Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 12:59 PM (in response to Busta999)
If you just want to use your music files on the external hard drive you can change your iTunes preferences to point to that hard drive folder, you don't really need to worry about Alias's and as far as I am aware alias's files will not let them be played in iTunes, folders might work as you can in Front row.
Your current library is complaining because it is looking at your computers hard drive for its music where it is nolonger.
Rather then edit the path for each, you can just tell iTunes to index your folder on the external hard drive which will then show your music.
You can either delete your files in iTunes (as they are only references and will give your duplicates if not) or make a new iTunes library pointing to your hard drive (hold down alt when opening iTunes and then select to make a new library).
To add your external drive music:
Under the File menu in iTunes select 'Add to Libary' ... then browser to your external hard drive and the folder your music lives in, select the 'Open' button. If you have a lot of music it will take some time, so best to leave it to it.
Once this has completed adding your files, you will be able to play them as though they were on your computer. Bear in mind that if your external drive goes to sleep, iTunes can make out it can not locate the file, so try to ensure the external drive is active before starting iTunes.
This wil now mean that you now have your iTunes Library files on your computer, but the media files are on your external hard drive.
Do bear in mind that if you do not change the Preferences in iTunes to point to this folder on your external drive, it will keep downloading any new files (music from cds/iTunes store, Apps etc) into your computers iTunes folder.
To change this, go into Preferences...Advanced and select the 'Change' icon and browse to your 'Music' folder on your external drive.
You can also tick the 'Copy files to iTunes folder when adding to library' and that will ensure all files are moved to the external drive, even if say they sit on your desktop and you add them manually to your iTunes.
Do bear in mind that if you are not connected to your external hard drive your music files will not play (which can be why having a second library is a plus as you could have some tracks on your computer hard drive for when out and about, then your full library when connected at home).
I use an external drive on the network to share Music, Films and TV shows around the house computers so that everyone can access them as well as using them on the Apple TVs. It is useful in keeping your computers hard drive slim and enjoying all your entertainment files.
I hope this helps you.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 1:21 PM (in response to CGW3)
Thanks for your response, but I believe you are misunderstanding the problem....
Both this month's Macworld and these forums state that iTunes will follow aliases and this is how you can move the Music Folder from one drive to another. This appears not to be the case, I am hoping there is an OS X tweak that will make it work.
I had 350GB of Music on the local HDD, now that I have added the Drobos, I wanted to move the Music to one of them.
As far as I can tell the iTunes Preferences points to the LIbrary files not the actual Music.
I was hoping to avoid removing and rebuilding the library so that I did not lose Play Count and did not have to wait a day or so for the music to re-load and determine gapless Playback.
I am using an array of 3 daisychained Drobos (firewire 800) giving me about 15TBs of Raid storage for continous storage with 3 x 8TB (24TB) USB DAS boxes for backup. The macs are backed up using TM to a Time Capsule.
I then use 1 TB FW800 for local 'work' space.
The rest is to Thecus NAS boxes.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 1:42 PM (in response to Busta999)
no the Preferences refers to the iTunes Media Library, not the Library files as they can live anywhere and no I am not misunderstanding your problem.
The problem you have is your iTunes library is looking for your files in a specific path, they no longer live in this path, even if the Alias worked, as the path is completely different on your computer hard drive to a network drive.
Now you could run a Find and Edit on the xml file that stores iTunes libary details, but I would not recommend it.
I am still not sure what Macworld are on about but in all honesty it sounds like they are making a simple job hard work.
You don't have to lose your Play Count, but as you deleted all the files on your computer,you will need to move your files back again, then your iTunes would/should show the files and play them ok.
Once that is confirmed go into Preferences and change 'iTunes Media Library location' to your folder on your external drive, iTunes will then move all of the files whilst retaining your Play Counts etc.
Doing this will also mean that your iTunes media will be added to your new folder (although do bear in mind that iTunes Media folder is that, not your Music folder, its all the media types, Apps, TV Shows, Movies, Music etc).
