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Back up just SOME of the music library to an external hard drive

2997 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 3:14 AM by bolehill RSS
bolehill Calculating status...
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Jan 30, 2013 2:08 AM

I want to move just some of my music from my iTunes library onto an external hard drive (reason? the music cannot be got again, but right now I am not sure if I need it all or not).

So I want to move, say, 50 albums from the main iTunes libraray to an external drive and then be able to move some or all of them back again at later date.

Do I have to copy the whole library over to the external drive and then delete the albums there that I did not want to copy over?  Or is there a better way?

And how will I copy back just some of the back-up albums at a later date - is it the normal "Add folder/file to [main] library command from the File menu?

iPod classic 160GB (Late 2009), Windows XP
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Ideally you want your entire library organized on a single drive, in turn backed up to a second drive for security.


    Putting that to one side however, if you want to move part of your library to a second media folder I have a script called ConsolidateByMoving which can do that for you, thereby freeing up space on the current library drive. The same tool can be used to move the files back if/when needed. Note that migrating your library to a new drive/computer is much easier if everything is in one place.



  • anon55555 Calculating status...



    If I'm understanding you right, you just want to have a second copy of certain albums/songs in another location in case your hard drive goes to crap.. But you do not necessarily want to back up your entire library since you can get some music back with relative ease?


    If that's the case, you should just be able to go to your Music folder(or My Music, depending on Windows version), select iTunes, then iTunes Media, Music, then you can just copy and paste what artists you want backed up to your external. If you only want specific albums from that artist, just open that artist's folder and you'll see the individual albums. Take it one step further if you only want certain songs off a particular album.


    Hope that helps.


    EDIT: Just saw that you are using Windows XP. Its been a while since I looked at iTunes in XP, but for the most part it works the same way. Your folder titles may just vary a bit (IE: iTunes Music instead of iTunes Media I think...)


    Message was edited by: anon55555

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Yes, you are probably best moving the whole library. Close iTunes, move the entire iTunes folder from <User's Music> to the root of your external drive, e.g. E:\iTunes. Hold down shift as you start iTunes and keep holding until asked to choose or create a library. Click choose, browse to the new location and open the iTunes Library.itl file.


    The backup tip is effectively an incremental back, although it is actually a file level clone. You should find a library backed up in this fashion is ready to work on any system running the same build of iTunes which, in my eyes, makes it more useful than a propriety archive format which will need software to restore.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    You need to backup the whole library. Normally this will be a folder called iTunes which holds some library files and contains a media folder called iTunes Media. As long as all the media connected to the iTunes library is stored somewhere inside iTunes media then the library folder can be moved from one path to another really easily. This can include moving/backing up a higher level folder if necessary.


    Here are typical layouts for the iTunes folders:



    If you've previously moved the iTunes folder and simply renamed it iTunes Data then it shouldn't be a problem. If iTunes Data is actually the "media folder" then perhaps you have a split library. If you have media stored outside the media folder, or the media folder isn't directly inside the library folder, then the library won't be portable so moving it to a new location may break the links between the library and the tracks. I can talk you through the steps to repair things if necessary.



    Various PCs,iTunes,iOS 6, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone 3GS,iPod classic,nano
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    For a backup to work properly everything needs to be in the source folder and the destination, then you can afford for either device to fail. Alternatively if you're thinking about say iTunes Movies which could be downloaded again, then I guess you could discard one copy and exclude the particular folders from syncing in order to free up space on either the source or destination drives.




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