3 Best Ways to Export iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

By Noah Brown

Updated on August 9, 2021

Since Apple decides to develop its streaming business, you are not able to use iTunes with macOS Catalina anymore. Your music, videos, podcasts, and audiobooks are organized into their own dedicated apps — Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books. However, if you have a PC, you can continue to use iTunes for Windows to manage your media library and make purchases.

Although you can use iTunes to manage your media library on a PC, you would find that all of your music, videos, podcasts, and audiobooks in the library cannot be played out of iTunes. To make your audio files from the iTunes library playable on other devices or players, the best method is to export iTunes library to external hard drive. Want to move iTunes library to external hard drive? Check out our other guide on how to get it done.


Part 1. How to Move iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

Due to the specificity of iTunes media, it is not easy to complete the transferring of iTunes library to external hard drive. Before transferring iTunes library to external hard drive, you should figure out why you cannot freely play iTunes media on other devices or players. For commercial protection purposes, all the music from iTunes is protected by digital rights management. Thus, you can move them to other places for playing.

No matter you purchase music from iTunes or add your favorites from Apple Music to iTunes library, in fact, you don’t own these music tracks. You are only allowed to listen to your iTunes library on a device with the Apple Music app. When you try to backup iTunes library to external hard drive, a prompt will pop up to tell you that you can not export protected files. So, you can only use a third-party tool like Tunelf Audio Converter to process.

Move iTunes Library to External Hard Drive Windows & Mac

Tunelf Audio Converter is a powerful and professional audio converter that is developed for the conversion of special audios like iTunes audios and common audio files to six popular audio formats. Here’s a detailed rundown of all the features in Tunelf Audio Converter.

1. Sound Quality: 192kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps

2. Audio Format: MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, M4A, M4B

3. Conversion Speed: 30× or 1×

4. Audio Parameters: output format, channel, sample rate, and bit rate

5. Downloadable Contents: Apple Music, iTunes music, Apple audiobooks, Audible books, and common audio files

Key Features of Tunelf Audio Converter

  • Remove built-in DRM protection from Audible, Apple Music, and iTunes
  • Convert Apple Music, iTunes audios, and Audible books to MP3 and more
  • Cut large Audible or iTunes audiobooks into small segments by chapters
  • Keep audios with ID3 tags and lossless audio quality at 30× faster speed

Before jumping into creating a Snap Group, you need to first create a Snap layout to multitask with. You can do this in a few simple steps. 

Step 1 Drag iTunes audio files to TunesKit

First of all, install Tunelf Audio Converter on your computer. Then launch the software and it will load Apple Music or iTunes automatically. Note that all songs from iTunes can be converted by Tunelf Audio Converter but you need to make sure that your iTunes audios can be played on your computer first. Now select songs you want to transfer and add them to the conversion list by drag-and-drop.

audio converter interface

Step 2 Set MP3 as the output audio format

Next, go to select the audio format and set the output parameters by clicking the Format panel. In this window, you can select the MP3 option from the list of audio formats. From there, you can also set the bit rate, sample rate, codec, and channel for getting better audio quality. Once you’re satisfied with your settings, click the OK button, and then go back to the interface of Tunelf software.

select output format

Step 3 Start converting iTunes library to MP3

Click the Convert button on the bottom right corner to initiate the conversion of songs from iTunes library. When the conversion process finishes, your files will be saved to your default downloads folder. By clicking on the Converted icon, you’ll navigate to browse the converted songs in the history list. Now you can prepare to transfer your songs to other devices or upload them to other platforms for playing.

add audio files to converter

In addition, you can also use TunesKit Audio Converter to handle the conversion of Apple Music, Apple audiobooks, and Audible books. Then you can freely play them on any device you like without limits.


Part 2. How to Export iTunes Library to External Hard Drive with iTunes

Tunelf Audio Converter enables you to export protected iTunes music to external hard drive. But if music in your iTunes library is in the unprotected format, you can directly transfer them to external hard drive within iTunes. Open iTunes on your computer, then follow the below steps to export iTunes library to external hard drive.

Step 1 Consolidate iTunes Library

1) From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen or at the top of the iTunes window, choose  File > Library > Organize Library.

2) Select Consolidate files then click OK.

Step 2 Find the iTunes Media folder

To find your iTunes Media folder in your iTunes folder, go to User > Music > iTunes > iTunes Media. If you cannot find it in the above location, just

1) From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose EditPreferences.

2) Click the Advanced tab

3) Look in the box under “iTunes Media folder location” for the location of your iTunes Media folder.

Step 3 Back up your library and media files

After you consolidate your media files, you can back up your iTunes library to an external drive.

1) Quit iTunes and find your iTunes folder.

2) Right-click on your iTunes folder, then choose Copy.

3) Go to your external hard drive, then right-click and choose Paste.


Part 3. How to Save iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

In addition to Tunelf Audio Converter, you can back up protected iTunes music by a streaming music recording tool. TunesKit Audio Capture is an essential multitasking tool that’s perfect for the recording of audio being played on your computer. Here’s the instruction on how to use TunesKit Audio Capture to export iTunes library to external hard drive.

TunesKit Audio Capture

Step 1. Go to open TunesKit Audio Capture

Fire up TunesKit software on your computer and you’ll see a list of some programs like iTunes displayed on the main home of TunesKit software. Now you need to check whether iTunes is listed on the interface of TunesKit. If not, you could click the “+” icon to add iTunes to TunesKit software.

Step 2. Choose your output audio format

Back to the interface of TunesKit software, you can click on the Format button and then go to set the output audio format. There are six popular audio formats for you to choose from, including MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, M4A, and M4B. In addition, you can adjust the output audio quality from the aspect of bit rate and sample rate.

Step 3. Finish recording music from Hype Machine

After completing the set of the output audio, you could go back to the interface of TunesKit software and open iTunes from TunesKit software. Then go into the iTunes library and browse your favorite playlists or albums in the library. You need to choose one to play, so TunesKit software will begin recording music.

Step 4. Save the recorded music to your computer

The final step is to customize your music tracks recorded from the iTunes library. You can click on the Edit icon at the rear of each track to trim and cut the recorded audio. When everything is done, select Save to save all the recorded music tracks to your computer. Then you can start transferring the converted iTunes music to other devices or players for playing.


Conclusion

Keeping with the simplistic methods introduced in the post, it’s easy to export unprotected or protected iTunes music to the external hard drive. If you have purchased lots of music tracks from iTunes, it’s time to process the transferring of the iTunes library to an external hard drive. You can now enjoy iTunes music on any device you like and get the most out of your iTunes library.

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