For years now I have had all of my music on an external drive to save space on my PC hard disk, but I have constantly had the issue of iTunes not being able to find my music on the drive. No amount of settings changes or exporting or importing libraries ever helps. The only thing I can do is reimport my entire music collection to reconstruct the library, which is a massive pain in the neck. I am at that point now and I really don't want to have to do this again. If I do it'll have to be goodbye iTunes, it's driving me nuts.
I'm thinking it could be related to one or both of these observations and am curious to know what people think.
First is that occasionally the letter of my external drive gets changed by Windows and that could cause problems. Currently it is N: but I think it might have been J: for a while. This seems to throw iTunes into a wirlwind of confusion - directing it in the Preferences dialog to the new drive letter does not help. The xml file does set the new destination, but iTunes seems to just default back to the C: drive and the Library in there, and resets the Library to whatever it finds on the C: drive, which is nothing at all (thus wiping my Library and causing iTunes not to be able to find any music). Meaning that once my library xml has been overwritten by iTunes, it doesn't matter what drive I'm asking it to look on, none of the music is in the library xml in the first place.
Which brings me to number two. iTunes insists on writing my Library xml file to Documents/Music on the C: drive when none of the music is on that drive. Even when I have iTunes working and it knows where my music is, the actual xml file is still in Documents/Music and I can't change it or move it. It always, always writes it there. This could be a problem because it seems as though when iTunes loses track of the drive letter for my external drive, it immediately looks in Documents/Music and overwrites the library xml accordingly, essentially wiping clean my library, forcing me to have to reconstruct the library by reimporting all my music.
So I think it's two things really. One, how can I get Windows to assign a permanent letter to my external drive? One that will never, ever change. And two, how can I get iTunes to write my library xml and other library related files on the external drive where my music is instead of on the C: drive? Because I think the two being seperated is also causing problems. And I suppose three, are either of these things the problem or is it something else?
Thanks for any help.