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How do I consolodate all music into one location?

22527 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2012 1:05 AM by Saba22 RSS
Ric Lobosco Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 7, 2012 11:19 AM

I find files in Music > iTunes > iTunes Media
Other files are in Music > iTunes > iTunes Music
Still more files are in my Download folder.

They're not duplicates.


Why is this, & how do I get all the files into ONE location?


Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.4.11), G4 1.42GHZ 1GB/160GB
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    iTunes 9 introduced a new way or organizing files. You probably have remnants of both.


    iTunes 9: Understanding iTunes Media Organization -


    Image of iTunes folder structure Dec. 2011 -

    see also:

    Image of folder structure and explanation of different iTunes versions (turingtest2 post) -


    How to Consolidate Your iTunes Library and Keep It Organized -


    Note that consolidate copies, not moves.


    It may works simply to go to iTunes preferences and uncheck "keep media organized" then recheck it to get iTunes to have a fresh look at everything.


    As always, back up your computer before any major undertaking on your computer.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    Am busy now.


    Playlists are part of the overall coordinating Library.itl file. You can see how this is structured of you peek inside the library.xml  They are at the end.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    For iTunes consolidate means to make a copy of a file that is outside the iTunes media folder which it places inside the iTunes media folder, it then makes the iTunes entry point to the new copy instead of the old one and the original file is left in place, no longer connected to iTunes.


    It isn't clear if your current library has inherited every file that is in the older structure so just in case this process should make sure that you're not missing anything. You may still have some deduping to do but this way should keep that down to a minimum.


    1. Turn off the option to Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.
    2. Use the Add Folder to Library... command to add the iTunes Music folder. This will pick up any files in that folder currently disconnected from the library.
    3. Use the option iTunes > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files. - wait until complete.
    4. Delete the folder iTunes Music, iTunes is no longer connected to anything in this folder.
    5. Hold down Option and use the menu item iTunes > Show Exact Duplicates.
    6. Sort the resulting list on Date Added, delete the duplicates added today, sending the files to the trash.
    7. Click the show all button, then review the remaining tracks added today to see if these are tracks you previously discarded without deleting which you definitely want to throw away, if so select and delete.
    8. Turn the option to Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library back on, assuming you want to...


    Any remaining duplicates will need filleting out in any way that works for you. Try Dupin/Dupin Lite from Doug's Scripts or this post for some thoughts if you'd prefer to do it by hand.



    Various PCs, iTunes, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone3GS,iPod Classic+Nano
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    For libraries originally created on a Mac with an older build of iTunes the library database file is called iTunes Library rather than iTunes Library.itl. I'm afraid I don't know when the change was made. With iTunes closed you can manually rename the file, then hold down Option as you start to get options to Choose or Create a library. Click choose and open the renamed file.


    The .xml file is provided for third party support and contains some but not all of the information held in the main iTunes database. iTunes doesn't really make any use of the xml file, though it can sometimes be used automatically to attempt to reconstruct a damaged database file. You may find the .xml file is easier to review in a text editor than Excel.



    Various PCs, iTunes, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone3GS,iPod Classic+Nano
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    In Windows it is the menu command File > Add Folder to Library. On a Mac I assume it will be in the iTunes menu but if you can't find it just drag the iTunes Music folder onto the Library icon in iTunes and it will do the same job.


    The point of this step is to get iTunes connected to every media file in your media folders, i.e. those tracks that you previously deleted from the library without sending the corresponding files to the trash. Once everything is connected you can dedupe and this time make sure that you actually remove the redundant copies.


    The consolidate command brings in a copy of any file that is outside the iTunes Media folder into it and redirects the library to the new copy. Once this task has been completed you know it is safe to delete the originals stored outside the iTunes Media folder.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    The Previous iTunes Libraries folder is where iTunes puts a dated copy of the database during each upgrade. If something goes wrong during the upgrade and the new database isn't set up properly you can restore this backup copy to the library folder.


    I've not come across a file called iTunes 4 Music Library but I doubt it is doing useful service. Check the file creation/accessed dates. Should be safe to discard.



  • gremlok Calculating status...

    I want to check if I got this right. I currently have music on my Mac, my NAS and a few external HD, app. 25.000 songs total. Some songs are on several devices (which were basically backups). I now wish to consolidate everything onto a new NAS.


    Not sure how I get started with your steps above?


    Do I create a new iTunes library on the new NAS then add the various folders from the different devices as per your step 2?


    My major concern is duplicates and keeping the library history (plays, ratings, info....)



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2012 8:45 AM (in response to gremlok)

    Your current library contains your playlists, ratings, play counts etc. so creating a new library is not what you want to do...


    I suggest you create a new iTunes folder at the root of the new NAS, then an iTunes Media folder at the root of that. You can then change your media folder to <New NAS>/iTunes/iTunes Media and consolidate all media to that location. The logic for doing this is that if/when you want to move the library to a new machine you can copy the library files from their current location into <New NAS>/iTunes, open and close the library at that location, then connect the device to any other machine and open the library. Accessing a large library over the network may have performance issues, but once the library has been opened, and it works, the library files can be copied to a local drive and used from there and they should continue to be able to access the media at the remote location.


    See Make a split library portable



  • Saba22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 19, 2012 1:05 AM (in response to Limnos)

    Thanks! This is just the info. I was looking for!


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