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I have a smaller iTunes library on an internal SSD and larger one on an external drive.

I have upgraded to macOS Catalina. The smaller music library has been upgraded, the larger one hasn't.

How can I force the second library to upgrade to Music.app library format too?

example of empty Music.app library

  • What happens if you hold ⌥ opt while launching Music? – Sören Kuklau Jan 2 at 16:04
  • Holding Option while launching Music.app shows the classic dialog for opening a library from filesystem (same as in iTunes), which is nice, this wasn't possible in macOS Catalina Beta (when I was trying this for the first time) – babca Jan 2 at 16:29
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  1. Quit Music.app by Cmd+Q
  2. Hold Option key and start Music.app
  3. Choose music library dialog opens. Click Choose library...
  4. Locate the old .itl file (e.g. Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl) and select it
  5. Input a name for a new library and click Save
  6. Music.app starts with original library contents within a few seconds. Only a few megabyte large library is created on the disk. Media files and iTunes files are left intact.
  7. Optional: go to Music.app preferences - Files tab and check the settings, so you know which location is currently used for media files.

Note: This didn't work in beta versions of macOS Catalina – first versions of Music.app didn't support multiple libraries or selecting a library.

Good to know to avoid confusion while working with multiple libraries: double-clicking on .itl file, or .musiclibrary library (folder) from Finder opens Music.app with the last used library. It does NOT switch the library.

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