How to export an iTunes library

By fredarmando
Mar 14, 2008
  1. Hey there, everyone.

    I'm currently upgrading from my old computer to a new one I put together and I have already backed up almost everything on the old machine, including my music collection, which includes my own ripped CD's and purchased music.

    My problem: I use iTunes as my music player and organizer of choice and I don't know how to export or transfer my library, including all my playlists, to the new machine. I tried asking this question at the Apple site, but curiously enough Apple removed my thread from the forums. They just censored it, out of the blue. Since it's not en vogue to criticize Apple (only Microsoft), I'm just going to leave it at that and go ahead and ask my question:

    After I copy my music collection onto the new hard drive, what do I need to do to restore my old library. I have a bunch of playlists that I do not want to lose. It took me a long time and years of discipline to organize and maintain my library and now I want to transfer it to another computer and don't know how to do it. Please note that I do not want to have it in 2 computers AT THE SAME TIME. The old computer will be deauthorized and formatted. All I want is to have my music in the new computer exactly as it was in the old one.

    For your information, here are the details of my system:
    OS: Windows XP Home
    Processor: AMD 64 Athlon X2 6000+
    Memory: 3GB RAM
    Video Card: Radeon X1800
    iTunes Version: 7.6.1

    And if you guys don't mind... a related question: I know Apple lets people authorize 5 computers for their purchased music, but I formatted one computer without deauthorizing it first and now I have no idea how to free up that spot. Simply put, the computer no longer exists but is still being counted as one of my authorized computers, as far as Apple is concerned.

    I really appreciate all answers, tips, and suggestions.
    Thank you all in advance and a great weekend to everyone!

    Fred Armando
    Miami, FL
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    I might be wrong on this but if you go to File>Export Library it lets you save a .xml of your library information. Transfer that to the new PC and I assume as long as the directories for your music are the same, you should be able to go to File>Import, import the .xml information and be set from there.

    That is just my assumption anyway - I haven't tried it or anything.
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    File > export or File > Export library. You can also right click the playlist you want and select "export song list".

    File > Import is the reverse of export (obviously..). Comes up with a file box and you just have to browse to the location of the saved .xml file. I think you do need to have the music in the same file structure as the previous one (if you look in the actual xml file, it lists the full file path with the song/album..)

    Provided you still have access to the itunes you want to export from...

    as for the deautorizing bit, some googling leads me to find that you can't deauthorize a itunes you no longer have access to, but you can deauthorize all your pcs then simply start again.. although according to some sites it will allow the "all deauthorization" to work a once a year thing.. read up yourself..

    google: deauthorizing itunes account
  4. fredarmando

    fredarmando TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Guys, thank you so much for your help. This forum rocks!

    I will try the export library tips and get back to you here. I don't see why it shouldn't work, but of course I will only format the old computer after my library has been successfully exported to the new one.

    About the deauthorization thing, that was great. Thank you very much. It seems I don't have much to worry about until I reach 5 authorized computers. And even then, it sounds like a very straight forward procedure.

    Again, thank you everyone for reading and helping out.
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