How To Get Music From A Cd Onto My Iphone How to Backup or Transfer Your iTunes Library

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How to Backup or Transfer Your iTunes Library

Most of us have fairly large iTunes libraries. Between songs, TV episodes, apps and movies your library can conceivably take up several gigabytes of space. Whether you simply want a backup of your media files to hedge against possible disaster or you want to transfer your library to a new computer, here are a few methods and tools that will allow you to do this with relative ease.

iTunes Backup Utility:

Your iTunes desktop application has a built in feature that allows you to copy your library to CD/DVD.

To find the backup utility, from the menu select “File > Library > Backup to Disc”. OF course, if your library is considerably large, this may require several blank DVDs or CDs, a bit of time and, of course, a CD/DVD burner. This method can create a backup of your entire library (excluding audio books from Audible) or incremental backups.

External or Secondary Hard Drive:

If you own a large capacity external or internal Hard Drive, you can simply copy your Library folder to it directly. Before you do this, however, start by launching iTunes and choosing “Edit > Preferences” from the menu. Select the “Advanced” tab and select the “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” options. Next, choose “File > Organize Library” from the menu. Select the option to “Consolidate files”. Now you can close iTunes and navigate to your iTunes Library folder. You can find the iTunes folder in its default location (/Users/username/Music on Mac OSX, Documents and SettingsusernameMy DocumentsMy Music on Windows XP or UsersusernameMy Music on Windows Vista or 7) unless you’ve specified a custom location.

Copy the entire folder to your external USB hard drive or internal secondary drive. This may take some time depending on the size of your library. Once done, you have successfully backed up your iTunes library.

If your intention is rather to transfer your library to another computer, simply connect your external drive containing your iTunes library and copy it onto the new computer in the default location (/Users/username/Music on Mac OSX, Documents and SettingsusernameMy DocumentsMy Music on Windows XP or UsersusernameMy Music on Windows Vista or 7) or a preferred location if you wish. After that has completed, launch iTunes while holding down the Option key (on Mac) or Shift key (on Windows) and select “Choose Library…” from the dialog box. Select the iTunes folder you just transferred.

There are a few good 3rd party applications, free and paid versions, that will allow you to easily copy files from PC to iPod (and vice versa) quickly and easily. Here are two recommendations:

Sharepod (free):

Sharepod is a free application that allows you to quickly and easily to manage files on your Apple device (iPod, iTouch, iPhone) or create backups. Doesn’t require installation and can run from your computer, USB Thumb Drive or even your iPod itself. Simple Drag & Drop interface. Get it here: Sharepod.

CopyTrans 4 ($19.99):

CopyTrans is a very good application. Compatible with all devices and iTunes 10, it allows you to backup or transfer ALL files. Get it here: CopyTrans.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like: 3 Alternatives To iTunes

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