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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: Perceval on Jun 18, '08 08:07:53AM
While my iMac was on repair, I used an old iBook G4 to replace it. It couldn't hold all of my iTunes Library, but all the podcasts and most of the music I often listen to.

On my iMac, my iTunes Music folder is located on a partition called "Music." For iTunes to find all of my music and podcasts on the iBook, I renamed the Startup Disk "Music" and placed the iTunes Music folder at the top level. Everything worked fine, since iTunes was looking for the folder at Music/iTunes Music.

But when I got my iMac back, and placed all of my iTunes Music folder in a "Music" partition, almost half of the items in the library weren't found. After trying many times to consolidate my iTunes Library, I realized by looking in the iTunes Music Library.xml file that most of the items from my library (the ones which weren't found in iTunes) had a wrong Location key: file://localhost/Music/iTunes Music instead of file://localhost/Volumes/Music/iTunes Music. And that was the problem: since I used "Music" as the name of the Startup Disk on the iBook, it was only looking for localhost/Music, which is the Startup Disk, instead of localhost/Volumes/Music, which is every other mounted disk on the computer.

There were about 4,000 missing files in iTunes. If I tried to re-import them, I would loose the play count. So sadly, I re-linked about 1,500 files manually, the other ones being either unplayed or not as important.

So the solution would have been to create another partition on the iBook and call it Music, instead of using the Startup Disk for my iTunes Music folder.

[There is one thing though: I have absolutely no idea why some files were marked as found while some were not on the iMac, I would have thought that my entire iTunes Library wouldn't be found by iTunes.]

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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: ms_t_rie on Jun 18, '08 08:43:40AM

I haven't tried this, but since it's an XML file, why wouldn't a search and replace on the XML data, correcting the location, work? I'm curious, I do have a drive that I want to move but have resisted doing so precisely for the problems others have mentioned. If editing the XML file works, then that seems like the simplest solution to me. I really don't want to import all the music again and delete duplicates, since it will take a long time for that to happen.



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: Melle on Jun 18, '08 08:56:16AM

This does work, actually. You can search and replace in the xml file. There is one additional thing you'll have to do, which is to delete the contents of the matching .itl-file (not delete the file, just make it an empty file). This way, iTunes will 'regenerate' the Library based on the xml file.
If you don't 'zero' the itl-file, iTunes will ignore the updated xml-file and regenerate that in stead.
Hope that made any sense...



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: ms_t_rie on Jun 18, '08 10:40:31AM

Thank you, that's probably the way I'll fix it when I move the drive :) Much easier since I'm planning to attach it to our NAS and while the wireless is reasonably fast, it's not direct attached speeds!

I'm not worried about play counts and such, so deleting the .itl file will work fine for me.



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: fanguad on Jun 18, '08 10:12:08AM

As Melle says, this does work - mostly. iTunes will treat the files as being recently imported if you recreate the .itl file from the .xml file. This means that you will lose your play count/date added, etc. IIRC, this method keeps your ratings.

This method would also lose any metadata stored in the .itl file, like track artwork (if it isn't stored inside the files).



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: Melle on Jun 19, '08 01:39:01AM

Could it be this has changed over the years? I did this a little less than a year ago, and my play counts/dates added/last dates played were all in tact, as far as I remember. Not sure about the artwork, though I believe that was all still there as well.
In fact, if I look in the xml file right now, that contains all the mentioned info. Note that the xml and itl file are roughly the same size as well. Though I do have to admit I'm currently at work, and can only check on a Windows box.



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: fanguad on Jun 19, '08 05:05:39AM

I just tried this at work (Windows). It kept the play count and last played date, but lost date added.



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One way to migrate an iTunes collection to another drive
Authored by: Perceval on Jun 18, '08 11:03:40AM

That's what I did first, and worked - sort of. All of my unfound tracks were found but duplicated (in the library, not the individual files), and the play count was reset.



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