Migrating iTunes windows to Mac

As part of my recent imac purchase came the chore of moving stuff over from my old hard drive which thankfully survived my old PC’s premature demise. Part of the stuff that I naturally wanted to migrate is of course my iTunes library.

Last time I moved my iTunes library is 3.5 years ago, when I bought my then new and now broken PC. At the time I wrote up a little howto on iTunes migration that over the years has gotten me tens of thousands of hits (dozens per day). Some people were kind enough to leave a message and apparently I helped out several of them with those instructions.

So, here’s the follow up.

Circumstances are slightly different now. I “consolidated” my library ages ago, which means iTunes moves all files to its own directory. Additionally, I reorganized my library, fixed tagging issues, etc. In other words, I put a lot of time into organizing my music and keeping it organized and would hate to start from scratch. Secondly, we’re several major iTunes versions down the road and they added album art fetching, genius and loads of other features.

So, I started out by following the original instructions of three years ago. This nearly works, except the music is not playable from iTunes for some vague reason. So no longer up to date despite a comment of some person who successfully managed a win to mac migration the “old” way.

Next I tried something that I didn’t believe would work but which worked anyway:

  • Copy library from former C drive to where it is supposed to be on your mac (all files & dirs)
  • Don’t modify a single file, they’re fine as they are.
  • Start itunes

Right after it starts it “updates” the library and that’s it. That’s a lot faster & easier. Play counts, play lists, ratings, you name it. It’s there. Thanks Apple, this is a lot better than three years ago and exactly the way it is supposed to work.

5 Replies to “Migrating iTunes windows to Mac”

  1. This sounds pretty great, but as a mac novice, could you tell me where the itunes folder is supposed to go on the Mac once you copy it over there?

  2. Sure Nate:
    /Users/jilles/Music/iTunes (replace my login name with yours of course)

    copy the contents of the iTunes folder on your windows drive here, including the xml, itl, itdb, etc. files. Then start up iTunes and it will convert the db.

    1. XP. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work with vista/7 since the itunes version is the same. The files might be in different locations of course.

  3. Hi! Your blog is very interesting. I learnt about migrate of iTunes .  It is a great debate and new approach.It need lot of hard work in back ground.Well done!!!

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