Q: My Windows machine where my library and music folders currently reside was recently infected by a virus that has thus far resisted all efforts at eradication thus far. I have created a new partition on my harddrive, installed a fresh copy of the OS and migrated data files that I scanned or did not suspect. The problem, though, is that I now want to move the old iTunes library and music folder to an external drive, and then completely wipe the infected partition, but I question the security/advisability of moving the iTunes files. What is the likliehood of MP3 and other music iTunes files becoming infected/corrupted?
A: For the most part, digital media files cannot carry computer viruses, although they can certainly be corrupted by a virus, rendering them unusable.
Moving your iTunes library files, including the iTunes library database and your MP3 and other media files to the new partition will not propagate the virus to the new partition, but the files themselves may have already been damaged. This is certainly something that could be sorted out later, however, as these damaged files will not affect anything on the new partition, and may only be identified as you actually listen to them, although some may also show invalid tag information when viewing the track properties in iTunes.
In some rare cases, corrupted MP3 files can also cause your iPod to freeze up or reset when it tries to play them. This will not generally damage your iPod, and if this problem is encountered, simply reset the iPod and remove the damaged file.