Saturday, February 23, 2008

Backing up beaTunes data

beaTunes LogoEvery now and then, users of beaTunes ask us, how they can back up their data. The answer to this is twofold. If you just want to protect your beaTunes data, assuming that the iTunes library stays intact, it is enough to back up the beaTunes data directory. On OS X it is located at ~/Library/Application Support/beaTunes, on Windows it's at C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\.beaTunes. Unfortunately this does not work, when your iTunes music library was corrupted. Here's why: beaTunes connects additional information to iTunes using iTunes generated persistent ids. Should you have to rebuild your iTunes music collection, these persistent ids will be re-generated, thus the connection with your beaTunes data is lost.

So how to back up beaTunes data then? Currently the best approach is to look up as many PUIDs for your songs as possible. This can be achieved with the MusicIP analysis.

You are presented with the analysis option above, everytime you analyze a song. Just check the options indicated above and beaTunes will look up music fingerprints (aka PUID) for the songs you want to analyze. Once you have the PUIDs for all your songs, export the beaTunes metadata. Just select your library and click on the File -> Export menu item

Then save the metadata file somewhere safe. Should you need to import them, use the File -> Import menu item. BTW, this is also a handy way to exchange metadata with friends.

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