MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

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MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:19 am

Hi all. I have a newish White MacBook (MB881LL/A). It's the one immediately before the latest refresh.

In any case, it has a 120 GB HDD at present and I plan on replacing this with one of the 500 GB Western Digital drives. The main reason for doing this is that I have a rather large collection of music and 120 GB won't cut the mustard.

I realize there a number of techniques for cloning drives, etc. but I'm not all that interested in that. I want a fresh start. All I care about is that my current iTunes setup is carried across somehow.

Sorry, I'm a Mac n00b. :o

Is it as simple as copying (in total) the contents of Users --> Me --> Music --> iTunes?

The iTunes folder in question has a number of files including 'iTunes Library', 'iTunes Library Extras.itdb', 'iTunes Music', etc. Is there anything else that needs to be copied across?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:31 am

This is a good question, since I am considering a similar move in the near future. TR's own mbutrovich claims to re-install OS X all the time, so maybe he has some simple instructions?

derFunk might know, too.

...I might be able to bumble my way through it.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:05 am

iTunes has a backup option (File- Library- Backup to disc) where you back it up on DVDs. It might take a while but it will work.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:27 am

Yes, it's as simple is copying /Users/You/Music/iTunes to a network drive. The only time that's not true is if you're moving plastforms - a Windows library file is no good on a Mac, and a Mac library file is no good on Windows. But inside the iTunes folder is a library file that links to all your music and as long as your music winds up where it was (meaning this is very easy if you use teh "Keep iTunes Organized" option and the "copy files when I add new music" option, both of which are turned on by default in OS X) you'll be in good shape. The library keeps track of the music itself as well as your playlists as well as whether or not an iTunes Music Store purchase is activated or not (meaning you shouldn't need to re-enter your username/password if you have an old iTunes protected AAC file; newer iTunes plus files don't matter anyway). The library also contains any customizations you made to ID3 tags - iTunes dirty little secret is that it does not modify music files directly; if you change the name of an album, artist, etc. the file has not been changed; the iTunes Library file overrides it.

If you want to keep your settings screen, it's stored under /Users/You/Library/Application Support/iTunes. That folder can be moved prior to the install as well. That controls anything under the iTunes -> Preferences menu, including import settings, whether or not you keep iTunes organized, your playback options, etc.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:47 am

Thanks very much derFunk. Looks like this shouldn't be too difficult.

One question: Is it okay if the networked drive is formatted in ext3 (rather than a Mac native format)?
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:57 am

Shouldn't matter. Especially if it's being shared by SMB, OS X will create shadow files that contain metadata and will be re-combined when the files are brought back onto your mac.

If you've ever seen ._files that would otherwise match the names of the files, those are the metadata files. You'll see:

song1.mp3
song2.mp3
song3.mp3
._song1.mp3
._song2.mp3
._song3.mp3

Don't be too surprised. You probably also want to use something like TinkerTool to prevent the creation of .DS_Store files all over your shares - every folder your Mac browses to will create a "hidden" (at least, OS X's Finder hides it) that contains folder positions, icon sizes, Finder flags for locked locations, etc. for that folder. Some ding-dong at NeXT thought this was a better way to store folder-specific metadata than the Desktop DB and Desktop DF files stored at the root of the boot volume from OS 9 that contained these settings for every folder on every volume ever accessed. I disagree, if you couldn't tell. :lol:
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:34 am

derFunkenstein wrote:Yes, it's as simple is copying /Users/You/Music/iTunes to a network drive. The only time that's not true is if you're moving plastforms - a Windows library file is no good on a Mac, and a Mac library file is no good on Windows. But inside the iTunes folder is a library file that links to all your music and as long as your music winds up where it was (meaning this is very easy if you use teh "Keep iTunes Organized" option and the "copy files when I add new music" option, both of which are turned on by default in OS X) you'll be in good shape. The library keeps track of the music itself as well as your playlists as well as whether or not an iTunes Music Store purchase is activated or not (meaning you shouldn't need to re-enter your username/password if you have an old iTunes protected AAC file; newer iTunes plus files don't matter anyway). The library also contains any customizations you made to ID3 tags - iTunes dirty little secret is that it does not modify music files directly; if you change the name of an album, artist, etc. the file has not been changed; the iTunes Library file overrides it.

If you want to keep your settings screen, it's stored under /Users/You/Library/Application Support/iTunes. That folder can be moved prior to the install as well. That controls anything under the iTunes -> Preferences menu, including import settings, whether or not you keep iTunes organized, your playback options, etc.


Is this not something thats backed-up through Time Capsule? If its not then it should be!!! But thanks for walkthrough, I may do a reninstall of OSX when snow leopard finally shows ups. (tired of waiting!!!!!)


henfactor wrote:iTunes has a backup option (File- Library- Backup to disc) where you back it up on DVDs. It might take a while but it will work.


Highly Highly Highly inefficient, I did that once, 2 days and 22 DVDs later I had my whole library; music, movies, and apps.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:57 am

derFunkenstein wrote:You probably also want to use something like TinkerTool to prevent the creation of .DS_Store files all over your shares - every folder your Mac browses to will create a "hidden" (at least, OS X's Finder hides it) that contains folder positions, icon sizes, Finder flags for locked locations, etc. for that folder. Some ding-dong at NeXT thought this was a better way to store folder-specific metadata than the Desktop DB and Desktop DF files stored at the root of the boot volume from OS 9 that contained these settings for every folder on every volume ever accessed. I disagree, if you couldn't tell. :lol:


Ahhh yes, this TinkerTool will indeed be very helpful. I have this metadata crap spewing all over my file server... it's getting ugly!

Thanks again!
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:36 am

Easiest way I've found is to use Backup.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:34 am

tanker27 wrote:Is this not something thats backed-up through Time Capsule? If its not then it should be!!! But thanks for walkthrough, I may do a reninstall of OSX when snow leopard finally shows ups. (tired of waiting!!!!!)

It is backed if you use Time Machine (possibly to your Time Capsule if you're into $300 routers with integrated NAS; I prefer a 1TB drive connected via USB to my AEBS), but I answered the OP's question. All he wanted was iTunes, so it's easiest to just back up ~/Library/App Support/iTunes and ~/Music/iTunes.
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Re: MacBook + new 500 GB HDD + reformat + iTunes - help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:52 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
tanker27 wrote:Is this not something thats backed-up through Time Capsule? If its not then it should be!!! But thanks for walkthrough, I may do a reninstall of OSX when snow leopard finally shows ups. (tired of waiting!!!!!)

It is backed if you use Time Machine (possibly to your Time Capsule if you're into $300 routers with integrated NAS; I prefer a 1TB drive connected via USB to my AEBS), but I answered the OP's question. All he wanted was iTunes, so it's easiest to just back up ~/Library/App Support/iTunes and ~/Music/iTunes.


Ok, then I am safe...and oh no I dont have the actual capsule....just a USB HD :wink:
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