Back up or transfer your iTunes library--free!

The easy-to-use TuneSwift software makes it a snap to save or move your music, videos, apps, and all the rest. It's available free for a limited time.

CopyTrans TuneSwift makes iTunes backups a point-and-click affair.
CopyTrans TuneSwift makes iTunes backups a point-and-click affair. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Want to back up your iTunes library and/or transfer it to another PC? iTunes itself has a backup option, but it requires blank CDs or DVDs. Bleh.

CopyTrans TuneSwift will back up your iTunes library to the media of your choice (including network folders, flash drives, and external hard drives), or let you transfer it to another machine--Windows or Macintosh.

(Just to clarify, TuneSwift itself is for Windows only, but it includes an option for transferring iTunes libraries to Macs. Pretty neat!)

The program will cost $20-30 when the next version is released, but right now you can get TuneSwift free of charge. Just download and run the CopyTrans installer, then choose TuneSwift from the list of available programs (it's the fourth one down). Once it's installed, click the Activate tab and paste in TUNESWIFT-FOR-CNET.

The program couldn't be much simpler to use. Just choose what you want to do--transfer, backup, or restore--and it walks you through each step of the process. (See the video below for a walk-through of the transfer process.) It even supports incremental backups, a nice perk. The only time-consuming part is the backup itself, which in my case took nearly two hours. (My iTunes library turned out to be a whopping 132GB, a shocker to say the least.)

For me this couldn't have come at a better time, as I'm just getting ready to do a system wipe/restore--and iTunes is always a tricky part of the restore process. Now I can easily put iTunes back the way it was.

This freebie offer ends March 15. After that, TuneSwift will continue to function--but only until iTunes gets updated again. After that, you'll have to pay up if you want to keep using the software. Based on what I've seen so far, it might just be worth it.

If you know of a better iTunes backup/transfer solution, talk it up in the comments!

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