4. Migrate an existing iTunes library or create a new one


Why is this important?

Many users already have iTunes running on their PC or laptop.  Some users have iTunes already running on their servers.
This topic discusses whether you should migrate an existing iTunes library to your server and provides some hints to migrate successfully.
If you migrate an existing iTunes library (and by this we mean specifically, an existing iTunes library database), you need to ensure the guidelines around file naming conventions, etc have been followed - e.g. you should check that existing media was added using UNC naming conventions.  If not, you need to understand how your iTunes library references its media to avoid creating duplicate tracks if you then later set up Watch Folders.
Remember there are multiple components to an iTunes installation. 

Migrating an iTunes library

If you already have an iTunes library on another PC, you can migrate this to your server using Apple's recommended approach of consolidating your media into your iTunes Media Library and then copying the whole folder structure to your server.  Ensure you have set the target iTunes server's preferences up so that the iTunes Media Folder is in the right location with sufficient disk space first.  For further information, please refer to this Apple guidance

Creating a new iTunes library

If you know where your media is, you can instead set up a brand new iTunes library on your server.  Subsequently, copy over the media files from your original PC to the location where you want to store your media.  Then set up iHomeServer Watch Folders to bulk import the media into the new instance of iTunes on your server.
Recreating your iTunes library in this fashion will not, however, copy over your ratings, play counts or playlists.  If you wish these to be copied across as well, you can use the iHomeServer Ratings, Play Counts and Playlist Importer window to merge this information into your server's new library.
Note that with both models, if you wish to sync an iOS device to your server, iTunes will detect that the iOS device is sync'd with a different iTunes instance (your PC one) and will ask you to "Erase and Sync" which will erase the contents before resyncing.  If you search the internet there are ways of avoiding this by ensuring your media library's internal IDs stay the same.  Whilst some of these methods, doing so is against Apple recommendations.