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Moving an iTunes Library to Windows 7

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Q: I have an iPhone 4 and my old computer has 1600 songs organized into about 50 playlists, some with 20 or 30 songs each. I’m replacing the old computer, but am having trouble moving the songs to it—only about 900 would transfer, and none of the playlists will transfer to the new computer. Surely there’s a way. The phone’s an iPhone 4 and the computers are PCs with Vista on the old one and Windows 7 on the new one.

- DG

A: The best way to transfer your iTunes library to a new computer is to actually copy over all of the iTunes library folders from the old computer directly to the new one using either an external hard drive or over a network connection between the two computers.

Moving the actual iTunes library database over will preserve all of your playlists as well as other iTunes-specific metadata like ratings and play counts. The database also contains the sync settings for your iPhone, so once you’ve transferred it over you can plug in your iPhone and continue syncing with the new computer without having to reconfigure anything.

For more information and detailed instructions see our tutorial on Transferring your iTunes Library. It is possible to copy your content from your iPhone 4 back to the new computer as well, but by doing this you’ll essentially be starting an entirely new iTunes library and importing your media content and playlists into it from scratch. You will need to use third-party tools to help you do this, as iTunes by itself will only allow you to transfer back content that you purchased from the iTunes Store and not content that you imported from your own CDs or other sources. You can get more information on this in our tutorial on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer, but generally if you have your old computer available the best solution by far is to simply move the actual iTunes library over rather than trying to recreate it from your iPhone.

 

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Comments

1

I have 160GB ipod classic. I turned it on today and realized all the music was gone. but when i scrolled to the settings it says i have 82gb free, which means all my music is still on the ipod but i can’t see it and i can’t play it. when i connected the ipod to a friend’s computer, itunes sent a pop-up that says itunes cannot read the content and that i should reset the ipod to original settings. normally, that wouldn’t be a problem but i am away from home for the next 2 week with a 6 hours plane ride and it would suck to be without music the whole time. is there any way to get the contents back without restoring the ipod? thanks!

Posted by hannah on October 31, 2010 at 9:46 PM (CDT)

2

I have a Bose Wave System, (single CD player), and had purchased a small docking station to go along with an Ipod that was also purchased as to be able to play music through the bose via Ipod. Question is, I’m trying to find wireless speakers that I can use with the Ipod as well using the Bose System. I’m concerned that the music will be muted out of the Bose if a connrction is made to the Ipod via the headphone jack. Your Thoughts,
Bill

Posted by Bill Matthews on January 17, 2011 at 3:16 PM (CST)

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