OT: i-Tunes question: can you help?

I spent the last two days, swatching in front of my computer, and downloading about 200 vintage music cd’s into my i-Tunes.

Let it be known…my older version of i-Tunes (Dec 2009) was acting up…wouldn’t sync with my i-Pod…and the HELP thing said I might need to un-install i-Tunes…and go fetch the latest version of I-Tunes from Apple…and do a clean install. Which is what I did.

But of course, all of the music I had in my old i-Tunes was gone. I had the music on my computer, so it was easy to transfer it back again, into new i-Tunes.

[B]Here is my situation now:[/B] the new version of i-Tunes (this feature is new to me, but I don’t know if it’s new new) will let you skip a step. Instead of ripping your CD’s to your computer’s Music Library, then plucking it out of there and loading it into your i-Tunes Library…the NEW FEATURE (to me) is that you can slide your music Cd into your drive, and i-Tunes will rip it directly into itself. And ready to sync with your i-Pod.

BTW: I have a 500GB external hard drive, and this new i-Tunes music library is saved in there, as I do backups like a fiend. As I’m wandering around in my external hard drive, I double clicked the i-Tunes music library, and it brings up the i-Tunes page)
Now here is my question:[/B] IF I ever had to do an uninstall of i-Tunes again…the music goes with it…but WILL I BE ABLE TO RETRIEVE all those vintage music CD’s from the external hard drive, and send them to the now NEWER i-Tunes?

Is this i-Tunes music really saved if the i-Tunes software has to, once again, be uninstalled, and a newer version installed?

My question is important to me, cuz I’m thinking about giving away all of the actual CD’s, and as a matter of fact, I gave about 100 of them to my daughter this morning.

Plus, I “bought” the latest Alicia Keyes CD from the i-Tunes store, and it was downloaded directly into my i-Tunes music library. So I’m concerned about how this all works!

If all of this music is REALLY, LITERALLY, TRULY saved in my 500GB external hard drive, and if it can BE SENT BACK to my computer, then I’m safe (I think).

But, is it all contingent on a viable version of i-Tunes?

I’d appreciate any help or comments! I’m fairly new to the world of i-Pod-ism! My little i-Pod nano is 16GB, and it’s amazing that it can hold so many albums! What a great thing! Talk about a space saver!

I don’t really know how to help you, but, I don’t use iTunes only for my music, it’s saved in my 500gig internal drive with the original format ie: mp3/flac etc. Make sense?

No. I think you are more advanced in computer stuff than me! I know how to apply stuff, but don’t know exactly how the code works.

I was wondering…is an external hard drive backup as good as a CD-R disk backup?

If I lost my music for some reason (computer crash for example) …a CD-R disk backup would allow me to send the music back to my computer. Would an external hard drive backup be the same, and as useful?

My i-Tunes backup feature told me that I need 16 CD-R disks to back up my music library. I can do that, but then there I am again…with disks all over the place. Might as well keep the original music CD’s around.

As with all things digital, it is VERY important to keep a backup of your digital music files so that in the event something goes wrong you will not lose all of your albums. This also applies to music that you have purchased electronically … as far as I am aware, iTunes does not track your purchases, so if you lose the file then you will have to re-purchase it.

iTunes automatically imports your cd’s directly into your iTunes library when you insert a cd into your computer (although I believe you are able to change the program settings so that it asks you whether you wish to import the cd or just play it). Usually, when there is an iTunes update, you can simply update the program without having to actually uninstall the old version and install the new version. This makes things easy because nothing happens to your library, the program just updates itself. Like you said, it’s possible for something to happen to the program itself that may require you to uninstall the program completely and install the new version. In this case, you will need your back up … which is why iTunes recommends that you create a back up.

There are 2 ways to create a back up of you iTunes library (that I am aware of):

  1. as iTunes suggests, you can go to the “File” menu and select “Library”, then “Back Up To Disc”. This will allow you to burn your entire library to either cd’s or dvd’s so that you have a hard copy of you iTunes library. Depending on the size of your library, this may take A LOT of disks and therefore defeat the purpose of having your music stored electronically.

  2. alternatively, you can go to the “File” menu and select “Library”, then “Export Library”. This will allow you to save a copy of your entire library to another location (for example, your external hard drive where you have saved all of your other back up files). You can create a separate folder (named, for example, “iTunes Library”) to export your library to, and then you will have essentially saved a copy of all of the digital music files that are in your iTunes Library. This is great because it keeps everything electronic (no disks taking up space) while still saving a back up copy of your Library in case you ever have a problem with your iTunes program again. The downside is that all of your files are still only in electronic format … so if something were to happen to your computer/external hard drive (wherever you saved your Library) then the files would be lost.

