10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 11, 2012 9:32 AM by turingtest2
fosbie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My music files were all in a structure that I liked on my D: drive and iTunes has a load of playlists etc that point to them.  I've now bought a NAS drive and moved the folder that contained all of the files onto it.  I haven't opened iTunes since doing this, but I know from past experience that it doesn't handle this situation well.

 

Having googled it there seem to be a lot of suggestions to do with enabling the "let iTunes manage your music" option, but I don't want it to mess up my structure and file names etc.

 

The iTunes library etc has not moved, just the music files.

 

I've tried this sort of thing in the past with no luck, I think my last attempt involved editing the paths in the iTunes xml file, but for somehow this didn't seem to help.

 

What is the right way of updating iTunes with the new location of my files?


iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iOS 6.0.1, Windows 7
  • 1. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    See this post on making a split library portable. It should be possible to manipulate your library into a portable format while preserving your folder layout. Once that is done you can move the whole library out to the NAS drive. Having made it work in that location you will probably need to bring the library files back to the internal drive for reasons of performance. You won't want to use the "rearrange" or "consolidate" features if trying to preserve your structure.

     

    tt2

  • 2. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,400 points)

    This isn't a comprehensive answer but some material for thought.

     

    You're right, iTunes does not like you manually moving media files.  If you manually manage music it can track it (at least on a Mac which is how I use it), but not if you move it to a different drive.  Moving to a different drive isn't really "moving", it is copying and deleting the original.

     

    I believe even if you manually manage music I believe you can move it to a different drive as long as the you move the whole iTunes folder with the complete collection of library files.  This won't work if you keep your library files and media files in a separate location. Nor can you move them using the standard procedure which is consolidating your collection since you don't want iTunes to organize it.

     

    The other way that works (at least on a Mac) is if the new drive has the exact same name as the old one.  I'm not sure if it is a easy to trick iTunes to do this on Windows since your new drive would likely also have to be D: etc.

     

    The .xml way is to save a copy of the .xml file, then edit all occurrences of the path with the new path.  You then open a new, blank iTunes library and import the modified .xml file.  The thing to bear in mind is while the .xml contains most of the information in the .itl file, it is not identical.  Just where the differences lie I do not know, however.

  • 3. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    fosbie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sounds like the xml modifying option is the only one then.  I will give it another go.  How do you start a new iTunes library then and import the xml?  I think that's what I must have missed last time round.

  • 4. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    The Mac OS includes something like a "private" name for a file which can still be found even when you move or rename it. There is no parallel in Windows. Files are expected to remain on a given path. You can however map drive letters to network folders so remapping drive D: to \\<Server>\<Share> is another potential way to approach this problem.

     

    tt2

  • 5. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    fosbie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I guess doing it via a mapped drive would be the safest way.

     

    Thanks.

  • 6. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    IIRC using an edited xml to rebuild will lose Date Added information and your smart playlists.

     

    As above there are ways to restructure the library and move it while maintaining a custom internal layout. Another possibility if you have any coding experience is to take my script ConsolidateByMoving ( except my site seems to be offline right now ) and rewrite it to your layout rules.

     

    tt2

  • 7. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,400 points)

    I see this in my .xml

     

    <key>Date Added</key><date>2012-03-05T19:22:08Z</date>

     

    I also see things such as:

     

    <key>Name</key><string>Recently Played</string>

                <key>Playlist ID</key><integer>79</integer>

     

    etc. although the actual definition may be buried in the long strings of nonsense characters after the playlist.

  • 8. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    My recollection is that when the xml is used to rebuild a library the date of the import into that library is used rather than the information stored in the xml. I could be wrong.

     

    tt2

  • 9. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,400 points)

    I just spent 15 minutes experimenting.  You are right, it does change the date added.  I know with using Dougscripts there is a workaround but not if there's an equivalent for Windows (if it even matters to the OP).

  • 10. Re: Moving music files to a NAS - files not managed by iTunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    Did you notice if the smart playlists were rebuilt as rule sets or just imported as regular playlists?

     

    tt2