Moving to a new computer

Moving data to a new computer can be a challenge.

Folder-Based Libraries

If you are moving from one Mac to another and use the Migration Assistant, things should be fine. Otherwise, simply copy your beaTunes application data to the same location on your new computer. Then make sure that your music files are accessible under the same path. Install (preferably) the same version of beaTunes and you should be set.

From beaTunes 2.1 on, this is where you find beaTunes' application data:

  • OS X: [your_home]/Library/Application Support/beaTunes
  • XP: c:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\tagtraum industries\beaTunes
  • Vista/Windows 7/8: c:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\tagtraum industries\beaTunes

iTunes-/Music-Based Libraries

iTunes-based or Music-based libraries are a little trickier.

If you are moving from one Mac to another and use the Migration Assistant, things should be fine. If not, here is what you should do:

beaTunes4 or later

If you haven't checked the Embed non-iTunes fields box in the general preferences during analysis, you need to embed beaTunes fields into your audio files. As with any mass-operation, it's a good idea to backup your data before you do this. After your backup, on the old machine, go to Tools and select Embed non-iTunes fields. This will write all the data from the beaTunes database directly to your files.

On the new machine, simply install beaTunes and start it. Then choose the library you want to use. beaTunes will read all your keys, BPMs, etc. from your files.

beaTunes3 and earlier:

On the old machine, In beaTunes select your library/Music in the tree view on the left and choose Export from the File menu. It will create a (probably fairly big) XML file.
On the new machine, install the same beaTunes version and make sure it finds your music files and then import the XML file you generated.

As an alternative, if you have always embedded data into the files with beaTunes (using the option in the general prefs), you can run the corresponding analysis task for importing that kind of stuff in beaTunes. In newer beaTunes versions, running the analysis task is not necessary, as data is imported right away, when the new library is created on the new machine.

Please understand that when moving to a new computer, all songs lose their unique iTunes ids. It is through these ids that beaTunes associates data with iTunes songs. The import function tries to re-establish that link. It's the nature of the beast that it does not always work 100%. It should work reasonably well, though. If you want to support the matching process, make sure that most if not all songs have some sort of online resource IDs.

(this article was written for beaTunes 2.1, updated for 3.0, 3.5, and 4)