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Moving iTunes Library to External Hard Drive & Finding iTunes Media Location

193058 Views 34 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2013 8:43 AM by turingtest2 RSS
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Danielhaim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 27, 2012 8:43 AM

Hi guys,

 

I've followed several tutorials on how to get this done, as it seems so simple but it's not working on my end. I've moved the iTunes folder from the /music/ to an external hard drive. I'm opening iTunes, going to Preferences, Advanced, and replacing the iTunes Media folder location to the correct one /Volumes/Volume E/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media

 

I'm checking Keep iTunes Media folder organized & Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library, clicking on the "OK" button, and nothing happens.

 

Funny enough, Spotify finds it in seconds and I can play my music from that player instead.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    It sounds like you're not reading the right tutorials. You don't need to do anything to preference settings if you are moving your whole iTunes collection (library files and all folders).

     

    iTunes: How to move [or copy] your music to a new computer [or another drive] - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527

     

    do not confuse moving your whole folder and library with moving just media files as in

     

    iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

     

    Quick answer if you let iTunes manage your music:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Start iTunes with the option key held down and guide it to the new location of the library.

  • sovanbu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Be careful if you do change the default media folder location in the preferences,

     

    Outlined here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

     

    Step 11 is crucuial to perserving your library.

     

    I just recently tried to change the default file location twice without doing step 11 and all my files were lost, not deleted, lost.

  • Pico Mitchell Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I am the developer on an app called TuneSpan.

     

    TuneSpan can help you easily move some of your iTunes media to an external drive, or move all of it to an external drive while being able to keep your default media location the same.

     

    TuneSpan always preserves all of your metadata in iTunes, such as Playlists, Play Counts, etc.

     

    Also, TuneSpan can clean up after itself, trashing original files and empty folders, if you choose.

     

    It's available on the Mac App Store, you can check it out at http://tunespan.com

     

    I hope it helps!

     

    I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link. <Edited by Host>

  • scootser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    works like a charm, thank you sir.

  • InspiredLife Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Limnos wrote:

     

    Quick answer if you let iTunes manage your music:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Start iTunes with the option key held down and guide it to the new location of the library.

    Rather than start another thread, since this one is so recent and discusses exactly what I am trying to do, I think it might be more  efficientto chime into this thread after this point you made Limnos.

     

    I read elsewhere similar instruction to what you have provided (quoted above), and I have done as that instructions says, but when I OPTION-iTunes and select the itunes library copy iTunes still accesses all the files from the old location.

     

    Here's the steps I followed:

    1. Copy ENTIRE itunes folder to a new location (a second internal HDD)
    2. Open iTunes with OPTION key.
    3. Select the .itl file in the NEW location
    4. iTunes opens
    5. If I select a track and bring up the File Info it will show that the location of the file is the OLD folder.
    6. If I rename (or remove) that old folder, then ALL of my media is marked as missing, because iTunes does not update the location to the new folder.

    Do you have any suggestion as to why iTunes does not actually  switchto the new folder?

     

    Thank you very much for any help you can offer.

     

    InspiredLife

     

    P.S. I could add that I have already copied the entire folder manually. I see the instructions HERE (KB HT1449) presumes I have not yet copied the folder, and to let iTunes do the move. I could revert back to step one and go that route, but as it's such a massive folder of data I'd like to avoid copying it again if possible.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,955 points)

    Hi. The move entire folder thing usually works if the library is in the standard layout. iTunes folder with the library database files and containing an iTunes Media folder with all the media. If the layout was different, say for example you attempted to amend the preference for the path to the media folder before moving the library files, or the media folder was not a direct subfolder of the library folder, then it fails.

     

    See normalize the iTunes library and make a split library portable.

     

    tt2

  • eccoboy Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    This really shouldn't be so complicated.  I don't know why Apple has to make moving files such a huge hassle.  Anyway, I have 2 other methods for moving the iTunes library:

     

    The first method, and the best, is to move the entire library to the new drive, then change the new drive to the drive letter of the original drive.  So for example if your library is on drive D, change that to E.  Then make your new drive D.  Change nothing else.  Open iTunes and everything will be exaclty the same since the path for the library has not changed.  Obviously this will not work if your library is stored on the operating system drive, or you need to consolidate media files from more than one drive, or if you have other files on the old drive that need to retain the same drive path, which brings me to method two.

