? about migrating to a M1 Mini

Strangeite

Well-known member
I am seeking advice on migrating data to a new M1 MacMini, and yes I know I am posting to a Disney-centric forum, and yes I know I am stretching the focus of the this sub-category on the forum, but I respect the knowledge of people here.

Some context. Early next week my new M1 MacMini, with 1TB of storage and 16 GB of RAM, will arrive to become the new "family computer." That seems quaint these days but we still find having a centrally located (the kitchen) desktop useful.

It will be replacing a Late 2012 MacMini running 10.13.6 that I purchased used a couple of years ago to get by until Apple got around to releasing a new MacMini. Almost 1500 days was a long wait.

The data migrated to that used 2012 Mini was from an early 2008 iMac that lasted almost a decade, and whose data was migrated from an old G4 733 tower from around 2001. Needless to say there is a LOT of junk that has built up over the years.

So instead of using Migration Assistant or recovering from a Time Machine back up, I am thinking a fresh installation is the best idea. Here are the things I know I want on the new computer.
  • Our iTunes library is large and with literally decades of music ripped from CDs, but I do subscribe to iTunes Match, so I am thinking I will just re-download all of the music from Apple's servers. However there is video that I have imported into iTunes that I stream to the TV via AirPlay that can't be as easily acquired. Specifically the Disney's Halloween Treat broadcast from either the late '80s or early '90s that I "acquired" via channels I am not sure how to find any longer.
  • I believe all of the games can be downloaded from Steam again. If there are old games not from Steam (I am sure there are), I have forgotten about them. I guess Minecraft, but I will need to figure out my old login since I originally bought it in Alpha.
  • Our photo library is 250GB and is by far the most important data to migrate to the new machine. Is moving the library really just as easy as copy and pasting it from the Library folder on the old Mini to the Library folder on the new Mini?
  • Various random folders with files (word documents, photoshop files, etc)
It would take forever over wifi, so I was planning to use a crossover ethernet cable and move everything using target disk mode.

Does anyone see a flaw in this plan or something I am forgetting? I know this was long but I was trying to be as detailed as I could, and there isn't good documentation yet for importing from really old machines to the new Apple silicon. Particularly if you don't want to use Migration Assistant or a Time Machine backup. Thanks.
 

bnoble

he's right
Consider migrating your photo library to iCloud before decommissioning your old machine.Then it will behave like iTunes/steam. This will cost you a few bucks per month but gives you an online backup in addition to your time machine disk (which is probably in the house with the mini so not much use in a fire/flood/what have you.

yes this will take a long time. S’okay.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I moved from a 2013 MacBook Air to a m1 MacBook Pro and set up as new. I used an external USB drive to move documents etc but otherwise it was basically the process you describe. Our photo libraries are closer to 750GB between the three of us and we don’t use iCloud for them because the 1TB tier is $10/month. Instead we have them backed up with Time Machine both on-site and offsite for redundancy. We’ve also had so many problems with the Photos app and the Photos Library, I don’t really trust Apple.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Also - read up on problems with iTunes Match. I have so many treasured Disney Parks BGM loops, and there’s a very real risk some or many of them may be mismatched and then they’re lost forever.
 

bnoble

he's right
Yeah I pay for the 1TB tier. $10/mo is with not having to remember to rotate backups offsite. (That’s primarily because I forget to rorptate after a while.)
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Yeah I pay for the 1TB tier. $10/mo is with not having to remember to rotate backups offsite. (That’s primarily because I forget to rorptate after a while.)
I *wish* I had more faith in it, but I've spent so many days waiting on our Photo Libraries to rebuild for no reason whatsoever... at least if the Photo Library on my Mac is corrupted I can open the package and extract the original images. If they're on iCloud and something goes wrong, there's no way to individually download them all if the Photo Library gets messed up. They're only linked to the Photo Library.

We got our first digital camera when our daughter was born so EVERYTHING is in there - photos and videos - and if something went wrong it would be devastating to lose it all and also to get murdered by my wife for losing it all.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
I rotate Time Machine backup drives. Not as often as I should, but every few months I swap them out and keep one at the office.

Consider migrating your photo library to iCloud before decommissioning your old machine.Then it will behave like iTunes/steam. This will cost you a few bucks per month but gives you an online backup in addition to your time machine disk (which is probably in the house with the mini so not much use in a fire/flood/what have you.

yes this will take a long time. S’okay.

