Q: I currently manage my iTunes library from an eMac at home, but as I move away for college, I’ll be buying a MacBook to take with me. What’s the best way to transfer my music library (including all playcounts, playlists, and ratings) to my new computer before I leave?
A: The easiest method – by far – is to simply utilize Apple’s “Migration Assistant,” a feature of MacOS X Tiger that makes getting a new Mac extremely easy. You’ll need a 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable, but other than that, simply follow Apple’s easy directions, and your entire music library, Documents folder, eMail settings, iPhoto library, and more are transferred to your new Mac, just as they were on the old one. We’ve used it several times before, and for the most part, you’ll feel perfectly at home when you start up the new machine after the Migration Assitant is done.
If for any reason this isn’t an option to you, or if PC-based readers are interested in answering a similar question, take a look at our article Copying Music from an iPod to a Computer, for detailed instructions on how to use your iPod as a middle-man in order to transfer your entire iTunes library and its metadata to a new computer.