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How to Copy Music from Old Mac to new Mac

Posted on 2016-08-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-09-15
I am not familiar with Apple products except my iphone. A client wants me to copy music from her old Mac to her New Mac.  I have a USB Seagate external drive of 5TB but it is currently formatted with NTFS. I have a wireless network and ethernet cables. I have done some research and I think the best way would over a network, but I am not sure. I would like some fool proof instructions. Thanks,
Question by:jdfreeman2000
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 41764789
an external drive in NTFS format can be written by OSX by default, if the required third-party driver is not installed. you actually don't need an external drive if the two Macs can be sit side by side (using a crossover cable to connect each other for best performance), or simply connected to the same network.

as for copying the music from one Mac to the other, open iTunes on the source Mac, select all songs and drag them to a Shared folder in Finder. from the other Mac, locate the source Mac and its shared folder containing the exported music files and folders, select all of them and drag them into the iTunes on the target Mac.
LVL 41

Accepted Solution

Eoin OSullivan earned 2000 total points
ID: 41764865
If both Macs are already on the same WiFi network then the easiest way is to file transfer over the WiFi.

On the NEW mac open System Preferences .. go to Sharing and ensure File Sharing is enabled.
Take a note of the sharing url listed it will show it on the right side something like "afp://xx.xx.xx.xx"

On the old Mac .. in the Finder .. in the GO menu at the top of the screen .. select Connect to Server and paste in the url you got from the new Mac.

It will prompt for a username and password - enter the username and password which is setup on the NEW mac to allow you to access the Music folder on the new mac.

Now you should be able to copy music and any other files from the OLD to the NEW Mac
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 41766949
You can install OS X Fuse or the free Paragon NTFS for Seagate and you'll be able to write your external drive.  You might as well do it for both your Macs and have a backup copy of the music.


The newer OS X can actually write to NTFS, but you'll have to enable it.  OS X just mounts the NTFS drive as read only, but it's "experimental"  I would just Paragon for you seagate drive.  I've been using OS X Fuse for years, since I read and write multiple types of disks.

Author Comment

ID: 41767894
These answers have led to a couple of questions. One, I have a crossover cable I can use to connect both Macs together, which I assume would be the fastest. How do I then communicate from one Mac to the other? Two, if the new Mac has some music already on it, how to I make the copy from the old while safeguarding the music files on the new? Thanks.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 41767924
> How do I then communicate from one Mac to the other?

I guess you are currently using DHCP for both Macs. option 1 is to manually assign an IP to each Macs. the IPs can't be the same but must be in the same subnet. option 2 is to wait a while for an automatic private IP on each Mac, then go to Preferences > Network to get the IP.

as mentioned above, from one Mac right-click the Finder icon and choose to connect a server, type in the IP of the other Mac, if the other Mac is not fully blocked by its firewall you should be able to see a dialogue box asking you for credential. once authenticated, you will see the shared folders of the Mac.

then l guess you know what to do from here.  

 > if the new Mac has some music already on it...

all new and old songs will be coexisting in the library. you won't miss one though you might need to manually delete he duplicates if any.

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