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 3:38 PM (in response to CGW3)
Ok at cross purposes I think
Media spread over 3x5TB Drobos mainly - couldn't get it all on the boot hdd ..
All the mp3s lived at
/Music/iTunes/+Artists+/A-C/ABBA/Gold/then the mp3s
TVShows sit in /Volumes/TV Shows 1/TVSeries Complete/TVSeries 1 etc etc etc
and /Volumes/TV Shows 2/TVSeries Complete/TVSeries 1
I am probably missing something but, I don't quite see how Changing the iTunes Media Folder Location in preferences will only move the mp3s and not all the other media?
Here is the Macworld Article
The hard drive on my MacBook Pro is quickly filling up. Can I move just my movies, TV shows, and other nonmusic items to an external drive?
You can. Start by going to the iTunes folder in the Music folder within your home folder. The iTunes Media folder (or iTunes Music folder, if you’ve been using iTunes for a long time) contains many subfolders, which in turn contain movies, TV shows, and more. Choose which of these folders you want to move, and then copy them to the external drive.
After you’ve finished copying them, move the original folders to the Trash. On the external hard drive, select the copied folders, press and hold command-Option, and then drag the folder to your iTunes Media folder; this creates aliases. As long as the external drive is mounted, any content you add to your iTunes library for those folders goes to that drive. You should quit iTunes before you connect and mount that drive. Once it’s mounted, relaunch iTunes."
Doesn't matter all in all, I have decided to take th eopportunity to prune the Music Library down to take advantage of Music Match and just load back into itUnes - the 'essentials'.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 3:55 PM (in response to Busta999)
no you are 100% right, it would move all the files, not just the Music ones, so not useful for your purposes I am afraid.
I have checked around the web and lots of people trying what you are, and reporting it is not working, as iTunes does not like Aliases.
If you were not worried about play counts you could just move the entire music to the external drive and then reindex it, I started with Films/TV shows so have never had to worry about them being indexed from the network drive and losing any previous data.
I wouldn't give up too soon, especially if you are going to pay for Music Match, if that and the reduction is something you are looking at, I would think it was worth either editing the xml Library file to manually set the paths to the new folder or restarting the Play count etc with the 'new versions' indexed on the external drive.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 4:01 PM (in response to Busta999)
also just to confirm, I have tried this with my Ringtones (wanted something small to test) and it will not work with an Alias, as others have also reported, I think it is a case of the article writer being wrong in this occasion.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 10, 2012 3:02 PM (in response to CGW3)
Ok well it was kinda fun
Reloaded the library, loaded all the Chill stuff and all the various stuff then cherry picked Albums. Got it to 18k songs in all.
Then kicked off Music Match, took most of the weekend, and is now uploading 6k songs which looks like it could take a very long time indeed.
I have been menaing to do this this for a long time. So this was the final driver. Might drop a line to MacWorld Magazine though!!!! :-)
Thanks for input
Currently Being ModeratedJun 16, 2012 10:48 PM (in response to Busta999)
It looks like this post is a couple of months old. I hope at this point you have learned this is definitely not a problem and actually a simple process. You were given some pretty good points hear already. Just in case you are still pondering with this here is a.really simple way.
1) Change iTunes movie path to point to a Music folder on your external drive. (Choose the clear cache option after the change).
2) After you have "verified" all of your music is on the external drive DELETE all of the content from the iTunes library
3) Select all of the music on your external drive (Ctrl+A), Rt Click, then select "Make Alias"
4) After you see all of the alias files, Rt click the folder area and choose "Arrange by kind"
5) Now that you can see all of the alias files, select them and "drop them in the empty iTunes library" area that you previously deleted the content from.
Now your Library is completely linked to Alias files with content residing on an external drive.
Repeat this same concept for other content such as video, podcast, etc..
Currently Being ModeratedJun 17, 2012 3:42 AM (in response to deejay1)
Just in case you are still pondering with this here is a.really simple way.
I highly recommend you do not do any of this.
This does not sound "simple" at all.
Make an alias for each of thousands of files and verify they are all correct?
