Backing Up iTunes?

Hi. I backed-up my library in March and now want to update the 1,000+ songs I've added.

I created a SmartPlaylist with Date Added After March but got to thinking about the songs in the Library that have been modified, i.e., chart position, renames, etc. based on my continued research. I then added to the SmartPlayList a Dated Modifed After March and got 12,000+ songs (my whole Library).

Apparently, Date Modified doesn't mean what I think it does. Is there a way to back-up changes made to songs already in the Library and backed-up that I'm not figuring out?

Lastly, will someone confirm that I have to live with just backing-up new adds rather than a comprehensive back-up that I want.


by mdtoipod on Jul 27, 05 | 12:34 am


I have your solution if you're a Mac user (Windows users have the same files, I think, but I don't know where they're stored).

Your preferences, playlists, and ratings aren't stored with the song files themselves. Fortunately, they're really easy to find.

Back up these two files (~ is your Home folder name):

~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library
~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml

These two files contain the information you're trying to store. Mine are about 4MB for a iTunes library of 15GB. You can periodically burn them to disk or back them up during your periodic system backups. You have a system backup strategy, right? :-)

Keep backing up your song files with the SPL 'Date Added After X' method. Get the two files above also, and you'll have the comprehensive backup you're seeking.

by lambchop on Jul 29, 05 | 2:33 am

lambchop, thanks much. kinda figured I was missing something.

by mdtoipod on Jul 29, 05 | 3:31 am

On the Windows side of things...
C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\My Documents\My Music\iTunes
(obviously if your name is not Eric then that part would be different).

I personally keep a shortcut link to this folder on the desktop, along with two backup folders and one folder on my ipod.

The reason for two backup folders...
About 6 months ago I lost alot of my iTunes data by only having 1 folder backing up because i copied iTunes data to the folder and then when i opened iTunes i came to find that something happened and my library was all gone!

Now with two folders I have the ability to go back one saved session. The reason for the one on the iPod is just to have an offsite spot for my data.

by genEric on Jul 30, 05 | 11:54 pm

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