Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 1:18 PM (in response to Unsavoury)
Make a split library portable
Here are the typical layouts for the iTunes folders:
In the layout above, with the media folder (everything in the red box) inside the library folder, the library is considered to be portable. A portable library can be moved from one path to another without breaking the links between the library and the media and being self-contained is much easier to backup.
You can rearrange things to make a split library portable by taking a number of small steps which don't break the library.
Before you start any media files that are outside of the media folder will need to be consolidated. If the library is in the old style layout then it should ideally be be upgraded to iTunes Media Organisation (Library > Organise Library > Rearrange files in the folder <Media Folder>) to ensure that iPod Games, Mobile Applications etc. are brought inside the media folder.
The basic non-fatal manipulations are:
- You can connect to an alternate set of library files by holding down Shift (Win) or Option (Mac) when starting iTunes.
- You can move the library files to a new location as long as the media stays put.
- You can move the library files and the media together if the media folder is a direct subfolder of the library folder. (I.e. in this form the libary is portable).
- If you have already moved/copied the media content from a subfolder of the library folder to a different location then you only need to copy the library files for it to appear as if you have moved the entire library in the way allowed above. I.e. just copy the library files into the parent folder of the media folder.
- You can rename the media folder to iTunes Media (if it isn't already) if the media folder is inside the library folder.
- iTunes uses the name of the folder holding the library files as the window title. Having made a library "portable" you may need to take a final step of renaming the library folder to iTunes or, if the library files have ended up at the root of a drive, moving all of the library files and content folders into a new folder called iTunes.
After each change you need to open, test and close the relevant library before attempting another change. If a change broke the library, undo it or revert to using the previous set of library files.
In essence all you need to do to make your library portable is copy the library files into the parent folder of the media folder on the external/secondary drive and use the hold-down-shift/option-when-starting-iTunes method to connect to it. Other manipulations may be required to normalize the library so that the library and media folders have standard names.
If you are making the library portable in advance of migrating it from one system to another, don't forget to deauthorise the old computer if you're not planning to use iTunes on it again.Various PCs, iTunes 10.6.1.7, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone3GS,iPod Classic+Nano
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 1:28 PM (in response to turingtest2)
Cheers Test but I am now even more confused. Sorry but can you make that simpler?
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 1:40 PM (in response to Unsavoury)
Yes, an no. It is about as simple as it gets for a general solution, but if you tell me exactly where your media folder is located on the external drive (drive letter and path to folder as shown in Edit > Preferences > Advanced on PC A) and exactly where your main iTunes folder is on PC A (normally <User's music>\iTunes) then I can give you a customised set of steps to fix up your library so it can be used on any computer running the current build of iTunes.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 1:50 PM (in response to turingtest2)
Ok Cool, Ill get this asap but PC A looks like its dead, its certainly coughing up blood as we speak.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 2:01 PM (in response to Unsavoury)
If you can get it to boot up one last time and copy <User's music>\iTunes to somewhere on the external drive I can probably talk you through the rest of the rescue.
If the machine won't boot the drive might still be partially readable put in an external drive bay.
If you have backups of the iTunes folder that would be another line of attack.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 2:04 PM (in response to turingtest2)
Media location is ..........
Thats all it says
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 2:33 PM (in response to Unsavoury)
What about the iTunes library folder on PC A's internal drive? Can you copy this out to H:\iTunes? If so the rest of the work can be done on the new more reliable computer. It would be best to know the full path to the current library folder, particularly if the library is in the old layout on the left above where iPod Games or Mobile Applications folders are on C: rather than H: I can give you steps either way but it might cut down the number of them and need fewer interim questions.
I'm not going to be at a computer for a bit but as soon as I can get back to you I'll do so. In the meantime just copy the entire iTunes folder out to your external drive. If you already know how to make your external drive appear as drive H: on the new computer do that in preparation, otherwise I'll go through that too.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 13, 2012 5:51 PM (in response to turingtest2)
OK. Back home. I've not come across the situation where the media folder is actually the root of the drive before. This might be better tackled using a script.
What drive letter does the external appear on when connected to PC B?
