How do I transfer my old music collection to my new computer?
August 29, 2006 5:55 PM   Subscribe

I just bought a new laptop for school. How do I transfer my music/video library from my old computer to my new one?

I just bought a new laptop and have gone my first week at school sans music. I'm going back this weekend and I need to transfer my library. I'm trying to avoid spending loads of extra money, as well as using tons of blank cds and burning my entire library that way. Also, I don't have an iPod so using that as an external hardrive is out of the question. Thanks for your input!
posted by dward88 to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In the past, I've used a cross-over cable to do this type of thing, especially when my older computer did not have USB or wireless capabilities. They are easy to find and relatively cheap in electronic stores (under $5). They're really cheap if you make your own. It's basically just a regular ethernet cable with one end reversed.

The cable allows you to directly connect the computers into a network and transfer files. Speeds are quite good and this has always been an efficient method of transferring files for me.
posted by galimatias at 6:01 PM on August 29, 2006

I'm guessing that if you have multiple computers, you have a router at home, and a home network. Plug them both in, set up some network shares, and drag and drop. It'll take a while for a large collection, but it's the simplest method.
posted by chrisamiller at 6:06 PM on August 29, 2006

See Also
posted by hatsix at 6:19 PM on August 29, 2006

I've done the same thing many times with crossover cables as well, in XP. I assume it's not much different with other operating systems. Cheap, relatively easy, and there are many how-tos googleable.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:20 PM on August 29, 2006

If both computers are relatively new, you shouldn't even need a crossover cable. Most new Ethernet cards can sense whether they need to enter a "crossover mode" and will do so automatically.
posted by cmyers at 6:22 PM on August 29, 2006

A few years ago I did this with AOL Instant Messenger's file-sending feature. I would recommend not trying this; it worked, but it took about 60 hours to do two or three dozen GB.
posted by danb at 7:03 PM on August 29, 2006

you probably don't have a mac since you didn't mention it, but if you do, boot one while holding down "t" to put it in firewire target disk mode -- then connect a firewire cable to it and it will act like an external hard drive.
posted by advil at 7:04 PM on August 29, 2006

I used a big jump drive and transferred it in batches.
posted by chickletworks at 7:31 PM on August 29, 2006

FolderShare - it is free and works well. Install it on both computers and your music collection will be synced. I use it for sharing my MP3s between my work and home computers and my husband's work and home computers, too.
posted by acridrabbit at 6:46 AM on August 30, 2006

I just had a similar quandary after I had to reinstall windows. I'm sure you, or someone you know, has an ipod-type device. These usually have 30 gigabytes or more of storage, so its likely that the device is half full, or even emptier. It should be adequate for your needs to transfer 15 gigabytes at a time. Also faster because of USB 2.0. I transferred about 20 gigabytes worth in 40 minutes if you want to get some idea of speed.

Good luck.
posted by jourman2 at 9:02 AM on August 30, 2006

Easiest way would be some sort of networking and file sharing/transfers, as others've said.

If inserting cables into your computer strikes unimaginable fears, you may want to invest in a memory stick. With prices falling from the roof it shouldn't cost much more than 50 or so for 1~2GB drives, and I can almost guarantee that they'll be of good use during the schoolyear as well, as it'll make transport of documents and such VERY convenient when you have to work on university PCs and not on your own. Network outages tend to occur at the timeliest moments, so it never hurts to have alternative methods of transport such as this.
posted by Muu at 10:12 AM on August 30, 2006

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