Using Software to Transfer iTunes Music and Playlists

This post is part of our multi-post wizard on how to Transfer Your iTunes Music Library. If you have already moved your actual iTunes music files to your new computer, either by reading the post Move Your iTunes Music to a New Computer with Home Sharing, or by other means, then you are ready to start transferring your iTunes Playlists.

Like many things in life, there is more than one way to do this. This post tells you about how to transfer your Playlists using some simple Windows software (which isn’t free) and a few mouse clicks. If you’re tech-savvy enough to edit an XML file, we also have a how-to on a free method for doing this, covered in our post, Transfer iTunes Playlists and Song Ratings.

  • Get the software: To begin transferring your iTunes music playlists and song ratings using software, purchase and install Transfer iTunes Software.

Backup Your Library

  1. Click on “Backup,” which is the second button from the top left-hand corner of the window. This will bring up a dialog box requesting you to…
  2. Name the backup and enter your name. Especially if you’ve already moved your iTunes music to your new computer using Home Sharing, you don’t need to back up the actual files, so…
  3. Choose “DB only” and 4) press “OK.”

iTunes Transfer will now automatically open up your iTunes, find your music library, and make a backup of your database of your music and playlists. Be patient if you have a large library, because this may take several minutes.

Transfer Your Music and Your Backed-up Database File

Now you need the database file that iTunes Transfer has created for you. To find this, go to My Documents > iTunesBackup > [The name you gave your database]. In that folder will be a file called “iTunes.” This will be a small enough file you could e-mail it to yourself if you wanted to. If you did happen to have selected “DB and files,” then you will also see all of the folders of your music along with this database file. You need to get the contents of this whole folder over to your new computer.

Now you need to get the database file that iTunes Transfer has created over to your new computer. You should find an “iTunes.mdb” file in “My Documents/iTunesBackup/NameYouGaveBackup” This file should be small enough that you could simply email it to yourself.

Once you have your MDB file on your new computer, you need to place it in your iTunes music folder. From iTunes, select a song, Right+click, and select “Show in Windows Explorer.” Navigate back a few directories until you’re in a directory that shows folders for all of your musical artists. Drag your MDB file to this folder.

Now, open your MDB file with the iTunes Transfer Software. From the iTunes Transfer Software, click the “Import” button, and navigate to the folder that holds your MDB file (and all of your artist folders). In Windows XP, this will likely be C:\Home\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music Once you’ve found this folder you will probably not be able to see your MDB file, but click “OK” anyway. You should now see your backup file from your old computer in your list. Select this file and click the “Restore” icon. You’ll get a message that says “Restore iTunes backup will clear all tracks and playlists in the iTunes now, would you like to continue?” Click “Yes.” iTunes Transfer will now restore all of your Song Ratings and Playlists and associate them with the appropriate music files.

Import Your Music and You’re Done!

Once you have your music files and the Database file that the iTunes Transfer Software created for you over on your new computer, you’re ready to import it all into iTunes. Make sure all of your music artist folders are together in the same folder as the Database file. Install both iTunes and the iTunes Transfer Software on your new computer, and open iTunes Transfer. 1) Select the database that you have backed up and transferred.2) Select “Import,” which is the first button on the top-right hand side of the window, and locate the folder in which you have placed all of your music and the Database file, and press “OK.” You should now see your iTunes library listed in the iTunes Transfer window. Now, simply 3) press “Restore” (the fourth icon from the left), and iTunes Transfer will automatically export your files, song ratings, and playlist to the iTunes Library on your new computer. It’s that easy!

Again, here’s the link to buy iTunes Transfer Software.

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