Personally, I use option number 2 … it takes up less space, and the chances of something going wrong with your hard drive are less likely than something going wrong with the iTunes program itself. If my computer starts acting oddly, I immediately create another back up of all my files to another location … either another computer/hard drive or to disks if I have to.

Hopefully this helps somewhat … I realize my explanation got a little long!

Thanks so much! I appreciate the ‘long version’ for help!

I did two things:

  1. Option 2> I opened i-Tunes and “Exported Library” to my MUSIC folder on my laptop, and entitled it ‘Full Music Library’ (BTW: the only option was to save it as a XML file)

  2. Another Option 2 version> I also “Exported Library” directly to within my External Hard Drive, and entitied it “Full i-Tunes Music Library” so that when I do backups to my external hard drive, I’ll know the difference

After I had executed my first move, I opened my MUSIC folder and double-clicked on “Full Music Library”…and whoosh, my laptop carried me away via Internet Explorer…and there on the page was a lot of XML code.

[B]Am I correct[/B] in assuming this is how the Music Library is ‘saved’ ( XLM Code) and that this will be acceptable if I should ever need to retrieve my Music Library from my external hard drive? My laptop would know how to de-code the XLM code and convert it to music??

Hmmm… it sounds a little sketchy that an XML file would be the backup for all of the music. I wish I had a way to test ‘loading’ my XML file on different computer with a fresh iTunes…

Yes…I was wondering about that, too.

Example: [B]If [/B]I had to completely un-install my i-Tunes software (and all the music goes with it)…would those XML file music back-ups “SEND TO” my computer for re-loading into the new version of i-Tunes.

Or [B]if [/B]I had a complete computer melt-down…and needed to reformat…would those ‘backed-up’ XML music files be ‘sendable’ to my reformatted hard drive.

It backed-up in a flash…so I’m suspicious it’s the code, not the actual music.


You had a great idea! I do have a way of testing this!

I have an operational Dell laptop (XP-OS) that I keep ‘alive’ for a backup laptop.

Anyway, my Dell XP-OS laptop [B]is i-Tunes free! [/B]

Here’s the plan:

First, I’ll download i-Tunes into the XP-OS.
Then, I’ll go into my VISTA’s external hard drive, send that XML music folder to a thumb drive, then transfer it to my XP-OS…and see what the heck happens.

Stay tuned. :thumbsup:

I googled the term XML MUSIC FILES, and the results led me to this article:

“Back up your i-Tunes library by copying to an external hard drive”

This proved to be what I think is the FINAL ANSWER.

In part, the article gave directions to quit i-Tunes, locate the external hard drive from MY COMPUTER, and from there, locate the i-Tunes music folder…and drag/drop it into the external hard drive.

As I’m typing these words, my system is “copying 2,287 items”.
At the outset, it quoted 26 minutes, but now it’s saying just 7 minutes to finish.

That feels more like it. I think I am actually copying my music into the external hard drive this time.
Not merely XML music files.

I’m still waiting on my XP-OS to finish installing i-Tunes. It takes longer on the ole XP.
It only has 1GB ram. My VISTA-OS has 4GB ram.

VOILA! Done, and done!

Exiting i-Tunes, and drag-dropping the i-Tunes folder (in MY MUSIC folder) to the external hard drive DID IT!

YAY! I think I’m good now.

Still gonna try the XML thing on my XP-OS…but the i-Tunes is still installing…

Stay tuned. I really want to know what good the XML music files would have been.

I’m happy to report:

Transferring the i-Tunes music files via drag-drop right into the external hard drive…WORKED.

I was able to send a couple of Alicia Keyes albums (one was downloaded from my music CD; the other was an i-Tunes electronic purchase) to the thumb drive; then right on into the old XP computer; then right into the new i-Tunes!

I’m listening to Alicia (on the XP laptop) as I’m typing these words from my VISTA laptop.

All’s well that ends well.

Thanks for all of your help, EVERYONE! :hug:

Yay!!! That does seem like the best option :o) I’ve been wanting an excuse for an external hard drive for a while now and I think my 13gb of music is the perfect excuse!

I have the Maxtor One-Touch 4Plus 500GB. (and a 250GB for the XP laptop) The Maxtor One-Touch is very easy to use. Just push the button…VOILA, done! It backs up in seconds. Especially if you “push the button” daily, or more! I love pushing the button. [I]Power. :wink:

That is awesome. I know when I back up my regular files, it says so many CD’s, less blank DVD’s or even less Blu Ray’s. I have the DVD’s and it is easier than all of those CD’s.

I download audio books all the time for my i-pod and then I listen to them while I knit. I’m a huge mystery fan! You can get free audiobooks at:
Project Gutenberg
Books Should Be Free

I probably should have listed this under “obsessions” cuz I am rather obsessed with listening to, or reading mystery stories! Heh heh!