I have the 2TB included in the Apple One bundle, so I have the space currently but with iCloud backups of phones, iPads, etc., I suspect that is going to fill up fast.

Also - read up on problems with iTunes Match. I have so many treasured Disney Parks BGM loops, and there’s a very real risk some or many of them may be mismatched and then they’re lost forever.

So are you advising that I transfer my iTunes library manually as well?

I moved from a 2013 MacBook Air to a m1 MacBook Pro and set up as new. I used an external USB drive to move documents etc but otherwise it was basically the process you describe. Our photo libraries are closer to 750GB between the three of us and we don’t use iCloud for them because the 1TB tier is $10/month. Instead we have them backed up with Time Machine both on-site and offsite for redundancy. We’ve also had so many problems with the Photos app and the Photos Library, I don’t really trust Apple.

I don't trust Apple either. Between Disney or Apple, I am not sure whose cloud team I trust the least.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
So are you advising that I transfer my iTunes library manually as well?

That's what I did. I have all of my music on the network (actually, an external USB shared by my old 2013 MacBook Air). I just created a new iTunes library, adding back all of the titles in that network folder. The metadata is already set. All of the album images are set. Even then, iTunes gets flaky and assigns the wrong artist or album cover.

If you've got the Apple One bundle then iTunes Match is included in your Apple Music subscription. What you could do is keep a separate copy of your existing music files and folders in a separate safe place, and let it match your library and see how it does. And then either manually replace screwed up matches with the correct file, or just scrap the Matched library altogether and re-import your original library with the ripped CDs.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
When I got my iPhone 12 (finally retired by six year-old 6), all I had to do was hold the new Phone over the old one, and everything transferred, data, settings, everything. Does the Mini have a similar set-up feature? I use iCloud backup, so everything's stored Up There.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
I think Strangeite wants to do a clean install rather than copy over All. The. Cruft. (And I think that's wise)

Ah, makes sense. When I got my first MacBook Pro (I was a Windows Guy before), I backed up all my data to an external hard drive and everything was transferred to the new MBP really fast. Could it be as simple as that?
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Ah, makes sense. When I got my first MacBook Pro (I was a Windows Guy before), I backed up all my data to an external hard drive and everything was transferred to the new MBP really fast. Could it be as simple as that?
That's how my wife transferred her things from her old MacBook to a new M1 MacBook Pro a couple months ago. It's super easy. Even carries over the desktop picture and everything. I wanted a little more control over the process because I am a POWER USER.

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George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
I wanted a little more control over the process because I am a POWER USER.

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Strangeite

Well-known member
If you've got the Apple One bundle then iTunes Match is included in your Apple Music subscription. What you could do is keep a separate copy of your existing music files and folders in a separate safe place, and let it match your library and see how it does. And then either manually replace screwed up matches with the correct file, or just scrap the Matched library altogether and re-import your original library with the ripped CDs.

That‘s a really good idea.
When I got my iPhone 12 (finally retired by six year-old 6), all I had to do was hold the new Phone over the old one, and everything transferred, data, settings, everything. Does the Mini have a similar set-up feature? I use iCloud backup, so everything's stored Up There.

Thats basically what I have been doing with the “family“ computer for two decades. It’s time to start clean. As Brian said. All. The. Cruft. I keep my personal compuTer’s better maintained, but this is the one of that gets dumped on by the collective.

Could it be as simple as that?

Yes and no.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Since I don't have anywhere else to go or anything else to do, I decided to make a copy of my iTunes Music Library, redeem a 60-day free trial of Apple Music, and test out this matching business. It's still in process, but so far it seems like kind of a sh*tshow.

It correctly matched about 25% of the CDs I ripped.

It's currently uploading (because it couldn't match) such obscure CDs as R.E.M.'s Out of Time, Taylor Swift's 1989, George Michael's Faith, Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle, and Bruno Mars's Unorthodox Jukebox. Maybe the servers were thrown off by the eclectic mix?

In any event, my hope of re-downloading higher quality digital files has been dashed.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
In any event, my hope of re-downloading higher quality digital files has been dashed.

It definitely won't do that. 20 years or so ago, when I ripped Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, the CD skipped badly at the end of Free Fallin. So even if I am streaming the song on my phone 1000 miles away from the iTunes library, that song still skips.

I still plan to come back and update this post with how my transition to the M1 goes but there was a major screwup on the delivery and so I am still a couple weeks away from actually receiving the machine.
 
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