Moving iTunes Music

by on June 18, 2007

Q: Recently my hard drive stopped working. Having learned my lesson previously I had all my files backed up on my Maxtor II one touch hard drive. I now have my computer up and running but I am unable to get my music moved back to iTunes. How can I move my music back to iTunes with out doing it 1 CD at a time?

A: Once you have ripped all of your CDs to digital format (.mp3, .m4a, or .wav) using iTunes, you will not have to re-load all of your music into iTunes one CD at a time. Now that you have replaced your hard drive copying your music back to your new hard drive is relatively straightforward. Open iTunes and click on “Tools” > “Preferences” > “Advanced tab” > “General tab”. At the top of this screen, make sure that the “iTunes Music folder location” is a folder on your “C:” drive. If it is pointing to another hard drive (like your external USB drive), click the “Change” button and point it to a folder on your “C:” drive.

You will also want to click the check boxes next to “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library“. By checking those two boxes you have enabled iTunes to organize your music into folders and sub-folders so it is easy to find and iTunes will also copy all new music into the folder you have designated. This way your music will all be in one place and it will be easier to back up in the future or move it if that is ever necessary.

Once iTunes is set up to organize your music you need to find and add your existing music files from your external USB drive back into your new iTunes Library. First you need to make sure your USB drive is connected. Next use Windows Explorer to navigate to your music folder(s) on your USB drive. Then finally open iTunes and click on “Music” under “Library” on the right side of the screen.

With the iTunes window and Windows Explorer open side-by-side you will need to click and drag the folder with your music in it onto the iTunes window. iTunes will copy all of the music into appropriately labeled folders on your C: drive and it will add all of the songs back into the library. Repeat this final step if you need to add music to iTunes from multiple locations.