Why we must back up and follow those backup and restore procedures to the letter.
-> If there is something worth saving from the iPod, take a look at iRip.
Read all about iRip if there is anything on the pod you must save because the iTunes library is lost.
Running Windows 7 Home Premium, on HP Pavilion dv6-6c 13cl. The following post may be confusing and long, but it is illustrating the process of my actions and thoughts over the past night and day.
I copy/pasted my entire Music folder into an external hard drive. I started by trying to paste the entire thing and succeeded in transfering a little before the computer froze. Thanks to the computer crashing, I had to learn my lesson and go file by file, but ended up with the Music labeled folders within Music labeled folders and a generally disorganized and huge Music folder, with duplicates running around and all that.
When I installed iTunes in the new computer, this gave me problems in that not all my music was being read, but I reached a semblance of organization by pasting missing music into every folder labeled iTunes music on my laptop. so that all of my files made it, and all the playlists too.
But I wanted to erase all the files and start over again, so the music folder wouldn't be occupying so much space and have folders within folders, etcetera. Also, although my iPod appeared under Devices in iTunes, it would say it was being synced and charged, and then after it was done syncing it would stop charging even though it was still under Devices.
I went back to my music folder and slowly copied each file into a new folder named Music in an external hard drive. Then I erased the Music from both the Libraries section and the Username1 section and pasted in the new Music folder. iTunes remained empty. So I manually clicked on File, Add folder to library, and even selected the new Music folder from the external drive instead of the computer. It imported, but now I have 39 missing podcasts: there had been 401 previously on both the iTunes of my old computer and the the iTunes of my new one. The TV shows section said fourteen instead of twelve, which is what it had been previously - and eleven on the old computer, because I downloaded a file to this one. Now all my playlists are gone as well.
Curiously, aside from the organizational messup of when I first transferred the files, the only difference between now and then is that before, I just copy/pasted. This time, I followed the instructions here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527
I only deviated from those instructions in that I brought the whole Music folder, not just the iTunes folder within it. Also, I hadn't uninstalled iTunes after erasing the Music. When iTunes became empty, I uninstalled it, after having pasted the Music folder in the computer, and then reinstalled it. It was still empty and that was when I used File -> add folder to library, and decided to ask here.
Important: the numbers are now changing. I'm leaving the above post as it is, to expose the understanding of the situation I had before the numbers started wobbling, because I'm still confused and my problems are now the same, only worse.
The amount of podcasts decreased to 325 while I was writing the posts and is increasing to the 500s, not stopping. Also, I can't remember whether or not it said 138 of the items in iTunes U when I started writing this, but it says it now that it is 138 when in the working iTunes library it had 169. Now the podcasts count has stabilized at 640 and the TV shows count is going up. I think it's because I've copied the iTunes folder within the Music folder I added to the Music folder... this is complicated, so diagram:
Username1-> My Music -> iTunes, Music, and Music-Copy (from a copy I accidentally made of I don't know which folder, the old Music one I was replacing or the new one). The Music-labeled folders have iTunes folders within them, by the way. Within iTunes, there are: iTunes Media, Album Artwork, iTunes library extras, iTunes library genius, iTunes Library, and iTunes Music Library.
Within iTunes media, there was an automatically add folder. It was empty, and I thought that might be the problem, so I pasted the iTunes music folder within it. Now the Media folder has categories like Music, Podcasts, etcetera, and the automatically add folder has iTunes Music and Not added folders.
Those might be why the number of tv shows and podcasts have increased, and my library now says it has twice the content it did before I messed with the iTunes Media folder, even as I'm sure that I have no items that weren't previously there and the number of iTunes U items has not increased.
I have just connected the iPod, and it tells me that the iPod is synced with another library and would I like to erase it and sync with this one? I chose no and have closed iTunes. The iPod is still connected, but is not charging. Help! I had a problem and screwed it up worse.