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Cooying music from external hard drive to ipod

23035 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2013 10:48 AM by Angela flett RSS
chrisg Level 2 Level 2 (180 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 4, 2013 1:59 PM

Is it possible to copy music from an external hard drive onto an ipod?

I have an external drive with a lot of music that i've deleted off my laptop to free up space and now i want to put it onto new ipod.

There isnt enough space on my laptop hardrive to put the music back onto laptop so is therre a way to transfer from hard drive to ipod?

Thank you

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (29,995 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 3:04 AM (in response to chrisg)

    Yes, but it still needs to be done through your iTunes library.  If you don't want the songs to be stored on the laptop's hard drive, you can do one of two things.


    (1) Change the location of the iTunes Media folder, so that ALL songs (and other iTunes media) are stored on the external drive.  If you currently have a smaller number of song files stored on the laptop's drive, it's "a few" steps to get everything consolidated, so you can post back if you want to do this.


    (2) You can keep the current setup for the iTunes Media folder, but add songs stored elsewhere (such as on an external drive) to your iTunes library.


    To do this, open iTunes preferences, Advanced tab.  Find the checkbox for Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to libraryUncheck it, and click OK. 


    Now, you can add songs (to the iTunes library) from the external drive, and iTunes does NOT add the song files to the iTunes Media folder on the laptop's drive.  iTunes accesses the files from the external drive.  The songs are in the iTunes library, so you can load them on your iPod using your preferred method.


    The disadvantage is that iTunes is not automatically adding the song file to the iTunes Media folder, if that's what you want for a particular song.  And for the songs stored on the external hard drive, if you want to use them in iTunes (to play or to sync), that external drive needs to be connected.

  • leutonia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi.  I have another question kind of related to this; perhaps you can help.  I had my iTunes library on an external HD; I found sending it there easy enough.  For some reason, though, iTunes can no longer find my library, even though my iTunes folder and all of the songs are still there.  What doesn't seem to be in there, though, is the actual library file.  I'm not sure why it's gone - I never messed with that folder.  I've tried to open slightly earler versions of my library (ie: previous itl files) and that doesn't work, either.


    I've tried everything I can think of but realize that I'm probably just going to have to rebuild the library.  Is there a way I can build my library within the same HD, rather than dragging all of the music back onto my laptop and then back into the HD? 


    Does my question make sense? 

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (29,995 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2013 12:26 PM (in response to leutonia)

    The iTunes Library database file remains in the iTunes folder on the internal drive, even if you move the iTunes Media folder to an external drive.  It should be at


    <user home folder>/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library


    If it's still there, you can try opening it using the method to switch between iTunes libraries.



    In the latest version of iTunes, the iTunes Library file seems to have an .itl extension.  You need to use this procedure, not just double-click on the file.


    If you want to create a new iTunes Library, the procedure is in the same document.  To use your existing iTunes Media folder on the external drive, go to iTunes preferences Advanced tab.  Where is says iTunes Media folder location, click Change to point it to its location on the external drive.  Click OK.


    I don't think this will make all of your existing songs appear in iTunes, because changing that location setting is going forward.  If your iTunes Music library in iTunes is still empty, locate your iTunes Media folder on the external drive (using Windows or Finder on a Mac).  Drag the entire folder to the iTunes window, and drop it there.  Alternately, you can use the command


    iTunes menu bar -> File -> Add to Library...


    and select your iTunes Media folder.  This should add all of your existing media.  Unfortunately, supporting data such as playlists, ratings, playcount, etc. were stored in the iTunes Library file, so the new library will not have them.

  • leutonia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  When I go to my <user home folder>/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library file, it just opens the blank iTunes.  I can't seem to find an .itl file, even though I was successfully using iTunes 11 prior to this event.  When I try to open the .xml file, my computer says I can't open it. 


    I guess I'll try dragging the media folder into itunes again, but how do i ensure it doesn't copy all of the songs back onto my internal HD?  Will iTunes automatically route to the songs where they exist?

  • Angela flett Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to chrisg)

    Hi after I have unchecked the box I am not sure what to do next !!


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