild it from our revised XML file. If this sounded a bit complicated, worry not—we describe the actions needed step-by-step below:
1. Quit iTunes.
2. Backup your iTunes Music folder—this contains your library data. Now that it’s relieved from your podcasts and iTunes rips it’s considerably lighter too, so do an additional backup or two just to be on the safe side. Do this. Now
3. Move your music files (those indexed by iTunes that are neither iTunes podcasts nor iTunes rips) from the old location (say, Cocuments and SettingsUsernameMy DocumentsMy MusicNon-iTunes) to the new location (say, D:MusicNon-iTunes).
4. Open the "iTunes Library.itl" file. Select all text (Ctrl+A) and delete it. The file is now blank, with zero characters on it—save it. iTunes Library.itl’s filesize should now be 0 bytes. (This is important, as Schmolle notes, because some unicode aware editors—e.g. UltraEdit—may add invisible characters to the beginning of the file.)
5. Open the "iTunes Music Library.xml" and do a global search and replace with your text editor of choice. A screenshot of how this is done in EditPad Lite, a freeware text editor that’s light and powerful follows after the end of this list.
6. Save the XML file.
7. Launch iTunes. A prompt with a progress bar will come up—iTunes is rebuilding your library. Depending on how powerful your computer is and the size of your music library, this may take a while. When this ends, iTunes will come up with a message saying that the library file was corrupted/damaged and it tried to rebuild things for you. Press “OK”, iTunes finally launches.
8. Check to see if all your music and playlists are there, and if library data (play counts, etc.) has been preserved. (Hopefully everything’s fine.) You’ll also notice a couple of additional static playlists for your podcasts, videos, etc. UPDATE: Simon notes in the comments section:
As a minor aside, this approach ‘loses’ the date and timestamp when the file was originally added. This instead becomes the date and time that the track was (re)added to the library during the rebuild. That said, while this slightly messes-up any ‘recently added’ playlists, it somehow maintains the correct sequence (i.e. the rebuild seems to occur in the same sequence in which the mp3s were originally added, so one can still sort the library/playlist by ‘date file added’ and see the newest ones at the bottom).
9. You’re almost done.
(EditPad Lite screenshot—click for larger size

By almost we mean:
all the columns in iTunes have been resetted. You’ll have to re-select those columns that you want to be viewable for each playlist, and resize them if necessary.
your podcast subscriptions have been lost. Do the following:
Go to Edit → Preferences → General and see that “Show Genre when browsing” is checked √). Press the “OK” button.
2. Choose Edit → Show Browser.
3. Go to your Library. From the first column of the browser (the Genre one), choose “Podcast”. In the third column of the browser (Album) those albums you see are the podcasts you were subscribed to do. Click on each “album” (podcast), choose all of its “songs” (the podcast’s shows), and drag them to Podcasts in the Source column—see screenshot after the end of this list.
4. Go to Podcasts, you’ll now see a collapsed entry for the podcast you just dragged and next to it a “Subscribe” button—click on it to re-subscribe to this podcast. (If you click the arrow to expand the entry you’ll see that all of the podcast’s shows that you dragged from the Library are there.)
5. Repeat process for each podcast you want to re-subscribe to.
(Screenshot that shows how to move podcasts from the Library view to Podcasts—click for larger size

You’re done, that’s pretty much it.
Thanks to Schmolle—without his findings I’d have probably never figured that out. I just brought his guide a bit up-to-date, and added Part 1 and the podcasts section.
If you’re on a Mac, the process should be similar except your "iTunes Library.itl" file is simply "iTunes Library" (without an extension). (UPDATE: Rich confirms that it works.)
For those switching to Mac and wanting to carry their music and library data over, I’d like to know if the following works (i.e. AFAIK nobody’s tested this):
1. blanking your "iTunes Library" file (on the Mac)
2. bringing over your "iTunes Music Library.xml" (from the PC) revised with the updated filepaths (for the Mac)
Finally, if you want to move your music from a “traditional” hard drive to a NAS (network attached storage) device, you may also want to read Simon’s comment.
If you try it, let me know how it went. Furthermore, if you’ve got anything to add, or feel like sharing a relevant tip or two, leave a comment.

