Migrating my iTunes Music from Windows to Mac

After the initial joy of playing with a new toy, I decided to start the migration of media files from the old Windows machine to my new Mac Mini.

Google offered many suggestions, most of them requiring an iPod or involving the manual transfer of the files.
Since I do not have a spare iPod Classic, and I consider manual editing of the Library.xml file way too far from the It Just Works motto, I decided for the Home Sharing Import solution, available since iTunes 9 (I’m currently running 9.0.2 on both machines).

The solution is really simple and requires the following steps:

  1. authorize both computers with the same Apple Store account (Store -> Authorize Computer)
  2. enable Home Sharing (Advanced -> Turn On Home Sharing),
  3. on the destination iTunes, in the SHARED section, expand the exported library for browsing,
  4. select all songs,
  5. press the lower right Import button,
  6. wait for the import to complete.


  • the solution is simple and (hopefully) standard, being performed exclusively with interface actions, without any manual file copying or editing
  • the solution should be portable between any combination of Windows and OS/X machines,


  • the ratings, play count, last played fields and playlists ARE NOT COPIED; this is a strange decision from Apple, since those fields are visible on the new machine and migrating them should not be a problem, especially since it is obvious that we are dealing with the same user (remember the authorization step?).

The decision to accept loosing ratings during migration is a tough one. However, since I’m probably at my third (fourth?) migration of my music library, and each and every time I was not able to preserve ratings, I have to admit that I was not very surprised. (Anyway, there were not many ratings, since at a certain point in time I gave up on updating ratings. I’ll revise this decision once Apple will fix the rating update procedure between all iTunes compatible devices).

For conformity, I posted a Topic on the Apple Forum, and I also filed an iTunes Feedback ticket, but I doubt Apple will ever contact me for details.


About Liviu Ionescu (ilg)
Hi! My name is Liviu Ionescu (ilg, ilegeul or eunete for colleagues and friends) and I’m a senior IT engineer. Or should I say a real programmer?

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