How to Switch Pictures and Music from PC to Mac

So they finally convinced you. All of those hippie Apple friends of yours finally convinced you to go out and buy a Mac. And they were right, because Macs aren’t just for hippies and teachers anymore. Macs are great computers and pretty soon you’ll be glad you have one.  For now though, you’ve just realized the first of your hurdles. Your new Mac might be cool, but all of your STUFF is still sitting over there on your PC. So how do you move it over, especially you photos and music? Read on.

There are third party software packages out there written specifically for moving files from a PC to a Mac. Some even come with a “special” USB cable for doing the job. If you want to go that route you’re more than welcome, but you’ll have more control over the process if you do it yourself. The choice is yours.How to move your pictures:

The Cloud – The cloud is your friend. And what the heck is the cloud? It’s a fancy way of referring to the fully self contained web applications on the internet. The cloud will likely not be of much help with your music collection (unless you acquired every single song you own from a particular site that allows you to fully restore your collection). What the cloud is good for is pictures. Popular sites like Flickr, Picasa, and SmugMug are great sites for storing your pictures. Why is this so great when it comes to changing computers? Because if all of your pictures are stored on one of these services then you don’t have to move them. Any machine with an internet connection can already view them. Apple’s own cloud program is known as MobileMe and can be found at: apple.com/mobileme/

Recordable Medium – At the end of the day, pictures are ridiculously easy to move. They don’t have anti-piracy technology and any images a Windows machine can read, a Mac machine can read as well. What does this mean? It means all you have to do is copy your files onto some sort of recordable medium such as a flash drive, external hard drive, or burnable CD/DVD. Then, just plug that recordable medium file into your Mac and copy the files over to your Mac’s “Pictures” folder

Direct Transfer
– If you want to get fancy you can also network your PC and Mac together then copy the files directly over.How to move your music:

Non-DRM Music
–In other words, MP3’s (and any other music file that has no form of anti-piracy technology). Files like these are as easy to move as pictures, so the “recordable medium” and “direct transfer” suggestions above will apply here as well. There are, however, two heads up. Mac’s might need you to install a third party player for certain music files such as Ogg Vorbis.  Second, iTunes, which is the Mac’s default music player can play mp3’s without a problem. What it will do by default though is copy the MP3’s you play into it’s own library.  This is fine. It’s literally just copying your MP3 into a different directory on the machine. Once you’ve moved all of your MP3’s over, I would in fact recommend loading them all into iTunes so it can copy them, then deleting the original files you moved over.

Zune
– You’repretty much out of luck. Microsoft currently doesn’t support Zune software for the Mac, unlike Apple which supports iTunes for Windows. The one work around is this. Burn your songs to a CD then rip that CD on your Mac. You will lose audio quality doing this, but currently it’s the only real solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

iTunes
– You can manually move your files over the way you would your pictures and MP3’s. The only difference is you’ll have to authorize your computer to play your iTunes purchased songs. Look up at iTunes menu and click “Advanced”, the authorization tool should be there. Getting back to moving the files though, for a lot of us our iTunes collections consist of multiple playlists and ratings we don’t want to lose. If that’s the case then I recommend checking out Lifehacker.com’s guide to moving your iTunes library.

It can be found here:
lifehacker.com/software/itunes/geek-to-live–how-to-move-an-itunes-library-from-a-pc-to-mac-and-back-242468.php

Until you get your stuff moved over, a new computer can feel like a house without any furniture. Hopefully the tips above will help you with “moving in”. Good luck!

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