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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

How to copy iTunes/iPhoto files from one computer to another?

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Member Since: Oct 28, 2006
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I have a MBP and have put many of my CD's on iTunes and family photos on iPhoto. With the new MBP upgrade expected soon my wife is going to be buying one. My question, how can I copy iTunes and iPhoto data to her computer? Is there an easy way to duplicate everything from my computer to hers?
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If you have an external hard drive (an iPod for instance), or something which can store that information, it's dead easy. I had to do this when reinstalling OS X recently. I just backed up the files onto the external drive, and after reinstalling, made sure I copied the folders back into their original places. I'm not sure if iTunes would work OK, as there were songs I didn't want to keep, so I manually added them again, but iPhoto worked flawlessly. I just copied the library folder to where it's supposed to be, opened iPhoto, and the library appeared just fine. So, if you have a means of copying these libraries, back them up, and all you should need to do, is copy them to the same location. Just take note of where they should be on your MBP. I think you're able to designate a new target location for an iTunes library though, but probably better to have it stored in the default location.

Hope all goes well!

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Member Since: May 09, 2007
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If you're doing the process from a Windows box to a Mac, how do you know where to put everything? I ask because my Macbook arrives in 4 days and I'll be doing the same, but from a Windows box.

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This thread may help with iTunes:
The Official "How To Transfer Your iPod or iTunes Library to Your New Mac" Thread

With photos, I used a thumbdrive to transfer from PC to Mac (I put them in iPhoto).

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If you can network the machines, I'd use rsync from the command line. The nice thing is you can use the -a switch which means only new files are copied (existing files are not re-copied). So you get very good transfer rates if you ever plan to synchronize.

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I was looking to do this and found a fast way to do it. Then I figured that its easiest to just enable sharing under preferences in iphoto on the computers. Then with iphoto on the computer you want the pictures to go to, you can browse the other computers iphoto pics and drag the ones you want over to the local photo gallery. They will retain all dates, etc, and will be incorporated appropriately with the other local photos. I plugged both computers into a gigabit switch and it was blazingly fast. I initially tried wireless and it was pathetically slow, as to be expected. I only transferred about 500 pictures from an 8MP but it took just a few minutes.
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