Tech Tip: Moving Your Music Out of iTunes


Q. I want to transfer my music library out of iTunes. What is the easiest and most effective way to do this?


Your music library is typically stored in a folder within the iTunes program folder.

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A. Among its functions, Apple’s iTunes program serves as a database for sorting and organizing your digital media collection. However, the files that make up that media collection primarily live in a folder called iTunes Media (or iTunes Music) on the computer. To move the music library, you just need to find and move the folder to the external hard drive or the cloud service you wish to use.

Unless you have changed the location of your iTunes Music/Media folder, you can find it in your user folder on the computer. On a Windows PC, look in My Music and then the iTunes folder; on a Mac, open the Music folder and then the iTunes folder.

Before you copy the folder elsewhere, however, you might want to make sure all the files listed in the iTunes window are actually stored within it. To do that, open iTunes, go to the File menu, to Library and choose Consolidate Files. This makes a copy of any file not already in the iTunes folder. When you open the iTunes Music subfolder, you should see nestled folders containing the MP3, AAC and other digital audio files you have been using.

Once you are sure you have all the music files in the folder, you can drag it to your new location for use with a different desktop jukebox program, media-server software like Plex, or an online music locker like Google Play Music Manager or Amazon Music.

Keep in mind that any iTunes files that were purchased with copyright protection built in may not play in a different program, but tracks you ripped from your own compact discs or purchased without copy restrictions should be fine as long as they are compatible with your new software.

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