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Topic: Consolidating multiple iPods & music into one iTunes

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Old 09-07-2010, 04:52 PM
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Consolidating multiple iPods & music into one iTunes

I did some search but not 100% sure how to do the following safely.

I got multiple music libraries across computers and iPods, and need to consolidate them all somehow. Please help me how to do the following, as I am afraid of over-writing my iPod music.


- Three iPods (Classic, Touch, Nano)
- Two Computers (work laptop, home PC)
- One library of music on external HDD
- Pod Classic USED to be synced to home PC, but I added some music from a friends Laptop and now it is NOT in sync with iTunes data on home PC.
- Pod Touch is in sync with laptop computer iTunes
- Pod Nano has some of the laptop computer music plus some other songs
- HDD music is a mix of laptop music, home PC, and ADDITIONAL music



What I wanna do is the following:
  1. Consolidate ALL of my music from all sources into one main library, and to maintain it on BOTH laptop and PC.
  2. Sync iPod Classic to HOME PC
  3. Sync iPod Touch to BOTH Home PC and Laptop
  4. Sync iPod Nano to BOTH home PC and Laptop
  5. Ability to add music on laptop, and then to bring it over to home PC and vice versa

I got the following quesitons:
  1. Is it even possible to maintain and iPod between two PCs? and ensure no data is lost during sync process?
  2. Whta's the best way to consolidate all of my various data together? how do I de-dupe it?
  3. How do I get the data off the non-sync iPod classic down to PC to build the library?

Thanks for all the help and pointers and if this is explained somewhere, please excuse ignorance, I just couldn't find an easy answer searching around.

Cheers!
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:17 PM
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Wants:
1. This is highly manual. There may be some tools that can help, but be prepared for a lot of work.
2. No problem
3 & 4. You can't auto-sync to more than 1 system.
5. Also a manual process.

Questions:
1. No.
2. Manually.
3. See the iLounge Article on: Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide | iLounge Article



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews View Post
Wants:
1. This is highly manual. There may be some tools that can help, but be prepared for a lot of work.
2. No problem
3 & 4. You can't auto-sync to more than 1 system.
5. Also a manual process.

Questions:
1. No.
2. Manually.
3. See the iLounge Article on: Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide | iLounge Article
Thanks for your help.

Now, on syncing between two PCs. I understand you can't Auto-sync, but if I did the following (manual syncing) what happens:
  1. 100 songs PC --> Ipod
  2. 100 songs PC --> Laptop
  3. Added 5 songs --> Laptop
  4. Manual Sync Laptop --> iPod
  5. Auto Sync PC--> iPod

What would the result be?
  1. iPod to have 105 songs, PC to have 105 Songs
  2. iPod to have 105 songs, PC to still have 100 songs as before
  3. iPod to go BACK to 100 songs, overwritten by PC (5 songs removed)

I believe the result would be #2, right?
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:28 AM
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1. iPod would have 100 songs
2. Laptop would have 100 songs
3. Laptop would have 105 songs
4. iPod would have 105 songs.
5. iPod would have 100 songs.

So your #3 result would be correct.

If you want #2 you would have to use manual sync with the PC.



Have you backed up your iTunes Library this week? If not, you are risking losing your music and playlists....
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews View Post
1. iPod would have 100 songs
2. Laptop would have 100 songs
3. Laptop would have 105 songs
4. iPod would have 105 songs.
5. iPod would have 100 songs.

So your #3 result would be correct.

If you want #2 you would have to use manual sync with the PC.
Ok, thanks, so basically the Autosync NOT ONLY adds new songs from library to iPod, but also REMOVES new songs from iPod that are NOT in the Library?

If so, that's retarted! I knew you couldn't transfter off iPod to iTunes, but for iTunes to automatically remove songs off your iPod is just plain stupid!
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:49 AM
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Thanks a lot for this link, pretty much explained all I needed to know!
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexb1 View Post
Ok, thanks, so basically the Autosync NOT ONLY adds new songs from library to iPod, but also REMOVES new songs from iPod that are NOT in the Library?

If so, that's retarted! I knew you couldn't transfter off iPod to iTunes, but for iTunes to automatically remove songs off your iPod is just plain stupid!
Yeah, Apple kinda designed the iPods to behave like a mirror of one's iTunes library if configured in "auto-sync" mode.

