3 Replies Latest reply: Jul 24, 2013 4:59 PM by turingtest2
Stu Farnham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a large iTunes library consisting mostly of music -- a bit over 70,000 songs. As you can imagine, managing metadata is vital to keeping such a large collection organized and usable.


I've been an iTunes user for years, but a couple of things have happened that are leading me to seek alternatives:


1. iTunes 11. In earlier versions of iTunes search integrated nicely with what is now the iTunes playlist window. In iTunes 11 search is much more structured and therefor limiting for users like me.

2. Performance is horrible when searching, updating metadata, etc.


Any thoughts on scalable alternatives for folks like me with large libraries and good housekeeping needs?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), 13" mid-2012, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD,
  • 1. Re: iTunes 11 and large libraries
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    Have you restored the original search behaviour by clicking the search magnifying glass and unticking Search entire library?


    If your library is stored on an external drive or a network share you will get some performance gains by leaving the media where it is, but copying the library files onto a local disk and connecting to them there. (Note extra care needs to be taken when migrating a split library.) Every action in iTunes triggers the recalculation of all smart playlists and the rewriting of the iTunes database. Keeping the number of playlists to a minimum will help performance.



  • 2. Re: iTunes 11 and large libraries
    Stu Farnham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The tip about unticking search entire library helped search performance but not update performance. All of my files are located on a secondary internal HD, and only have two playlists (both smart playlists).


    Even if performance were not an issue, the interface itself is not particularly scalble as compared to iTunes 10 and earlier.

  • 3. Re: iTunes 11 and large libraries
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,520 points)

    Have you explored all the options in iTunes 11? Have you enabled the side, status, and menu bars? Enabled list views everywhere? Turned off the display of iTunes in the cloud purchases? I agree that repsonsiveness does seem to drop off sharply with larger libraries, but a larger database needs a more powerful computer to run effectively. Having been running an underpowered PC for quite some time I've learnt to be patient. I've just managed to migrate a clone of my library files into a new top end Mac mini with 16Gb of ram, and even though the media is back on a PC network share accessed over Wi-Fi, the Mac's copy of the library is much more responsive than my original.