Moved iTunes library from iMac to external HD, now iTunes on PC won't find it

By greasyone
Apr 22, 2010
  1. Hi All- hope you can help me.

    After a short stint using an iMac, I decided to move back to a new Windows PC. With my significant iTunes library on the iMac, I decided now would be a good time to transfer all that music to an external harddrive and leave it on there, simply accessing it from iTunes on my new PC (a Windows 7 HP Touchsmart) via USB.

    I followed a good article (ilounge dot com, "Transferring your iTunes library" to copy the iTunes music folders from my iMac to my external harddrive. Everything went smoothly and I could see the all the music and iTunes Music Library files in Finder on the iMac, as well as in Windows Explorer once I plugged the external HD into the new PC. I installed iTunes 9.0 on the PC and then went to Edit>Preferences>Advanced to change the iTunes Media folder location to point to the new location on the external HD.

    Here's the problem, when I click "change" and navigate to the external HD, I see an iTunes folder. If I double click it, I get the following folders, "Album Artwork", "Automatically Add to iTunes", "iTunes Music", and "Previous iTunes Libraries". In the "iTunes Music" folder, there are about 20 folders (each with an individual band's music) and then there is a folder labeled "Music" that seems to have all the other music that was stored in iTunes (probably 250 folders).

    My problem is that I believe that the file path that I want to point iTunes to is the "iTunes Music Library" file that keeps all the playlists etc..., right? Well I can see that file on the external HD from Windows Explorer (listed in the "iTunes" folder beneath the 4 folders I named above), but when I navigate to the same location from the "change iTunes Media folder location" section in iTunes preferences on my PC, those files don't appear, just all these music folders. It appears iTunes on my PC isn't recognizing the iTunes Music Library on my external harddrive.

    Anyone know what I am doing wrong here? PLease???
    Thanks so much!
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Do you actually see the .mp3 or .m4a files in those directories outside of iTunes? I'd be tempted (if those files exist) to just go to the file menu and select Add to library, and then select the root directory that contains everything and let it add that way. It will remember where those files are and then you can try changing the directory iTunes thinks is its main directory (only real impact that has is changing where stuff downloads or imports to).
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,123   +982

    Wherever you have your My Music\ folder, there is one critical subfolder iTunes.
    ( My Music\iTunes\ )

    contents therein are:

    Album Artwork\
    iTunes Library Extras.itdb
    iTunes Library Genius.itdb
    iTunes Library.itl
    iTunes Music\
    iTunes Music Library.xml​

    I have successfully relocate these from my PC to a Mac. If I recall correctly, only the
    Album Artwork\, iTunes Music\ folders and the iTunes Music Library.xml file needed to
    be copied. The iTunes Music Library.xml (that's an XML formated file) is the critical file as it has two facts that must be
    adjusted for the target system:

    the location of the actual Music:
    <key>Music Folder</key><string>file://localhost/C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Jeff/My%20Documents/My%20Music/iTunes/iTunes%20Music/</string>
    which clearly points to the iTunes Music folder using a URL format
    and the path on a Mac would be very different

    [edit] a Mac location:
    <key>Music Folder</key><string>file://localhost/Users/Torella/Music/iTunes/iTunes%20Music/</string>

    the version of iTunes installed on the system:
    <key>Application Version</key><string>9.0.1</string>
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