iTunes Backup made easy

By | September 12, 2006

 iTunes Backup

One of the most viewed articles on One Digital Life, is this tutorial on how to effectively backup your iTunes music library, and keep future backups organized. Well, with iTunes 7, that procedure is no longer necessary.

Under the File pull-down menu, Apple has added a new item called “Back Up to Disc…”. It even has a checkbox for excluding items that you’ve already backed up. This is a great new feature. Thanks Apple!

Found via TUAW


Jackieann on July 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm.

I cannot backup my library. It analyzes my library and tells me how many disks I need. Then I insert a blank DVD…it says that it is initializing and burning the disk but then, after a few seconds, the disc is ejected and it tells me to insert a blank disc. I have tried different brands of discs and different formats (DVD+R and DVD-R) but keep getting the same message. Please help! Thanks.

Gsgoody on July 10, 2007 at 2:38 pm.

I’m having exactly the same problem. I have used DVD-Rs and CD-Rs to try and get the job done. ONE time it made the first CD but then wouldn’t take a second (out of 19 it needed to complete the backup). I even took a CD burner from another machine and tried that and got the same error. I removed and reinstalled iTunes already too. I’ve tried backing up my whole library and just new purchases. Same story. I can create audio CD’s with no problem and it will create a data disk of a playlist I create.

FYI – I’m using a PC with Windows XP, not a Mac.

Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated!

Danny R on July 14, 2007 at 8:13 am.

I am having exactly the same issues, can burn DVDs with all other programmes but ITunes just does’nt seem to recognize my blank DVDs???

Amy on July 15, 2007 at 7:21 pm.

Me too. Please help. I’ve tried an external dvd drive and the internal cd drive. Like gsgoody I also got it to make one of nineteen cds. After that no dice. I am also using windows xp. Please, if anyone has resolved this please post.

Amy on July 15, 2007 at 7:25 pm.

I also reinstalled the drivers for the dvd and cd drives so I really think it’s an itunes issue. I’m quitting for tonight…

Danny R on July 16, 2007 at 10:52 am.

After trawling through countless forums and Apples own forums about this issue i decided to take the advice of many and download iTunes 7.2 from and uninstall the problematic 7.3 version i was running.
One hour later i was the proud owner of 3 DVDs worth of backup music files written with ease using V7.2.
I was slightly sceptical about uninstalling and using the old version but im glad i did and wont be upgrading any time soon, may be an older one but it works!!

Amy on July 17, 2007 at 7:15 pm.

Thankyou Danny R. I followed your advice and uninstalled iTunes 7.3 and then installed 7.2 from filehippo. Problem solved. I hope Apple fixes this glitch…

Gary on July 19, 2007 at 10:09 am.

Having the same problem with iTunes 7.3. Try to backup 6.5Gb library on data DVDs, program checks data to be backed up and says if will not all fit on one disc and asks if i would like to have it span multiple discs and mentions that it will take two DVDS. I concur and continue, asks to insert blank disc, checks media, starts to initialize burn for about two seconds, pops disc out and asks for another blank disc, on and on and on. Nothing is being burned to these discs and they are the same quality discs I have used in the past. Guess I will have to try going back to 7.2 as well because I have backed up in the past with no problems.

Becky on July 19, 2007 at 12:46 pm.

Thank you , thank you, thank you!! I uninstalled and downloaded 7.2. Worked like a charm!

Nelson on July 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm.

Thanks for this good information. I thought I was going nuts this weekend.

I’m curious, though, about the downloading of 7.2. Do you have to uninstall 7.3 first? And if so, how do you preserve your itunes libarary in 7.3?


Rebekka on July 26, 2007 at 1:01 am.

This is the same problem I have been having, however as precious as music is I am cautious about doing this, can someone confirm if this keeps my playlists and play counts?

The whole reason why I am doing this is to keep the play counts and playlists so I can transfer from my computer to my laptop.


Christine on July 26, 2007 at 1:27 pm.

I was having this problem. I have searched and searched for a reason why this is happening, to no avail. I finally found this blog and I tried to uninstall itunes 7.3, and reinstalled 7.2. I am recording the DVD’s as we speak! And, when I reinstalled, itunes kept my playlist and counts… Thanks for the info!

frank on August 6, 2007 at 9:45 am.

Did you find a solution to itune backup problem?

Phil on August 7, 2007 at 1:29 pm.

I’ve been having this problem but didn’t have 7.2 to revert to. Have now installed and the problem has been fixed.