     

    The second method, which I had to use this time because changing the drive letters would have caused an even bigger mess for some other files, is to first move the entire iTunes library to the new drive (look under preferences - "iTunes media folder location" to see where this folder is located).  Then change the "iTunes media folder location" to the folder located on the new drive that you just moved.  When you start iTunes and try to open a file, iTunes will ask if you would like to locate it.  Locate the file on the new drive and iTunes will ask if you would like to automatically locate other missing files.  Almost all of the files were found when I used this method.  Some albums still had exclamation marks next to them but were fixed by repeating the same process a few times.  Some album artwork was missing but simply selecting "get info" on one track in the album will restore it  So now I have all of my music and podcasts moved to the new drive and all of the artwork, playlists, play counts, track info, etc. is still intact.

     

    I don't know if either of these methods will work for everyone since iTunes file orginization can be such a mess.  Here's how I have mine setup:

     

    I am running Windows and iTunes creates the "iTunes" folder under C:\Users\me\Music.  This is on my operating system drive and contains the "iTunes library.itl" file as well as all the artwork, I believe.  All of the media files, however, I keep on another drive which looks like this:  F:\My Music\iTunes.  So if I want to move my library to a different drive, I move the entire folder labeled "iTunes" on drive F:\.

     

    Hope this helps.

  • maplevshoney Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    eccoboy, this is a discussion for "iTunes for Mac"

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,955 points)

    ... Here's how I have mine setup:

     

    I am running Windows and iTunes creates the "iTunes" folder under C:\Users\me\Music.  This is on my operating system drive and contains the "iTunes library.itl" file as well as all the artwork, I believe.  All of the media files, however, I keep on another drive which looks like this:  F:\My Music\iTunes.  So if I want to move my library to a different drive, I move the entire folder labeled "iTunes" on drive F:\.

    That's why you have an issue. If instead of moving your media folder to F:\My Music\iTunes at some point you have moved the entire iTunes folder to F:\iTunes (where it would have "just worked") then it would have happily survived a change of drive letter to say E:\iTunes without the need to repair anything. The post make a split library portable explains how to restore order after which moving the library from one drive or computer to the next is a piece of cake.

     

    tt2

  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,300 points)

    iTunes is a data base manager. If you move tings from the Finder then iTunes has no way to know what got moved where. This is true for any database. You need to reestablish the path - once that is completed then iTunes works just fine.

     

    iTunes file organization is clear if you let iTunes organize and copy files. If all moves are done from within the iTunes interface then iTunes works just fine. iTunes by default will organize by Artist>Album>Tunes.

     

    MJ

  • carlosian Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I currently have all my media (music, tv show, movies, books) in a 1TB external hard drive.  iTunes reads all the files perfectly from this HDD.  I'm running out of space and would like to transfer all my music files to a seperate HDD.  Will the method listed above work?

     

     

    Thanks

  • Evil Pants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm going to have to ask for some help here as well, as I have similar issues. Thanks in advance!

     

    I recently attached a new 3 TB Seagate HD to my iMac, to be my main media drive. I've used several different drives in the past in this way. Each time, I transfer the files over from one drive to another, reset the iTunes pathway as described above, and then update.

     

    This time worked the same....kind of. The initial transfer and update worked, but when I started to add NEW files to iTunes (from my desktop, as an example), the files don't seem to go to the new drive. ITunes will read them from their desktop home, but they don't actually seem to transfer to the new drive like they should. Any thoughts? Again, I've done this numerous times, with no hassles.

     

    Thanks in advance.

  • Pico Mitchell Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Evil Pants, that behavior is set by an Advanced Preference in iTunes. So, I gotta ask the most simple possibility first... Is the setting "Copy file to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" checked in your Advanced iTunes Preferences? Maybe you hit it by accident when changing the iTunes Media Folder location or something.

     

    If it's not selected, that's the problem, just turn that option on. And then you could remove the tracks from iTunes and re-add the files from the desktop to have them copied correctly, or consolidate files or whatnot.

     

    If that setting is already checked, then it may be some weird bug in iTunes or something, but I've never encountered that issue before, regardless of my iTunes Media location.

  • Evil Pants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks very much Pico. Unfortunately, that's not checked. I've experimented with this several times...if I add a file to iTunes, and the delete the original file, iTunes gives me the exclamation point of death, as if I had never added the file in the first place.

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