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I have a LAN home network, so I move the files directly between computers, without moving them first on an external HD (they are on another HD anyway, but that's a different story). Can't you just network those two computers and move the files directly?


Yes. You are correct of course and the same trick would work without the external drive.

Thanks for the comment.


kevin shaffer

for additional yet similar, see:

"Moving your iTunes music folder"

...a general tutorial, since the basic issue also confounds Mac-to-Mac users.

This is good for making backups prior to wiping a hard drive and other archiving duties. Be sure to also remove other hidden files if you only seek to reduce hard disk drive clutter in the Mac. Be sure of your archive's functionality prior to removing files from a computer.

Amazing, how many users not even considering cross-platform get confused or odd results when moving/removing these.

Since I clone the entire HDD to a larger partitioned FW external, I get all of the contents in full; & bootable. (Intel Macs use USB 2.0 for bootable clones, PPC Macs use FireWire.)

Hi Kevin:
Thanks for the comment and for the additional information. That link contains from very useful information. Thanks again for contributing this.


Neil Anderson

Since my PowerBook's hard drive is small I keep only a small amount of music on it. My complete collection is stored on an external FireWire drive. To switch between music libraries, hold down the Option key when starting iTunes and click the "Choose Library..." button.

Jason The Saj

Not so simple...

Sure, if your iTunes is empty...it's simple. But if you ripped some songs on your Mac and then move over your library....


OS X is too stupid to merge folders. Instead it simply overwrites by deleting the old folder and replacing it with the copied one. Oh-es-then is also too stupid to copy the old folder to your "Trash" bin so you can get back the files you just lost.

In this regard, Window's elegance is so far beyond OS X that it's not even funny. With Windows, mistakes equate to simply having files in the folder you didn't want. In OSX mistakes equate to you no longer having the files at all and being SOL.

Not good...


It's true that if you copy 'folder A' onto another 'folder A', OS X replaces one with the other. This seems logical to me, though, as that's what happens when you copy a file with the same name. It also means that if you drag version 2 of program X into your applications folder, it can overwrite version 1 rather than making some kind of mashed up version 1.5! However, it would be nice if any operating system would provide both types of copy, not just one or the other.

In OS X you can do a Windows-style merge on the command line. Type

cp -Rpv /path/to/source/* /path/to/dest

and files will be merged. If two files of the same name exist, the one in the source will overwrite that of the destination. (See man cp for description of parameters.) If you'd rather have the latest file kept instead, use something like

rsync -avu /path/to/source/ /path/to/dest/


Hmm......... nice post..

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