Victoria on August 13, 2007 at 12:28 pm.

Thank you so much Danny R.! I’d actually been having trouble burning CD s as well, so hopefully it’s fixed now…

Phil: So they’ve got another version now?

Thanks guys!

Tan The Man on August 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm.

I installed v. but it didn’t work for me. Nor can I find a 7.2 version. ARG.

danny r on August 16, 2007 at 1:09 pm.

Tan The Man: Try

hope this helps

Big J on September 19, 2007 at 3:28 am.

7.4.2 Sucks!! I thought that would fix the problem but it didn’t. I can’t find 7.2 anywhere!! Please somebody help me!!

Big J on September 19, 2007 at 3:52 am.

I found 7.2 but it says that I cant download it because their is a newer version on my pc. Please somebody HELP!!

Big J on September 21, 2007 at 11:46 pm.

7.4.2 worked fine when I was changing the settings, I forgot to push OK on the bottom of the menu. I feel like a big dummy!! LOL! Im glad I have my backup DVD’s now.

bill on November 10, 2007 at 3:40 pm.

How can they release it like this. I too have already invested in different types of dvd’s.

Bob on November 12, 2007 at 12:08 am.

Easy. It’s probably your PC. This backup scheme has worked fine on my Mac. (It’s also worked just fine on my PC.. Dell Latitude 4150 built-in CD-RW)

TRC on February 19, 2008 at 6:21 pm.

I too am having almost the save problem except that I am able to burn CDs fine and not DVDs. When I try to use DVDs it burns the first one and then never ejects it at which point I have to either force-eject the DVD with a paper clip or reboot my computer. If I force-eject it and then put in a blank one and shut the drive bay, iTunes just sits there asking for a blank disc forever. Burning and restoring CDs takes MUCH longer so I would really like to figure out how to get DVDs to actually work. No ideas besides deleting iTunes and installing 7.2? That seems pretty risky to me because I would hate to have to go back and fix about half of the records that it didn’t have art for online again…

TRC on February 20, 2008 at 2:23 pm.

Follow Up: Last night I decided to take the plunge and revert back to 7.2 in hopes of being able to do a backup to DVDs. I un-installed iTunes and just so you know, doing so will not delete your music library. I then installed 7.2 and when I tried to open iTunes it said that it couldn’t open some file because it had been created with a newer version of iTunes. I presumed this to be my music library database file. So I found that using Search and deleted it (well, sent it to the Recycle Bin in case that was a bad thing to do). iTunes then opened fine and as suspected, my library wasn’t there and neither were my playlists which I didn’t care about. I then re-added my music files using “Add folder to library…” and it did so without issue. In other words, all of the album art was there and fine. Then I went and set iTunes to burn to DVD instead of CD and started the backup. After the first disc ended it ejected fine and was flashing “Please insert a blank disc”. Before it wouldn’t ever even eject and “Please insert a blank disc” wasn’t flashing because iTunes had hung. I inserted a blank DVD and closed the tray and off it went. Yep, 7.2 worked like a champ, unlike later versions.

Bob on August 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm.

And this is progress?? Call me a Luddite, but CDs just worked.

James Matchett on April 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm.

I’ve tried ,several times, to back-up my library to DVD’s but each time,after initializing, my computer freezes the moment it starts to burn the first track. Is there an answer to this?

MacPattyXP on June 28, 2009 at 9:34 am.

Alt work-around for “unrecognized” second disks I am trying right now:

I canceled the backup that was asking for a second disk but not recognizing it. Started a new back up but clicked “only back up items added or changed since last back up”
This time it didn’t expect to need a second disk. I had checked disk 1 to see where the first DVD ended and back up is running now. Based on the files it is writing, it seems to have picked up where the first BU dropped off.

Harris on August 24, 2009 at 2:25 pm.

I too cannot backup to DVD+Rs (the program says 6 DVDs are requied). The first DVD appeared to burn; however upon inserting the 2nd DVD the error message #4900 appeared and the program froze. I am using version on a PC with XP.

John Ward on January 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm.

Backing up to CD / DVD media is a joke, as someone said above they needed 19 discs to do it (and it didn’t work anyway). Is there a way to do it without CD’s / DVD’s, to back up certain important stuff to another partition or External HD?

John S on June 13, 2010 at 10:03 am.

Now I’m having the same problem with Itunes 9!

L Smith on June 15, 2010 at 9:35 am.

Having the problem with 9 and 9.1
Just downloaded 7 and going to try that, hope it works
Anybody found any way to sort out 9 though?