MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

How Do I Transfer a Mac iTunes/iPod Account To a New Mac?

I am changing jobs and loosing my MacBook. All of my iTunes and iPod stuff is on this computer. I may have another Mac at my new job, or I may buy an iPad3 in another month or two. How do I save everything, so I can put it on a new Mac or iPad3? I have heard there are limits to copying songs/books.
Stacy C.

Comments: 8 Responses to “How Do I Transfer a Mac iTunes/iPod Account To a New Mac?”

    12 years ago

    Typically, if you are switching to a new Mac, you would use Migration Assistant. You could transfer from one Mac to the next with a cable or over the network, but that doesn't seem like a possibility here. So the other method is to backup everything to an external Time Machine drive.
    I assume you are doing that already, right? But in this case the drive probably belongs to your employer so you want to get your own drive and backup everything to there using Time Machine.
    However -- this also may not be the case because you probably don't want all of that stuff. If it is a work computer, and you no longer work for them, then you don't want your old apps (they aren't yours anyway) and docs and settings for accounts that apply to work.
    If what you want is just your iTunes stuff -- songs, books, etc, then it gets easy. Assuming that you are using the default iTunes settings then everything is in your iTunes Library folder inside of music. Confirm that and then copy that folder to an external drive. If it isn't much, then a USB flash drive will do. Check out the size of the folder and purchase one of the appropriate size.
    Then, when you get a new Mac, put that iTunes Library on it and start iTunes holding down the Option key to select that library.
    This will work for songs, anyway. Not sure abut books. It may work.
    Keep in mind that of course you may need to set up iTunes using the same Apple ID you are using now, especially if some of the content (books and such) were purchased through iTunes.
    Now, if you get an iPad at home instead of a new computer, then you'd still need to put that iTunes library on whatever computer you have at home and then set it up as your iTunes Library to sync with your new iPad.
    If you have no computer at home at all, then it gets tricky. Off-hand, the easy solution is to buy a subscription to iTunes Match right now. "Match" your songs to the Apple service. When you lose your work computer (make sure you sign out of your accounts before you leave -- and deauthorize iTunes!) the music will still be in your iTunes Match account. So then when you get an iPad you can sign into that account and turn on iTunes Match and they should all re-appear! This technique will work if you get a Mac too, so it might be a good all-around solution.

      Stacy Chiles
      12 years ago

      If I go with the iTunes Match solution, will I have to continue with the 25$ subscription every year to keep my current music on the new mac? Will my music only be on icloud then, or once I have the new mac and pull up the itunes match then it will be there until I delete it? I want to be able to access my books even when I don't have an internet connection. Like when I'm driving in the car. Does this work? It sounds like to access the songs and books off of icloud you have to be internet connected?

        12 years ago

        You need to pay $25/year to keep up with iTunes Match. But you can always keep an archive of your music on your own Mac if you like. It doesn't force you to erase them or anything.
        But you do need a connection to get the music (or other audio) files. So if you want to listen to a file while in the car with a device that has no connection, like an iPod touch or an iPad with no 3G, then you'l tap the iTunes Match download button while at home and connected first, so they are downloaded to your device and can be listened to offline. If you are using an iPhone, you can use your mobile data connection and it will download that way too.

          Stacy Chiles
          12 years ago

          Okay, so I will buy iTunes Match, then when I get a new mac or pc, I will download itunes. Then use Match to put the music files on the new mac or pc. I will not have to renew iTunes Match because the music/audio books will be on the new mac or pc; not just in the cloud.
          Also, I have 3GB of the 5GB available to use in icloud. If I do the iTunes Match and I go over the 5GB, will I have to buy more cloud storage space or is that included in the iTunes Match?
          You have been very helpful! Thanks! I just want to make sure I'm understanding how it works.
          And yes, I have an iPod touch. When I iTunes Match download to it. Can I select what I want to download onto my iPod from Match or does it download everything?

            12 years ago

            iTunes Match does not use your iCloud space. It uses a separate space. That's what you are paying for. You can match 25,000 songs (more actually, depending on how many are iTunes purchases).
            iTunes Match doesn't download everything. Only what you select or listen to. I suggest reading all of the info on iTunes Match at Apple's site. They have it all spelled out.

      Brian Bakke
      12 years ago

      What about my apps for my iphone on my old mac iTunes...they did not copy over when I transferred my itunes off my timemachine drive?

        12 years ago

        You can always just download them again. Once you purchase an app, you can download it again later at no charge. Since apps update frequently, there's no point trying to get the "old" versions anyway. Just download them again now. Go to your purchases list in iTunes if you want to see what you bought.

    Stacy Chiles
    12 years ago

    Thank you again!

Comments Closed.