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iPod: The Missing Manual, 7th Edition by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Back Up Your iTunes Files

If your hard drive dies and takes the whole iTunes folder with it, you lose your music. This can be especially painful if you paid for lots of songs and videos from the iTunes Store, because Apple won't let you re-download new copies. Luckily, iTunes gives you a super simple way to back up your iTunes files onto a CD or DVD.

❶ In iTunes, choose File→Library→“Back Up to Disc.”

❷ In the box that pops up, choose what you want to back up—everything or just items you paid for in the iTunes Store. Later, after you've backed up for the first time, you can turn on the checkbox for backing up only new stuff that you've added since last backing up.

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❸ Have a stack of discs ready to feed into your computer's disc drive. Depending on the size of your library, you may need several CDs (which store up to 700 megabytes of data each) or DVDs (which pack in at least 4.7 gigabytes of files per disc). You'll get nagged by iTunes to feed it a new disc when it's filled up the first one.

If you ever need to use your backup, open iTunes and put in one of those discs to start restoring your files. Remember, there's nothing really exciting about file backups—until you have to use them to save the day.

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