My laptop decided not to restart yesterday, so I ended up doing a rescue/restore which took me back to November of last year.
At the same time, I defragged the hard drive and ran one of those 'tune-up' utilities.
Theres no doubt powering on and off is quicker, so it was a job well done from that point of view.
However, the restore blitzed iTunes, which contained the only data I really care about, my music.
Happily, I backed up to my usb drive last week, so it should all be on there.
Will it be straightforward to restore my data - the music files - from the back-up drive?
At the moment, there's no copy of iTunes on the laptop.
My plan is to download one, before plugging in the usb drive, so the drive has somewhere to put all the music files.
I'll be using the 'back-up and restore center' utility which is part of Windows Vista.
Most of my computing is 'click and hope', but I really don't want to mess this up, so any tips will be appreciated.
I've always assumed iTunes is just a "browser" of music files, i.e., provides an index to them and acts as a player. The actual music files remain where they are. I keep my music files on external drives whilst the iTunes index files are on my laptop or desktop. This is similar to Lightroom with photographs - photos on external drives, catalogue files on computers. Rebuilding the iTunes indices is then just a "go and make a cup of tea" job.
I'm sure one of our experts will enlighten me!
iTunes will, if left to its own devices, copy any music you try to play into the library if it's not already there.
If you can browse the backup disk, then look for [My Name]MusiciTunesiTunes Library and it may all be in there.
There was a new version of iTunes recently (last couple of weeks) which seemed to involve not just a rebuild of the iTunes database (itunes.itl) but also a visit to each music file - or at least that's what I think it was doing. I suspect it was visiting each file to gather previously ungathered tag information to put in the database. When you download, that's the version you will get.
Go through the options and set them how you want - as mentioned above, iTunes can either copy data files into the default location or not, as specified. If you have lost your iTunes database, best bet would be to got to Edit/Preferences/Advanced, change the location of your iTunes media folder location to where you want it on your C drive, check the box Keep iTunes Media Folder Organised and Copy file to iTunes Media folder when adding to library then do File/Add Folder to Library, point it at your backup then let it copy all the files and build the database at the same time. (NB It does a copy, not cut)
Thanks for the replies.
I'm sure Smokie is spot on, but following that for a computer duffer like me is not easy.
I shall be making an attempt at this little job later on.
Can't say I am looking forward to it.
Managed to reload the library so all is well.
It went like this:
I downloaded a fresh copy of iTunes.
Plugged in my usb drive which had on it a routine back-up done last week.
The Windows back-up and restore centre has an option to restore folders.
One of these folders was 'iTunes media', so I restored that one.
The iTunes program has an option to 'add folder' to its library.
So I told it to add the iTunes media folder to its library, which it did.
Good result, and easier to do than I thought it might be.
I reckon I might be able to persuade the usb drive to 'restore' my iTunes media folder to another computer.
That could be handy if I ever manage to persuade PC World to part with that netbook I fancy.
"I reckon I might be able to persuade the usb drive to 'restore' my iTunes media folder to another computer."
Of course you can. Easy peasy ain't it?
...Of course you can. Easy peasy ain't it?...
Easy to get into a muddle in my case.
My iPod is now saying it can only sync to one computer, so I'm not sure loading my library onto another computer would help me much.
I could play the songs direct from that computer, I suppose, or buy another iPod.
It's slightly eerie to discover iTunes knows what I've been up to.