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Topic: How do I copy iTunes music onto portable hard drive

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Old 08-26-2010, 08:22 PM
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How do I copy iTunes music onto portable hard drive

I just ordered a 250gb Seagate portable hard drive. It should be arriving in a couple of days. I plan to use it to back-up my itunes library of 7300+ songs, because there is no way I want to spend the time re-ripping all of those CDs if anything ever happens to my computer. Can anyone give me/recommend the best steps for copying my library to the portable hard drive? (I still want to keep the original library on my pc (Windows XP) I just want to back it up on the portable hard drive as well.) Thanks in advance to all replies/suggestions.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:20 AM
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I'm glad you are thinking ahead and hope other Windows users post some helpful tips here as well. At this point I may not be much help since I have not used Windows in some time.

I would assume at this point you have everything in your "My Documents" folder. The external drive should come with some back up software you can point to your My Documents folder which should include your music as well as photos and other irreplaceable files. The back up software should let your select folders to back up as well as set how often you want automatic incremental back ups. You do not need to back up the operating system although it is also possible, you already have the disks so this is not that important.



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Old 08-27-2010, 05:30 AM
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Thanks for the reply! I hope it really is that simple. (As you stated, any posts by other Windows users who successfully did this would be greatly appreciated!) Quick question--and sorry for being a newb in all of this--but I'm assuming (hoping) iTunes places everything in the My Documents folder automatically? I went to My Music, opened the iTunes folder, and briefly browsed the folders within (music, podcasts, movies, etc.) and it seemed that everything was in order, but with over 7300 songs and other media a quick inspection cannot quantify that everything is there. Am I correct in my assumption that everything i download or import to iTunes is automatically saved in the itunes folder in My Documents? Is there anything else I need to do like "consolodate files?" (Let it be known that I've only used my CDs, DVDs, and downloads from iTunes to build my library.) Also, the iTunes folder has many sub folders within it--music, games, iTunes library, album artwork, etc.--am I also correct in assuming that copying the main iTunes folder will also copy the many sub-folders and sub-sub-folders within it?!

Thanks for bearing with my newbie questions, but my old computer died a month ago, and I lost all of my pictures. I just started the whole iTunes/iPod thing a couple of weeks ago (I know, a late bloomer), and I don't want to lose my media again, let alone go through the tedious operation of importing 700 CDs again! Thanks in advance to all who respond.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:25 AM
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It is possible for media to live outside of the iTunes Media folder which is set in the iTunes Preferences/Advanced tab. However if you are using the default iTunes settings it should copy everything to the iTunes Media folder. There is always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part all the stuff you want to keep backed up, ie. photos, video, music, documents, should be saved in the My Documents folder. I should also note that if you back up everything in your "user name/Documents and Settings" folder this would probably also include emails, saved games and other good stuff.

On my Mac I simply back up my "User" folder which is all I need. The User folder includes important documents, email, calendars, contacts, irreplaceable personal video, photos and music along with all my other . This is done automatically once a week using Carbon Copy Cloner. Once the initial back up is made the incremental back ups are only made for new or modified files only. On the Mac we also have an app called Time Machine that makes back ups every hour of the changes to the computer which I have backing up to a separate drive from the CCC back up.

Since my video collection is fast approaching 3TBs I'm trusting it to a Drobo which has 4 hard drives which can still save data even if one drive fails. This video is not included in the other 2 back ups. Even though it would hurt, it would not be the end of the world if I lost the video on the Drobo. It would give me a reason to re-rip the DVDs to higher quality.



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Old 08-27-2010, 12:27 PM
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On my XP machine I just backed up the whole C:\Documents and settings\user name\ folder. In 7 I back up the whole of my User folder.

If the drive doesn't come with software there are free options around. I use Comodo backup - a little fiddly to set up but works well with a built in scheduler.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:11 AM
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UPDATE: Everything is backed-up. It really was as simply as dragging and dropping the desired folders to the external hard drive icon. Thanks to all who offered suggestions/recommendations!
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