Have you managed to collect the library folder from PC A?
I'm thinking the best way to deal with this now is to manually rearrange everything into the right-hand layout as shown above, then shift-start iTunes so you can connect to the library file at X:\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl (where X is the drive letter of the external). If you are really lucky iTunes will work out where everything is and just work. Otherwise I have a script called FindTracks which should be able to reconnect things.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 12:00 AM (in response to turingtest2)
Would there be an iTunes library folder on PC A though? As far as I was aware all of it was kept on the HDD. For example if I try and open iTunes on PC A without the HDD attached then iTunes wont open, its just a shortcut. Its not that the music is kept elsewhere and iTunes the progrmame is on PC A, nothing is on PC A.
I did what you said to tr and find the full file path but all I got was H:\
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 12:06 AM (in response to turingtest2)
Right, on PC B the HDD shows as drive K: but I can change that if we need to.
Still not sure what you mean by collect media folder from PC A but I think I may have questioned that in my last message?
The difference between the two is PC B has iTunes downloaded but PCA has nothing. All of PC As iTunes stuff is on the HDD. Is there not a way of just popping a shortcut on the Home screen of PC B to the same library or will it know that PC B is a different PC?
Propperly confused TT2
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 3:03 AM (in response to Unsavoury)
What often happens when people move their iTunes data to another drive is that they read and follow the advice in this support article - iTunes for Windows: Moving your iTunes Media folder - with the result that they move the media folder (red outline) to a new location, but leave the library files, album artwork folders etc. in their original location on drive C. In the image below the full path to the iTunes folder at the top might be C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\My Documents\My Music\iTunes while the media folder is somewhere else, you've said H:\ in your case.
If you attempt to start iTunes on PC A with the external disconnected either iTunes opens, but all the links are broken, or iTunes complains that it can't find the library and asks if would you like to choose or create one. If you're not certain where your library files are then use the script iTunesXMLPath.
The diagram above shows the normal relationship between the library files and the media folder. In this layout you can move the entire iTunes folder to a new path and iTunes will work out where the media files are. The relative path from the library to the song remains the same, even though its absolute path is now different.
The list of songs in your library, ratings, play counts, playlists etc. are all stored in the file iTunes Library.itl if it happens to be on the external drive already then all well and good. Otherwise it will need copying from PC A's drive C: along will the supporting files listed above, i.e. everything in the iTunes folder.
It will be easier to make the library work and rearrange things if you make the external drive appear as drive H: on PC B. Assuming the recovered iTunes library files are now on the external drive at H:\iTunes click the icon to start iTunes and immediately press and hold down the left shift key on your keyboard. Keep pressing until asked to choose or create a library. Click choose and browse to the file H:\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl. You should find most of your library now works. If, however you have any iPod Games, Mobile Applications, or Ringtones then these will need some more steps to get properly reconnected. There is also some work required to make sure the next transition is easier.
Let me know how you are getting on.
tt2Various PCs, iTunes 10.6.1.7, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone3GS,iPod Classic+Nano
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 5:38 AM (in response to turingtest2)
Ok, I'll take a look when I get home but for now a quick question: Neither of those things happen when I clcik iTunes on PC A, what happens is I get an alert that says : "The drive or network connection that the shortcut 'iTunes.Ink' refers to is unavailable. Make sure that the disk is properly inserted or the network resource is abailable, and then try again"
The difference between PC a and PC B is PC B has iTunes on it, my phone is paired to that one, and with PC A when we "moved" iTunes as far as I can remember we did it by deleting itunes then redownloading it and when it asked where we want to put iTunes we told it to go on H:\
Does that Make a difference?
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 6:49 AM (in response to Unsavoury)
Hmm, as far as I know iTunes the application is always installed on the boot drive, usually C: You could have a link to the library file which is on the external which then won't work if the external isn't connected, but if it was would still end up launching the iTunes application on the main drive.
Fire up iTunes on PC A with the external connected and run iTunesXMLPath so we can be sure what is where on your old setup.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 14, 2012 10:16 AM (in response to turingtest2)
Well what d' y' know?! The Path is
C:\Users\Unsavoury\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music Library.xml
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