Except
for apps-sync-ing. Even when my iPod is configured in "auto-sync" mode, if there're apps on my Touch that is NOT in my iTunes library yet/not longer in my iTunes library, iTunes will prompt me with the option to transfer the app(s) from the iPod upstream to the iTunes library.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnews View Post
Wants:
1. This is highly manual. There may be some tools that can help, but be prepared for a lot of work.
2. No problem
3 & 4. You can't auto-sync to more than 1 system.
5. Also a manual process.

Questions:
1. No.
2. Manually.
3. See the iLounge Article on: Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide | iLounge Article
You're right, i.e. while possible, it is a lot of manual work. I accomplished something similar to what the threadstarter wants, i.e. have one single library of music, one single iTunes library (database), to be managed from 2 computers; and my iPod is able to sync to both.

Basically my iTunes library (database) files are hosted on Dropbox, and my actual music files are all in an external hard drive. This way, any "physical" modification to the library, i.e. adding new songs, downloading new podcasts & apps, are contained to one destination, i.e. the external hard drive. Any changes to the iTunes library database are sync-ed to the version that is hosted on my Dropbox account.

Here's the long version of how I accomplish it (look for "UPDATE #1", & read its 2 following paragraphs.

The downside is on both my computers I have to ensure the iTunes library database files are sync-ed before I launch iTunes on any computer, to avoid using iTunes with an outdated library file. This is a compromise I've to accept if I want any additional computers to be able to manage my iPod when my external hard drive is not by my side (when I'm on the go with my netbook).

alex, my response to you in blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexb1 View Post
  1. Consolidate ALL of my music from all sources into one main library, and to maintain it on BOTH laptop and PC.

    Possible: place all your songs (literally from all your currents sources) into one (portable) external hard disk. & since you wanna "maintain it" from both laptop and PC, it is necessary that your iTunes library database files (those xml, itl, etc) be on this external HDD as well. I believe iLounge has a couple of articles telling you how to accomplish this.

    & here's the guide, "Transferring your iTunes Library"

  2. Sync iPod Classic to HOME PC

    Confused: is there any reason why you wish to sync your Classic to only your home PC?
  3. Sync iPod Touch to BOTH Home PC and Laptop
  4. Sync iPod Nano to BOTH home PC and Laptop

    Easy: once you move everything (especially your iTunes library database files) to one single source (I suggest that portable external HDD). Easy because now there is only ONE iTunes library. Sync-ing multiple devices to one library is easy (after all, Apple wants you to buy more than one iDevice). It is sync-ing one device to multiple libraries that is tricky (not your concern here).
  5. Ability to add music on laptop, and then to bring it over to home PC and vice versa

Easy: since adding music from either your laptop or home PC is simply adding to your one single external HDD.


I got the following quesitons:
  1. Is it even possible to maintain and iPod between two PCs? and ensure no data is lost during sync process?

    Either use my online sync tool method (ala Dropbox) or put your iTunes library database files (& the actual songs) on one external portable HDD, like I'd mentioned above.

    The external HDD method is "safer" to prevent "out-of-sync" libraries.

  2. Whta's the best way to consolidate all of my various data together? how do I de-dupe it?

    There's a guide on iLounge. In fact I tink it's one of the sections in the earlier ilounge article above.
  3. How do I get the data off the non-sync iPod classic down to PC to build the library?

This should be easy, there should a guide on iLounge, i.e. look for keywords like PC crash, recover songs from iPod.

& I found this guide for you as well, "Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer - The Definitive Guide"

As always, BACKUP your songs & iTunes libraries database files in their individual locations (do not merge all of them yet) & do NOT sync your iPod until you're sure everything is as you wanted.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:42 AM
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralliart122010 View Post
Except[/I] for apps-sync-ing. Even when my iPod is configured in "auto-sync" mode, if there're apps on my Touch that is NOT in my iTunes library yet/not longer in my iTunes library, iTunes will prompt me with the option to transfer the app(s) from the iPod upstream to the iTunes library.
Actually, that applies to any content on an iPod that has been purchased from the iTunes Store, so long as your computer is authorized for that content. Music, Movies and TV Shows will transfer back in the same manner as Apps.

