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? Commented Jan 2, 2020 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
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 16:29

1 Answer 1

  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.

  • 1
    This seems to not move any of the underlying music files. File > Library > Organize Library also does not appear to do anything. If I want to make a consolidated directory with everything in it, how can I do that? Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 15:12
  • 1
    In case this helps anyone: I had an iTunes Library file with no extention and one with a .xml extension. The right one to use in the conversion is the one without an extension (you have to manually rename it in Finder). Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 15:13
  • 1
    In order to actually move the library's files, you can change the location in the Music.app preferences Files tab. There, you can set a new location and Music.app will ask whether to move the files. Accepting, will not really move the files. But you can open FileLibraryOrganise Library… and check Consolidate files. This will actually copy (not move!) the files to the new location. (Tested on Big Sur)
    – Max
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 17:31

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