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Using Time Capsule for iTunes

12783 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2013 5:13 AM by hadirajan RSS
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mefromgreenwich Calculating status...
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Jul 3, 2011 1:20 PM

I have installed my 2TB time capsule and it is currently performing the full back up. I would like to move my enstire iTunes onto the time capsule and have my mac read iTunes from TC instead of MAC (my MAC keeps filling up and I have to keep deleting movies). How do i do this?

  • Gil Ramirez Calculating status...
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    Jul 3, 2011 3:25 PM (in response to mefromgreenwich)

    There are a few different ways you can do this, but here's how I do it:


    1. Locate the iTunes folder, usually located in the Music folder under your home folder.

    2. Mount the Time Capsule disk to the desktop by opening a finder window, selecting your Time Capsule from the Shared list on the left, and clicking the disk icon.

    3. Drag your iTunes folder over to the Time Capsule's disk icon on the desktop. This will take a while if you have a lot of content. Might want to plug into an Ethernet connection.

    4. Once the folder has copied over to the Time Capsule, drag the original iTunes folder to the trash

    5. Open up iTunes, it will give you a message saying your library cannot be found and gives you the choice of creating a new one or locating an existing one. Choose Locate an existing one, and browse to the iTunes folder you just copied to your Time Capsule. Select the iTunes Library file.


    Go into iTunes preferences and select Advanced, and make sure the Media Folder location reflects the path to the iTunes Media Folder on the Time Capsule disk, if it doesn't, change it and click OK. Try playing some content to make sure it works. If it does, you can empty the Trash containing your old iTunes folder. I use this method myself, and I've never had any issues with it. One thing to keep in mind is that your Time Capsule drive needs to be mounted when you use iTunes. I find it best to create a startup item in my account under System Preferences.

    Hope this helps!

  • Gil Ramirez Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Jul 4, 2011 3:05 PM (in response to mefromgreenwich)

    Yes, I meant the folder icon. Clicking on the folder icon will mount the disk to your desktop, just copy the iTunes folder there.

  • jceaves Calculating status...
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    Dec 22, 2011 10:14 AM (in response to Gil Ramirez)

    This solution simply does not work.  When one carries out the steps specified by Gil Ramirez, it is possible to:

    1. move the iTunes media folder and
    2. it is also possible to delete the original iTunes folder


    However, if iTunes is closed and then reopened, iTunes does not ask you where to find the library.  Instead, it will create a new iTunes folder on your computer, negating all of the work you just did (no matter how many time you repeat these steps). 


    Specifically, what happens:

    1. after the new iTunes folder is created, it will no longer list the time capsule as the media folder in iTunes preferences
    2. you will scream at your computer and the Apple development team (oooh, heresy?)


    I've redirected iTunes to use the time capsule as the media folder 10 times, possibly more, over the past year, and the only reason I keep trying to use iTunes is because I have a Sonos system connected to it and requiring a network storage disk for Sono to be able to access household music.


    No matter how many times one assigns a new media folder on a time capsule within iTunes, if iTunes is closed or the computer is shut down and then restarted, iTunes will fail to reconnect with and recognize the time capsule and will create a new iTunes folder on the computer.  There appears to be no way around this.  It is extremely frustrating. 

  • Gil Ramirez Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Dec 22, 2011 10:26 AM (in response to jceaves)

    Thank you for posting this message, as I realized I forgot to include a step. After you have moved the iTunes library over to the Time Capsule, quit iTunes. Then, open iTunes again while holding the Option key. A dialog box will come up giving you the option to locate a library. From there, select the library on your Time Capsule.


    You should only need to do this once. From now on, iTunes will automatically load the library from your Time Capsule.

  • Foot3591 Calculating status...
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    Feb 5, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to Gil Ramirez)

    If you are moving the "library" to the time capsule that is what is causing the problem of itunes recreating the folder everytime.  You only want to move the media folder to time capsule.  Those are he actual music, video etc files that itunes ues.  The "library" is nothing more than the index cards that tells itunes where to find the media file, plus it contatins the other file information such as artwork, times played, etc.


    Leave the library right where it is, move then delete just the media file.  Then go into itunes preferences, advanced, and browse for the new media file.  Close and reopen itunes, i quareentee it will find the files.


    I have done this for months, have two macs with separate libraries accessing the same media files on the time capsule.  Works like a charm.  If I buy someting from itunes both libraries are updated and can access the same purchase so long as sharing is turned on. If you add something manually the you have to do it again on the second machine.  Just make sure oneof them has the copy files unchecked under advanced, otherwise you will end of with two copis of the file, wasteing a lot of space.  Essentially you have identical libraries on two macs just with a different identificaton number wih allows the two libraries to access the same mdia files at the same time.

  • eduldem Calculating status...
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    Feb 23, 2012 11:32 PM (in response to Foot3591)



    I just got a TC and I want to do exactly what you did. I have two macs and I want to have the same music in both of my libraries but I want the music files to be on the TC so I don't waste my macs' memory space. Currently, both of my libraries are empty so I have to start from scratch. What's the best way to accomplish what you did??

  • tincha Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:53 AM (in response to Foot3591)

    Thank for the tip. Would this be a better way to move the media folder to the TC?:


  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5 (5,750 points)
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    Jul 20, 2012 10:45 PM (in response to eduldem)

    It's only cheaper, but easier to simply use iTunes Match here....


    A TC costs you minimum 100$ a year on average, while Match does what you want & more for just 25$.

  • sparkylulu Calculating status...
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    Aug 22, 2012 7:33 AM (in response to Gil Ramirez)

    Two questions:

    I use tc this way and point my MacBook to it to play my music. Mor often than not I have to reset iTunes as it defaults to the iTunes folder. Have you had this problem?


    Secondly, I do not have iTunes match. Can I point it to the tc and have it match from there?



  • 81macman81 Calculating status...
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    Sep 18, 2012 6:30 PM (in response to Gil Ramirez)

    Thx for the extra step about holding option key down while opening Itunes.  I was already doing everything else, but when i read your post that fixed my problem of having to identify itunes library all the time.  Thanks again for your advice - people like me actually do read these forums to solve problems - kudos to you



  • KenZakreski Calculating status...
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    Nov 11, 2012 1:10 PM (in response to mefromgreenwich)



    I would like to try playing music from the TC but using a iOS device and locate it at my stereo in the living room.


    Can I play the TC music library from a iOS device (like ipod gen4)?


    Can I remote control that iOS device from my desktop or iPhone using the Apple Remote app?



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