Note that if you're using iTunes 9 or later and both computers are on the same network, you can use Home Sharing to keep the content in sync between both iTunes libraries, but you will still only be able to auto-sync your iPod with one of those libraries. The information on which iPods are synced with a given iTunes library is stored in the database itself.

Personally, I gave up long ago on trying to sync my iPods with more than one computer. When I was primarily a laptop user, I used an external hard drive or network share when I was at my desk but kept the actual library database on the laptop, which allowed me to sync my iPod while on the road regardless of whether the content was actually available -- iTunes will not remove a track from an auto-synced iPod as long as the track remains listed in the library database. I could even add new tracks while away from my desk -- they'd simply go the internal hard drive on the laptop and I could use the "Consolidate Files" option later to merge them into my "main" library when I got home. See Transferring your iTunes Library, particularly the note at the end on laptops and external hard drives, for more info.

If you regularly want to add content to your iPod from more than one computer, however, the only simple way to do this is to just leave it in manual mode and drag-and-drop new stuff on.



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Old 09-10-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhollington View Post
Actually, that applies to any content on an iPod that has been purchased from the iTunes Store, so long as your computer is authorized for that content. Music, Movies and TV Shows will transfer back in the same manner as Apps...
Hi admin =)

U mean even for music, TV shows, etc, as long as:

1. purchased from iTunes Store
2. authorize the library/computer with the right account before connecting iPod


iTunes will prompt me to transfer back upstream any purchased content detected on the iPod to the computer? But what if the iTunes is installed on a new computer, i.e. new blank iTunes library? Will these purchased content be imported/added to the new, blank library?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhollington View Post
...Personally, I gave up long ago on trying to sync my iPods with more than one computer. When I was primarily a laptop user, I used an external hard drive or network share when I was at my desk but kept the actual library database on the laptop, which allowed me to sync my iPod while on the road regardless of whether the content was actually available -- iTunes will not remove a track from an auto-synced iPod as long as the track remains listed in the library database. I could even add new tracks while away from my desk -- they'd simply go the internal hard drive on the laptop and I could use the "Consolidate Files" option later to merge them into my "main" library when I got home. See Transferring your iTunes Library, particularly the note at the end on laptops and external hard drives, for more info...

Our use case is almost exactly the same
. And, the way I (& u used to) set it up is because I wanna add new podcasts to my iPod when I'm on the go with my netbook (and my disk of music files ain't with me).

And yup, I know of the "won't wipe tracks off the iPod as long as they remain listed on iPod's library" & the "consolidate function pushes new content back to same old music folder when it is connected" features as well. Though I suppose many will not know this. Nonetheless, may I know why have you given this novel & extremely flexible system up?
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralliart122010 View Post
U mean even for music, TV shows, etc, as long as:

1. purchased from iTunes Store
2. authorize the library/computer with the right account before connecting iPod


iTunes will prompt me to transfer back upstream any purchased content detected on the iPod to the computer? But what if the iTunes is installed on a new computer, i.e. new blank iTunes library? Will these purchased content be imported/added to the new, blank library?
The short answer to all of these questions is yes.

Basically, even on a brand new iTunes library, if your computer has been authorized for the iTunes Store account that was originally used to purchase the items on your device, you should actually see a "Transfer Purchases" button appear alongside the "Erase and Sync" option:


You should also see a transfer purchases prompt during an automatic sync with your existing library if you've ever deleted purchased content from your library but still have it on your iPod:


Even when the prompts don't appear, however, you can always find the Transfer Purchases option on the File menu in iTunes, or by right-clicking on your device in the iTunes Devices list.

See the second page of our article onCopying Content from your iPod to your Computer for some more detailed info on how this all works.

The downside of course is that this only works for content that was purchased from the iTunes Store. Very few people have a library comprised exclusively of that type of content. Note that it also doesn't work for podcasts as these don't really come from the iTunes Store itself but from the third-party providers -- iTunes merely provides the directory and download links.

Quote:
Nonetheless, may I know why have you given this novel & extremely flexible system up?
I'm really not as much of a laptop user as I used to be, and more importantly don't travel as much as I did back then. My primary computer is now an iMac that stays on my desk and although I have a MacBook Air for on-the-go use, I rarely have any need to sync my device with it. With the ability to download podcasts and purchase music directly on the iPhone, plugging into iTunes while I'm away from my main computer is almost unnecessary now.



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