Then add them to iTunes and leave the thousands of alias files on the external along with the originals?
How does one select all the music files inside the thousands of folders?
Simply copy the entire iTunes folder to the external.
Hold Option, launch iTunes and select the iTunes folder you copied to the external.
That is all you need to do.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 17, 2012 6:07 AM (in response to Busta999)
As Chris says just move the entire folder.
Too late to help you now, but if anyone else runs across this then having "broken" the library by manually moving the media folder it is usually possible to "repair" it by copying the main iTunes folder out to the external/network location, placing the media folder inside the iTunes folder and starting iTunes while holding down Option (Mac) or Shift (Windows). Once the library has been repaired in this way the library files can, if needed for performance reasons, be copied back into the internal drive and accessed in the same way.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 12, 2012 2:05 PM (in response to Busta999)
I think many of the posters here are missing the point, entirely.
I found this thread when searching for my solution to a very similar problem. Before I get into that, let me state this:
1) At some point in the past few years, I had created an alias which pointed iTunes to an external drive. I did this because I had a tiny internal drive on my macbook, so things like movies and podcasts would live on an external drive. So, this USED TO WORK.
2) The MacWorld article referenced USED TO WORK. Same procedure, different specific goals. iTunes USED to just follow the alias to go pick up a file to play.
3) So there.
Here's my specific need. See if you can solve it.
1) I want my iTunes library to live on my laptop hard drive. That is to say, the xml and other files which comprise the library index and metadata.
2) I want my music files and most of the rest of the media, apps, etc, to live on my laptop hard drive.
3) I want Movies, TV Shows, iTunesU, Books, and Podcasts to live on an external hard drive.
4) Just being clear : Yes, I want my iTunes Media content split by folder between two different physical storage devices.
This used to be pretty easy:
Copy .../iTunes Media/Movies to external drive.
Delete local copy.
Make alias to Movies on external drive in place of original .../iTunes Media/Movies folder.
Launch iTunes. Ta-dah! iTunes didn't used to care that it was an alias - it just followed the Blue Folder Road to the External Storage City. In other words, aliases used to do what aliases are supposed to do - point to another storage location, seamlessly.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 12, 2012 2:21 PM (in response to Busta999)
And I believe I have started to solve the issue.
In short, using the Mac OS GUI to do it don't work. But Terminal DO.
1) Copied /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Movies to /Volumes/Mercury/Movies/iTunes Movies
2) Deleted /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Movies and emptied trash.
3) In terminal, created a new Symbolic Link with this command:
ln -s /Volumes/Mercury/Movies/iTunes\ Movies /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Movies
Opened iTunes. Selected Hudson Hawk from movies. It plays. Magic!
Look inside iTunes Media folder and you see a folder named Movies with a little black arrow, just like an alias. If you look at Info for the folder, it says it's an alias. It looks like an alias made with the Mac OS GUI, but it works differently.
I am no proceeding with TV Shows and older subfolders of the iTunes Media folder in this same way. So far, so good. Now, I can free up space from videos and still have all my awesome music with me when I travel. And all you "It CANNOT BE DONE!" types can go back and edit your notes and comments so further readers are not so confused and disheartend.
This moment of No WAY! You're AWESOME! brought to you by 15 years of UNIX experience and 20 years of smacking machines until they do what I tell them to.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 12, 2012 3:23 PM (in response to Gryphon MacThoy)
Glad it is working for you. A word of caution however, the last time I tried this on a Windows PC everything worked fine until iTunes wrote out a file to the location. At that point it broke the link and the only working file was the new one that it had put in the folder on my local drive.
Your milage may vary.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 10, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to Gryphon MacThoy)
With Mountain Lion (10.8) creating a symbolic link works fine for playing existing media but when I add new TV or Movie content to the library iTunes copies the file into its own folder in music instead of to the Movies and TV Shows linked folders. I want iTunes to copy files and keep my folder organized but it just doesn't like using the symbolically linked directories when adding new content. If I rename the symbolic link to say TV Shows2 and then add a new show it creates the TV Shows directory and adds it in there. Frustrating!