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Can I split my iTunes library across two hard drives?

39416 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2014 5:09 PM by BarackObama RSS
  • DeputyDog2003 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just got off the phone with apple. Best suggestion they had was to create two iTunes libraries. One with music on MacBook internal drive and one for movies (in my case on a network drive hooked up to the USB port on my time capsule so ill have wifi access to it anywhere in my house.)  This way I can keep my music with me when I go places but have movies available for my apple tv's when I'm home without taking up valuable space on my MacBook. I highly recommend not messing with the iTunes filing system, always seems to mess something up.

  • Ekko316 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    HERE'S WHAT WORKS FOR ME!!

     

    I owe a lot of thanks to everyone who has posted in this and other boards as it has helped me to figure out how I should approach the matter.  I'm going to make this as simple as possible.  Forgive me if my explanation isn't elaborate or simple enough.

     

    1st:  I followed the steps to transfer my entire library, etc. to my external hard drive as outlined here:

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

     

    2nd:  I deleted only the "Movies" folder from my "iTunes Music" folder on the internal hard drive, thus, freeing up a large amount of storage.

     

    3rd:  I made an alias of the newly transferred "Movies" folder on the external hard drive and then moved it to the appropriate spot in the "iTunes Music" folder on my internal hard drive (in place of the old one - make sure you delete the old one).

     

    4th:  Change the iTunes Media folder location back to the default/original location on the internal hard drive -

     

    itunes.jpg

    After doing so, close out of iTunes and reopen and check to make sure everything is working properly (i.e. leave the external hard drive plugged in and make sure the movies play and then unplug the external hard drive and see if you get the error message that the file cannot be located, etc.)

     

    By doing this, you free up space on your Mac by placing all the movie files on your external hard drive and can still have iTunes act as usual by accessing both your music AND movie files from your original media folder location on your Mac.  Please note that your iTunes will only access the movie files so long as you have the external hard drive plugged in.  In addition to this, whenever you add a new movie file to iTunes, you'll have to move it from the internal hard drive media folder location to the external hard drive's and then go back to the internal and delete. 

     

    Considering the end results, it really isn't much hassle at all.  Just plug and play and be sure to move new files to the external hard drive.

     

    Hope this helps!!!  =)

  • W. McHargue Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Ekko316 wrote:

     

    HERE'S WHAT WORKS FOR ME!!

     

    ...

     

    3rd:  I made an alias of the newly transferred "Movies" folder on the external hard drive and then moved it to the appropriate spot in the "iTunes Music" folder on my internal hard drive (in place of the old one - make sure you delete the old one).

     

    I found that iTunes would not follow the normal Finder-generated "aliases", but when I created a "symbolic link" it did. I don't know if this is a problem with iTunes 11 or just something about my setup, but the symbolic link seems to be working for me. Note that when you do a Get Info in the Finder for a symbolic link it still reports that it is a type "Alias"—the Finder does not seem to distinguish between the Mac OS X alias and the (Unix) symbolic link.

     

    To create symbolic links you need to use the Unix command "ln". In Teminal you can enter "man ln" to learn about the command syntax. Also, this was a good posting on the topic: http://gigaom.com/2011/04/27/how-to-create-and-use-symlinks-on-a-mac/

     

    If anyone finds that symbolic links are not required for iTunes 11 please post a reply. Tnx.

  • MuckleEck Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Miniman,

     

    I have a 2008 Mac Mini and have a similar issue with the size of my iTunes library. I am not a great fan of the "Keep folder organised" and "copy to folder' but since the kids and the wife add stuff to the library I want it as simple as possible.

     

    I initially started with two separate 3TB USB disks and had these backed up elsewhere in the house. So I took the plunge and created a Consolidated disk from the two disks (in disk utilities) , in effect creating a single 6TB disk. This took half an hour or so and then the process of adding everything back into the library took another two days. It works fine. The only problem is that the two disks are now inseperable and are not readble separately, so ensure that you have a backup of everything at all times.

     

    I am sure that a Raid 0 array would have been just as good.

     

    Eck

  • markmc78 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I can't get it to work at all, neither with aliases or symlinks - they work in the sense that double clcking them takes you to the correct target folder, but every time I try to add, say, a movie to iTunes, iTunes says "Attempting to copy to the disk Macintosh HD failed as the disk could not be found"???

  • bill_lynn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I use a free app called TuneSpan. It allows you to divide your media collection across a number of drives. I keep 188 Gb of music on my 1 Tb internal drive and the remaining 2 Tb (movies, TV shows, books, etc.) on a 3 Tb external. Works fine.

  • iAmRenzo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem. The simlink is working (when I double click it, it goes to the external drive). But adding is a problem and gives me the same error as markmc78 has.

  • iAmRenzo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That's not free (anymore)

  • markmc78 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    What I do now is simply put an alias to the movie/TV show I want to add into Automatically Add to iTunes folder.  This adds it to iTunes without moving or copying the file.

  • bill_lynn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's at least worth the free download to try it. I moved 481 Gb of music and TV shows to a second drive. I plan to move my HD movies to a third drive.

  • BarackObama Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I solved this problem by buying a Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt array.

     

    It is Raid.. and has 6 drives.  You can get them with 4 or two, I think.

     

    No more storage issues for my array.  Add to that, its a lot faster.

     

     

    I also put my time machine backups on it.     Billyuns and billyuns of backups.

     

     

     

    These are really expensive, new, though.  I bought mine off ebay and it was 1100.

     

    Thats a lot, but its basically half price and was basically new.   I am sure you can find them cheaper.

  • BarackObama Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You should also be able to buy a drive and   raid your drives into a JBOD.  This will give you the added space available on what looks like your one main drive.

     

    You can do this without buying a Pegasus.   The macOS will do it for you.   Your computer will just see one main drive.  Add new drives as necessary.

  • BarackObama Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No.. a Raid 0 Array isnt just as good as spanning the drive accross multiple drives.

     

    If you raid it  and a drive fails... ALL your data is gone.   All of it.

     

    If you span and a drive fails.. only half of it is gone.  It might not even be that.  If you have 3tb on one and 1tb of 3 on another and the second drive fails.. you only lose 1tb.

     

    Getting your data back is as easy as setting the disk back to be a single disk.  the data is still readable.

     

    the raid1 good drive will have 64k of good data.. 64k of missing data.. 64k of good data....etc etc.   unusable data for all but the smallest files.

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