I got a new computer and wanted to copy all of the information from my old one. By all the information I mean ALL the information (music, playlists, play counts, ratings, etc.)
Here's what I did:
1: DOWNLOADED iTunes on my NEW computer.
2: RAN iTunes on my NEW computer.
3: SHUTDOWN iTunes on my NEW computer.
4: COPIED the iTunes Library.itl file from my OLD computer to my NEW computer
The location on my Windows 7 machine is in Music/iTunes. I deleted my original file and wrote this file.
MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR ITUNES LIBRARY.ITL FILE IN TACT. IT HOLDS MOST OF THE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR ITUNES LIBRARY (except the music itself)
5: SHARED my OLD computer's iTunes drive for anyone on the network... look up how to share a folder on a windows network if you don't know how.
6: MOUNTED the shared drive of my OLD computer to the same location on my NEW computer
THIS IS A CRUCIAL STEP
My old computer's media drive was L:/ so I had my OLD music in L:/Music/. Therefore, my iTunes Library.itl file thinks that all of the files are located in L:/Music/. As a result, I NEEDED to assign the drive letter to my old computer's shared drive to L:/
I don't remember the exact steps to do this but I imagine it had to do with either "Map Network Drive" or "Assign Drive Letter to Path"... those might be good Google phrases.
7: RAN iTunes on my NEW computer
At this point, it appears the same as it did on my OLD computer. All of the play counts, ratings, songs, etc. were consistent with my old computer.
8: SET my location for my iTunes media folder.
This is the location that you want to store all of your media on your NEW computer. I used E:/iTunes
9: CONSOLIDATED my iTunes library.
Under Organize Library in iTunes you can choose Consolidate Files. Do that and it will copy all of your files to your new computer and keep all of your information consistent
NOTE: This step IS INTERRUPTABLE!!! In other words, if you have a large media library and want it to run overnight and stop it during the day, start it again the next day... that WILL work! This is important if you have a network you don't want to bog down with transferring LAN files 24/7, especially if you have a large library. Also if you have an extra router lying around you might want to create your own network, as none of this requires online access.
10: Enjoy! You can unshare your old computer's drive and throw that hunk of junk out the window... or do as I plan and turn it into a MAME machine ;-) but that's another topic altogether.
The final result: You have a new computer with the exact same iTunes library (media, playcounts, ratings, playlists, etc.) as your old computer! I plugged in my old iPod and it didn't know the difference... nor did my computer. Geek on!