How ya like dem apples?
July 17, 2008 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Brand new Mac convert - haven't used one since the IISE back in college. So far I love it but I have some questions about converting my peripherals or moving data like music, etc.

So I bought a Macbook Pro. I have a self-built PC at home. All of my peripherals including digital film scanner, photo printer, color diagnostics, external storage, iPod, etc are PC. I'm going to slowly start migrating stuff over. So with that in mind, two questions:

1) How do I get my music that is stored in my PC formatted iPod or iTunes folders into my Mac so I can at least use the mac to play my music through iTunes?

2) Is it possible to reformat my iPod for the mac and have it function properly with the dock that I have? Or do I need to buy a mac specific doc?

posted by spicynuts to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
I've moved my iTunes folders back & forth between my Macs and PC with no problems, but then, I have everything stored as MP3 files, not MP4 or AAC.

I've also moved my USB iPod dock back & forth between the Mac & PC. This does require you to reformat the drive & I think you can only use it on one platform. (At least I can only sync with one platform.) This only takes a matter of minutes though, and only needs to be done once. And, my experience is that the little buggers prefer Mac anyway.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:12 AM on July 17, 2008

the dock will work with either.

On the macbook, under sharing you can enable ftp or smb access, so you can just ftp the files over from your windows machine (I just use ftp instead of smb, since it is just a one time thing). Once you turn it on, on the windows machine go to:
ftp://youmacsipaddress and use your macs username/password to login.

you may be able to get away with replacing the itunes folder in the Music folder with the one from the pc, or you can just drag all songs into itunes and have to regenerate a library.

You wont have to reformat your 'pc' ipod as the mac will work with it fine.

Apple's guide to switching.

Lifehacker's Guide
posted by mrzarquon at 11:16 AM on July 17, 2008

Re iPod, you're thinking about it sort of backwards. Forget the iPod and what's on it for a moment and worry about moving your iTunes library to your Mac. Once you're done doing that, and it all works, plug in your iPod, reformat it on your Mac, and re-sync from scratch.

Apple considers an iPod to be a "partial copy" of info that's actually elsewhere. That's the origin of the Pod name. It reflects the data you have on your PC, per a bunch of syncing rules, but it's always a copy of that data.

Copying the actual Library folder (of songs), then letting iTunes rebuild a new library, is the best way to go. Like a hard disk defrag, this cleans out a lot of junk in the library data.

All this will be easier if the two machines are networked or if you have a big spare drive to use as a cargo container.

There are no PC or Mac-specific (official) iPod accessories. They're all universal. The dock is nothing special, there's nothing in there. It's just a cable with some extra plastic to hold the iPod upright and some weight to keep it on the desk.

As for other stuff, almost all peripherals will work, if they're USB or FireWire, and Macs find drives pretty automagically. It's rare you need to go find one. The only common exception are very cheap webcams that rely on Windows-only drivers or WMP to function.

Also there's no such thing as a Mac IISE but I'm just razzing you now.
posted by rokusan at 11:36 AM on July 17, 2008

Apple II SE
posted by spicynuts at 11:50 AM on July 17, 2008

Ok you are right, that's a Mac SE, not an Apple II.
posted by spicynuts at 11:51 AM on July 17, 2008

Senuti is great for copying music from your iPod to your Mac. It can even automagically add the music to your iTunes library.
posted by sveskemus at 11:59 AM on July 17, 2008

piggybacking on the OQ: is there some way to migrate the ratings/playcounts/playlists/etc. in my iTunes library file from PC to Mac?
posted by harkin banks at 12:28 PM on July 17, 2008

(Probably thinking of the Mac IIsi)
posted by designbot at 12:38 PM on July 17, 2008

If you transfer the whole iTunes library to where the Mac expects it, and rename the library file to the proper name (I think you have to remove an extension) and launch Mac iTunes, it should convert the library file in situ, preserving your ratings and playlists. The catch is that since the music files are in a different absolut path, you'll have to find the first one that you play on the filesystem before the library works completely.
posted by tomierna at 12:43 PM on July 17, 2008

If you have an XP Pro machine, and know your account name and password, share out whatever folders you need (you may have to enable file sharing).
Then on the Mac, make sure Finder is active on the menubar, then hit Command-K (also under Go, Connect to Server). The connect to server dialog comes up and you just type smb://computername (note the forward// slashes, not back\\ slashes like Windows likes to use)
It will prompt you for the username and password (for windows), then show you a list of all shares on the PC. You should have access to make changes to files and folders from your Mac as well.
posted by ijoyner at 1:32 PM on July 17, 2008

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