Today I have been looking around the Web for tutorials about how to move my iTunes library from the old PC to the new Mac.
Although I have found quite a large selection of instructions and walkthroughs, I kept ending up with an incomplete iTunes library. And by incomplete, I mean missing the Album Artworks, or play counts etc.
At the end, I figured out a simple way, to completely transfer my iTunes library, without losing any data, using some of the tricks I have read about.
Since it worked, I am going to show you the exact required steps. As well as, how to then share the iTunes library on your local network.
Before attempting to follow this tutorial, please backup your PC iTunes library files, which should be located at My Documents/My Music/iTunes.
1. PC – iTunes preferences
The first step is to gather all music files in one folder.
In fact this could be a network folder, which you are sharing between your PC and Mac, or a simple local PC folder.
Head to the iTunes preferences, Advanced tab, and select your desired folder (Change… button).
Make sure you tick the following two options:
– Keep iTunes Music folder organised
– Copy files to iTunes
2. PC – Consolidate iTunes library
Now we are going to ask iTunes to gather all music files in our previously selected music folder.
Just click on File -> Library -> Consolidate Library
Don’t worry, iTunes simply copies and doesn’t move the files from their original location.
3. Make the music folder accessible to the Mac
Here you have two options, either share the music folder on your network, or directly copy the files on your Mac. This is entirely up to you, depending on how and where you prefer listening to your tracks.
4. Mac – iTunes preferences
Now that you have copied or shared the music folder, it’s time to tell Mac iTunes where to find the files. Thus, fire up iTunes, and go into Preferences, Advanced tab. Same as before on the PC, select the music folder, and tick the two check boxes.
5. Transfer the iTunes library
Quit iTunes, open Finder, and go into your home folder. Look for the default folder, called Music. In Music folder, find the iTunes folder, and delete it (assuming that you don’t need it, or that it is empty).
Once you have done that, copy the complete iTunes folder from your PC to the current location on Mac. You don’t have to rename any files, even leave the iTunes Library.itl file as it is.
6. Edit the iTunes Music Library.xml file
This is the final, and the most difficult task that you have got to perform.
On your Mac, Music/iTunes folder (that you have just copied in the previous step), you need to edit the iTunes Music Library.xml file. Thus fire up your favorite text editor or TextEdit.
Now the aim is to fix the file path for every file on the xml document.
This can be done in a single find/replace action.
Around line 10 of the xml file, you ‘ll find the Music Folder path:
This is the path that you have set up on your PC.
Therefore copy/paste the complete path as you see it on your xml file, and then replace it with your path (set on steps 4-5).
If it’s a network folder then it will look like “file://localhost/Volumes/share-name/music-folder/”.
Else it should be something like “file://localhost/Users/your-username/music-folder/”
Once you have finished the replace action, save the file, and open iTunes!
You should find your complete library including the Album Artworks, play counts, etc.
If you are trying to play a music file, and iTunes cannot find it, then you have probably got a wrong path on step 6. The easier way to discover the correct path is to add a new music file, and then find the corresponding entry in the xml file, or try/find the path on Terminal.
Optional – Sharing your iTunes library
If you would like to access your iTunes library anywhere on your local network, then go through the following two steps:
– Mac iTunes: Preferences -> Sharing -> Share my library …
– PC/Other Mac iTunes: Preferences -> Sharing -> Look for shared libraries