Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have lost my original source itunes library music and files.

However, I do have backup copies of everything on an external disk, I copied the original files and organization structure of the old library to an external disk. (we'll call this external disk 1)

I need to rebuild my library in a hurry, on a new external disk! (external disk 2)

My question is, how do I do this, so my new library (on external disk 2) is exactly the same as the original?

Any help you could provide me with would be sincerely appreciated!

Looking forward to hearing your solution!

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

The simplest way (fewest steps) is

  1. Copy the iTunes folder from old (disk 1) to new (disk 2)
  2. Start iTunes with the option key depressed and select the library from the new (disk 2)

Do edit your post or comment back if there are additional factors to take into account or if this doesn't work for some reason. Assuming your backup is good, complete and you preserved the correct location of all the files - iTunes will remember the new disk as long as it's always connected before it starts.

If things look good - I would check the following as well

  1. Verify the iTunes Media Folder Location in "Advanced Preferences tab" is pointing to the correct folder on new (disk 2)
  2. Select File -> Library -> Organize Library from the iTunes menu to have iTunes apply the current settings from the previous step.

Down the road once you are sure things are working - it might be better to keep only the Media Folder on the new (disk 2) and move all the other files to your home folder. This lets you start iTunes for iOS device syncs and such when the external is not connected. I wouldn't do both things the same week. Just get things working for now :-)

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks so much for your response, I'm happy to have your support. The trouble is that I seemed to have copy only my music files, not the iTunes Library file. This was my mistake and I really should have checked this earlier. Needless to say, the method you suggested isn't working, as I am missing the files. However, I do have some other backed up iTunes library files that I may be able to use. I'm not sure if they are from my Disk 1 lib –  user5586 Apr 13 '11 at 23:31
    
OK - that complicates things. I would try importing all of the songs you have into the new library (wherever you want it to last) and see if you can import your old library file to recover some of the playlists and meta-data. This is the sort of thing where calling AppleCare really shines if you've paid for that support. The other angle is to use the option launch trick to point iTunes at whatever old iTunes library file you have. Don't actually play any music - just export the library to an xml file on the desktop. That imports better than adding a library file in my experience. –  bmike Apr 14 '11 at 0:54
    
bmike, thanks so much for all your advice. I really appreciate that you were here today to help me try to solve this problem! :) –  user5586 Apr 14 '11 at 2:57
    
Best of luck recovering/rebuilding thing. For the future - just be sure to export your whole library as an xml - from there you can recover much easier if you ever have data loss or corruption. Thanks for the kind words. –  bmike Apr 14 '11 at 21:51

What's the problem with copying the entire iTunes Library folder to the new disk, then using the Add to Library feature (File>Add to Library) and selecting the folder on the new disk?

Surely this rebuilds a new Library based on the iTunes folder on disk 2?

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks so much for your response, I'm happy to have your support. I'm still having some troubles, here's the problem. My original music was stored on an external disk, which was destroyed. I had backup copies of this music on Disk 1, however not the iTunes Library files. This was my mistake and I really should have checked this earlier. Needless to say, the method you suggested isn't working, as I am missing the Library files. I have some other backed up iTunes library files that I may be able to use, not sure if they from the original iTunes library though. Would appreciate a hand, thx! –  user5586 Apr 13 '11 at 23:41

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.