Don’t Lose Your Media!
Technology is wonderful… until it breaks. If your computer’s hard drive fails, you risk losing everything, including your downloaded media. I have music, videos, and audiobooks from iTunes stored on my computer.
If it ever crashes, I would lose hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars of media. iTunes is not obligated to allow you to re-download any prior purchases, so you could be out of luck. Rather than risk losing it all, back it up.
The first step in backing up your media is choosing what you will use to store your media. You can burn the data to DVDs, though if your collection is as extensive as mine is, it will take several. To find out how many, open iTunes, click File, Library, and Back Up to Disc…
You will then be prompted to choose whether to back up your entire library, only purchased items, or only items added since your last backup.
My preference is to back up everything. Insert a blank disc. By clicking backup, iTunes will then check the library, and let you know how many discs you will require.
If I wished to back up my library, I would have to use 28 DVDs! I could do this, but instead, I will back up to an external hard drive.
External hard drives are quite affordable and can be used to back up tons of data. I use a Western Digital My Book. Believe it or not, all you have to do is locate your iTunes library, copy it, and paste it into your external hard drive! Not sure where your iTunes library is? Right click an item in iTunes, and then click Get Info. At the bottom of the summary, the location is noted.
Navigate to the iTunes folder location. Right click and copy the entire folder.
Now navigate to your external hard drive, right-click and paste. The process can take several hours, depending on the amount of media. Do not shut down your computer during the process.
Other options for backup are using an online data storage service or keeping all of your media on your iPod. Personally, I prefer to use my external hard drive. All of my media will not fit on my iPod and I don’t want to pay for online storage.