How can I transfer my iTunes music from my PC to my Mac?

kat February 23, 2011

How can I easily transfer my iTunes music from my PC to my Mac without investing in software?

  1. Tina
    February 28, 2011 at 3:59 am


    were you able to transfer your iTunes music from your PC to your Mac with the help provided above? Please let us know in case you need more help. And in case you did it, we're curious to learn which method you followed!

  2. Anonymous
    February 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Move an iTunes library from a Windows PC to a Mac

    If you have an iPod you can use the iPod itself to transfer the music, as it is just a simple hard drive also.

    If you have an external hard drive you can very easily use that to transfer the music over. Just plug in to your Windows machine, drag and drop your iTunes folder onto it, then plug into the Mac and drag and drop again. This would also work if you have a USB thumbdrive large enough to hold your music.

    You could also just set up a shared folder on your PC and then connect to it from the MacBook using Apple-K (from the finder) to connect to the PC (smb://) this will list the shared directories available if you set them up. If you named the shared folder "PC Music" and right-clicked it -> sharing -> check the "share this folder on the network" box, you should see the choice to connect to "PC Music" in the the window that pops up. Again, you should be able to drag and drop anything you want copied.
    Once you have all your music on the MacBook, just run iTunes (you can even copy over your playlists and they should work on the MacBook in iTunes).

    The key to copying your library from one computer to another is to let iTunes itself do all the work while you have the old and new computers hooked together via the great, under-praised Firewire Target Mode.

    Here's how:

    1. Hook up your old computer to your new computer using Firewire Target Mode (hook up a Firewire cable between the two, then restart the old computer, holding down the T key the entire time. Eventually, you'll see the Firewire logo bouncing on the screen of the old system and a new hard disk will appear on the desktop of the new system.

    2. Now, start up iTunes and go to "Preferences". Click on the Advanced tab and make sure that "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" is checked

    3. Now, select File --> Add To Library... and find the iTunes Library on your old computer disk. Press "choose" and sit back, it's going to take a while...

    4. Once that's done, go ahead and control-click on the desktop icon representing the old computer, choose 'Eject', then, once it's off your desktop, shut the old computer down by pressing the power key for a second or so. If you want, reboot the old unit or not, it's not needed any more for this process.

    That should do it. It'll take a while to import all the music, but you should now have a second iTunes application full of your favorite music, all neatly saved on your new computer's hard disk.
    Note that this doesn't work for licensed music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store

    1. On the new Mac, authorize your iTunes account
    2. Copy all your entire iTunes folder from the old computer to the new Mac. Make sure iTunes is not running on the new machine. You can do this 100 different ways. You can even use your ipod as a disk and copy the files to it and then move them to the new Mac. I just mounted my PC over wireless and copied everything. Put them in the iTunes folder on the new Mac.
    3. On the old machine, go into iTunes and "Export Library". On my PC, this created a file named "Library.xml". Copy this file to your new Mac. This is how you get all your playlists.
    4. Launch iTunes on the new Mac. You probably won't see any music. Don't worry.
    5. On the new Mac, pick Import in iTunes and import the Library.xml file.
    6. Wait for iTunes to do its thing. Presto, all music and all play lists. Life is good.

  3. Mike
    February 24, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Your fist step is to get your entire Library into a single folder. To do this ollow this guide from Apple

    Now all your Music, Videos and everything else you added to iTunes will be within the iTunes Folder
    C:Documents and SettingsusernameMy DocumentsMy MusiciTunes

    Now you just have to copy the entire iTunes folder (inlcuding the Library file and everything else) into your Music folder on the Mac.

    possible paths to the iTunes folder and Library file:

    If you already have an iTunes folder on your Mac you can give it a different name e.g. "iTunes Windows" and open it using the method described here