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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Migrating to the “Dark” Side – Moving My Music

Over the next few blog posts I will document my journey to the world of my MacBook. The computer arrived on Thursday morning (a full day ahead of schedule) and I have been anxious to migrate ever since. The first thing I “needed” to do was migrate my iTunes library and iPod. After all, it seemed like the thing to do!

Once I decided that the first thing I was going to do was move my music, I started searching on Apple’s website. I was sure that there was an article written that would tell me exactly what I needed to do. I was a little disappointed with the documentation I could find. I tried a myriad of search terms: “moving iPod from Windows to Mac,” “moving music from Windows to Mac,” “copying music from Windows to Mac,” “moving music between computers,” “migrating to Mac.” The search revealed many discussion postings and responses, many of which referenced a particular technical article , but I could not easily find a way to actually access that article. Once I found the article (and I actually can’t tell you how I stumbled across it; it was an accident), I thought I was home free. But I quickly realized that the article only showed how to moved music files between computers, but did not address any of the specific questions that I had as someone who was migrating to a Mac for the first time.

Based on the article, and my conversation with someone from Apple Technical Support, here is a summary of the steps to move from a Windows machine to a Mac.

  • You do not need to re-format your iPod. A Windows formatted iPod will work on a Mac, you just can’t go from a Mac formatted iPod to a Windows machine.
  • Consolidate your music library. iTunes allows you to keep your music in various places on your computers. Before you can move it, you need to make sure it is all stored in the same folder.
  • Enable disk use of your iPod. Accessing the iPod options menu can do this. This will trigger an update of your iPod. After you do this, you MUST be sure that you properly eject your iPod before disconnecting it.
  • Access your music library using Windows Explorer. This is usually found in My Documents/My Music/iTunes.
  • Copy the iTunes folder to your iPod by clicking and dragging it to the iPod icon in Windows Explorer. This may take a while. It took 3 hours to copy my library. I have about 8 gigabytes of songs, videos and podcasts on my iPod.
  • Connect your iPod to your Mac. iTunes should open automatically and identify your iPod. You will see a message that asks about associating your iPod with the new computer. You will want to answer yes.
  • Import the iTunes library on your iPod to the iTunes on your Mac. This option can be found under the File menu.
  • Delete the iTunes folder from your iPod. You will use Finder to do this.
  • Reset the option to use the iPod as an external disk. Go back to the iPod option to do this.
  • Update your iPod.
The one issue I encountered was that I had to re-subscribe to all the podcasts I listen to. Luckily, all the podcasts carried over to the MacBook, and all I had to do was click the Subscribe button for each of them again.

Next step, moving my mail!

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  • I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'm glad you are going to be covering your conversion to Mac. I will be making the switch later in the year and am starting to look for all the information I can find now. Hopeing all your converstion goes well.

    By Anonymous Justin, at 10:31 PM  

  • hey, thanks for the step by step instructions. just so you know, i had a slight variation.

    when transferring the songs from IPOD to MAC (originally from a PC) I had to copy the files from the ipod to my MAC using the FINDER, not using the Ituunes/File/Import command. i just copied the entire ITUNES folder over from the IPOD to my desktop on the MAC.

    NEXT I moved all the Artist Folders from the DESKTOP/ITUNES folder into my original ITUNES FOLDER, which took 2 seconds. However, Itunes, the program, did not show them (the songs) in the actual library in the application (when i opened Itunes the songs were not showing up in the itunes application). When I tried to use IMPORT, i had to drill down to each individual song, as it wouldnt let me select the FOLDER. 2000 songs, this was not going to happen, lol.

    by using the ADD TO LIBRARY function (also under the ITUNES/FILE menu) i fixed this in a snap. 10 seconds later i had all my music recognized in itunes and available for play.

    as a note, I think you can also use the ADD TO LIBRARY function without copying the ARTIST FOLDERS from the DESKTOP/ITUNES to your original ITUNES FOLDER, but it takes a lot longer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 AM  

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