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My PC recently died, and I'm trying to transfer my iTunes library to my Mac. According to http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive, the iTunes database is keyed by filename, so even if I copy my old library and music files into the iTunes directory on my Mac, the database doesn't point to the right files anymore, because the directory structure is different on the Mac than on the PC. iTunes is able to partially recover by searching for matching files, but it still winds up with a lot of broken links - too many to repair by hand. Since the old computer is broken, I can't 'consolidate' the library in its old location before transferring it, as that website suggests. Do I have any options for restoring the library intact?

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Do you know someone who has a working PC around you ?
Copy your files + iTunes database to this PC, launch iTunes and migrate your ratings to an id3 tag so you can restore them later. I explain the method in details here : http://tunecrux.com/resilient-id3-embedded-ratings

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You should be able to copy the backup of your iTunes library to the Mac, then tell iTunes to "Add to Library" and select the folder of your songs.

All the metadata, like the song's names and albums, should be recovered from the file's header, and the files will be moved to the normal iTunes library inside your home directory's Music folder.

  • Yes, the files themselves contain most of the metadata, but some of it (most notably the star ratings, which I've put a lot of time into) is in the database file itself, not attached to the song files. – Geoff Romer Mar 24 '11 at 5:00

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