Transferring files from PC formatted hard drive to Macbook


Hello fellow digital music lovers,

I'm a novice/ignoramus with computers so please bear with me in what might be a simple question...
I have tons of .WAV files on a PC formatted hard drive, but want to transfer everything over so I can play it through a Mac. My Macbook has a very recent version of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3.  

Please let me know the simplest way to complete the data transfer. I've read some articles on this, but it seems like using the FAT file method might require deleting before filing. Please help me figure this out.
Thanks everyone!
Linc
lincnabby
I’m not a Mac user, but since no one else has responded yet I’ll give it a shot.

I presume the drive you are referring to is an external drive, that connects to a computer via a cable, probably a USB cable. If it was formatted by the manufacturer for Windows it was probably formatted with a "file system" known as NTFS. My understanding is that Yosemite and other fairly recent versions of OS X can read files from a drive formatted in NTFS, but cannot write to such a drive unless special purpose third party software is installed.

Also, if the drive were to be reformatted to one of the file systems OS X can write to (e.g. FAT32 or HFS+), the reformatting process would destroy all of the data on the drive. That would occur with any reformatting of any drive, as far as I am aware.

Therefore there are two possible approaches:

1)Copy the music files to a different drive, then reformat the drive to either FAT32 (which could be done with a Windows computer, and I presume could also be done with a Mac computer), or to HFS+ (which could only be done with a Mac computer, as far as I am aware, at least if special purpose software is not installed on a Windows computer). Then copy the music files back to that drive.

FAT32 has the advantage of being able to be utilized by both Windows and Mac computers, without any additional special purpose software. It has the disadvantage of being less robust than HFS+, which is the file system Macs utilize on their internal drives. "Less robust" means, for example, that if an unexpected power dropout were to occur while the drive is being written to, data loss could occur. (NTFS is very robust, btw).

Also, FAT32 cannot support a file size (for a single file) of more than 4 gB (gigaBytes), which is typically a concern only if video files that are lengthy and/or high resolution are involved. I believe that the file size limits of both HFS+ and NTFS are large enough to not be a consideration under any practical circumstances.

2)Alternatively, install special purpose third party software into the Mac, that would provide it with NTFS read and write capability. One such program, which I have no experience with but which appears to be well regarded and easy to install and use, is Paragon Software’s NTFS for Mac, costing $19.95 for a one-computer license.

Hope that helps. Regards,
-- Al

Lincnabby, It is simple. Just plug this disk into MAC and copy all the files to any drive you want. Your MAC can read FAT32 or NTFS. The only difference is that MAC cannot write (at default settings) to NTFS formatted drive.
Just to be 100% sure I took my wife’s NTFS formatted flash drive, plugged it to my MAC (OSX) and copied file to my desktop.

http://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-manually-enable-ntfs-read-and-write-in-os-x/

Thanks, Kijanki. Consistent with the cautionary statements contained in the last paragraph of the link you provided (and many of the problems reported in the user comments which followed the article), this Wikipedia writeup on NTFS states:
Native NTFS write support has been discovered in Mac OS X 10.6 and later, but is not activated by default, although workarounds do exist to enable the functionality. However, user reports indicate the functionality is unstable and tends to cause kernel panics, probably the reason why write support has not been enabled or advertised.
(A "kernel panic" is the counterpart of the Windows "Blue Screen of Death," referring in that case to a crash of the Windows operating system itself).

Best regards,
-- Al

Al, thanks for warning - I missed it.

Al and kijanki-
I appreciate both of you for your help and advice. Yes, I think it will be pretty simple. I will post again if I have any issues! 
God bless and enjoy the music!
Linc