I would like to transfer music from one iTunes library to another but I tried to drag songs from local library to a shared library and it didn't work.

Is it possible to do this transfer using just iTunes, without having to manually copy files from one computer to another?

2 Answers 2


Yes it is, if you've set up the iTunes libraries for home sharing. Turn on iTunes on the machine with all the music. Go to iTunes on the machine you want the music on, then open look for other iTunes libraries on the network. If you don't see share libraries you may need to update the menu options in the General settings. Browse to the songs you want highlight them then click import in the bottom of the iTunes window.

I use this all the time to move songs, movies, TV Shows between my main desktop with a few TB's of storage and the different laptops around the house. This also works between OS X and Windows environments since it's connecting with iTunes.

EDIT: You can also configure the main iTunes library to automatically sync songs from the other libraries. This would mean that you only need to hook up a monitor once to set up the share the first time. You could also use this time to set up a VNC client on the main machine from which you could access the computer with your laptops and make edits as needed.

  • I was looking for the opposite operation: to copy files from local computer (my laptop) to the remote one (desktop). The desktop has plenty of space but it is hard to connect to it because I do not have a monitor on it now.
    – sorin
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 15:41
  • 1
    Hrm that does make it harder. You could use VNC to connect to the desktop and get the same function Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 19:08

Assuming that the iTunes Media folder will be in the same path on both machines, then you can do the following:

  1. Copy your media folder to the new machine. If it lives in /Users/Sorin/Music/iTunes on the source machine, copy it to the same location on the destination machine.
  2. In iTunes on the source machine, select File -> Export Library to generate an XML file of your library's metadata, including the paths to the media files.
  3. In iTunes on the destination machine, make sure that the iTunes Media folder is set correctly in its advanced Preferences panel; then, import the xml file you just exported.

The above process should be faster than dragging/dropping files through iTunes, though the initial copy of your media will take time depending on how large it is.

This question looks similar and may offer other perspectives.

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