Basic How-To Guide
- This assumes you’re using Windows (if you’re using a Mac and upgrading to a new Mac, just use the Migration Assistant when you set up the new computer, and the transfer will be a breeze).
- Determine how you want to transfer your iTunes library. There are two main options: using iPod copying tools or backing up your iTunes library to CD or DVD.
IPod copy software allows you to copy the contents on your iPod to your new computer, making it an easy way to quickly transfer your whole library. This is your best bet if you don’t mind spending a few dollars on the software (likely US$15-30) and have an iPod big enough to hold every item from your iTunes library that you want to transfer.
- If your iPod isn’t that big, or if you’d rather not learn to use new software, grab an external hard drive or a stack of CDRs or DVDRs (depending on what your old computer is capable of) and use the Backup to Disk feature in iTunes (found in the File -> Library menu). Remember, a CD holds about 700MB, while a DVD holds about 4GB, so you may need a lot of disks to contain your library.
- If you’re using iPod copy software to transfer your library, simply install iTunes on your new computer, install the iPod copy software, and run it. This will transfer your library to the new computer. When that’s done, and you’ve confirmed that all your content has been moved, skip to step 6 below.
- If you’re backing up your iTunes library to disk, do so. This may take a while. Then install iTunes on your new computer. Insert the first backup disk. At this point, you can add content to iTunes in a number of ways: open the disk and drag files into iTunes or go to iTunes and choose File -> Add to Library and navigate to the files on your disk.
At this point, you should have all your music on your new computer. But that doesn’t mean you’re done yet.
Next, make sure to deauthorize your old computer. Since iTunes limits you to 5 authorized computers for some content, you don’t want to use an authorization on a computer you don’t own anymore. Deauhorize the old computer by going to iTunes -> Advanced -> Deauthorize.
With that done, make sure to authorize your new computer via the same menu.
- Next, you’ll need to set up your iPod on your new computer. To do this, connect the iPod and restore it to factory settings. Make sure you transferred all the content from it to your new computer, though, because this restore process deletes everything from the iPod.
Once the restore is done, iTunes will prompt you to set up the iPod. Do so and set your sync settings to transfer items from your library to the iPod.
- When this is done, you’ll have successfully transferred your iTunes library to your new computer without losing any content.
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