Last edited by Dr. Dizzy; 07-25-2007 at 09:06 AM.
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Member Since: Jul 27, 2007
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I am very new to posting so please bear with me. I had a pc notebook with all of our itunes music downloaded to it. No I did not back it up. My hard drive fried yesterday. How can I upload the music from my son's ipod and my ipod to our main computer? Alos is there any way we can get our downloaded music from itunes?
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Member Since: Aug 13, 2007
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hi! my harddrive crashed, and now I want to upload my ipod music onto my new computer, but my friend tried this, and it essentially killed her ipod! I've downloaded Senuti, and the reviews were very comforting, but I'm still worried, but also pretty frustrated with not having any music on my computer. Any advice? Thank you very very much <3
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Member Since: May 29, 2007
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What's a good program if I want to put someone elses ipod music on my computer. I tried ipoddisk and senuti isnt working. Any other ways?
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Member Since: Aug 21, 2007
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Here is some interesting information
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Member Since: May 02, 2005
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Does anyone know how to transfer the ipod content to a PC?
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Member Since: Jul 12, 2007
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this sucks that you can't do it with the new ipods yet
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Member Since: Oct 17, 2007
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Quick summary: Old PC crashes & burns. Fortunately had all my music files on back up hard drive.
Two glitches. One many of the tracks on my PC library were encoded in WMA. When I attached the hard drive, to transfer the music to the new Imac, worked like a charm, except the WMA tunes were ignored.

Number two: Spent the last week installing Rhapsody on my daughters PC laptop. Technical glitches galore were not allowing me to re-download my hundreds of purchased tracks. Finally after hours with tech support, the tracks again are mine (at least to the extent DRM allows).

Question number 2: Is there an easier way to convert the tracks from realaudio to a method that would allow me load them to Itunes? Burning 800 tracks to disc, and manually entering track info will take forever. I noticed someone mentioned doing it through network connections, and playing the tune copies to Itunes library. Can I set up the PC as a network computer?

One last related item. Some of the tracks I imported from my backup drive, I would like to change the genre. Is there a way to make a bulk change? I know in the PC I could select all, and make the change. Have not found a way other than clicking each individual track to edit the settings.

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Member Since: Nov 08, 2007
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Try this software iPod Access v4 Mac OS Xshould you find yourself needing to put your buddy's iPod content on your new Mac.
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Member Since: Jun 04, 2007
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Originally Posted by TheCustomer99 View Post
Any album art I had on my PC was automatically transferred along with the songs to my Mac. I didn't have to do anything special.
What about all your playlists in Itunes? Do I have to do anything special to move them from one mac to another?
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Member Since: Nov 15, 2007
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I have a 30gb ipod vid synced to a iMac and i want to transfer my library to my macbook but dose witch mac do i have to download this program to?

& dose it save the playlist's and play history 'count'
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Member Since: Dec 13, 2007
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I introduce you a software named ipodAccess
easy to use

It's profanation to run Windows on a macbook!
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Member Since: Jan 01, 2008
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I personally like Pod View and Yamipod. I started off using senuti but it started not transferring all of my music so I started looking once again and found these. I transferred 4000+ songs without hassle with Pod View and about 100 songs with Yamipod off of my shuffle. Also so the great thing about Yamipod is that it's for Macs and PCs
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Member Since: Feb 11, 2008
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a good program i have found that helps u with ur playlists would be sharepod, however you need to have enough space on ur ipod and have acess to a windows comp. now just copy the playlists into folders, named appropriatly and then place into ipod. now plug into mac book and click and drag playlist files onto desktop and then import folders. i know thats a bit of a round about way of doing it but it works for me every time so i prefer to do it the long way and get it right rather than do it the short way and loose some stuff
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