Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2006 1:55 PM by robcar
Christopher Lee2 Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
Hi all,

I've searched the discussions and have found some info, but wondered it there was anything definitive on whether there is a "maximum size" limit in iTunes.

I've got a ton of music, all managed w/in iTunes. Currently 153GB and growing, over 2800 albums. The G5 has enough muscle to manage it, but it does take a bit longer to launch iTunes than it did a year ago. Sharing the library via AE with iTunes on my wife's PC takes 1-2 minutes to load.

I don't even try and launch iTunes on my Mac anymore if my iPod is attached beforehand... it will just sit there. Detach the iPod and iTunes launches properly, then I attach my iPod. This didn't happen when my library was much smaller, altho this could be a function of upgrading iTunes to v5.0, the June'05 iPod updater or other variables.

Just curious, wondering if I'm approaching some unspoken limit.
  • Maneesh Pangasa Level 2 Level 2 (380 points)
    Interesting question - unfortunately I don't have an answer but I never pondered whether iTunes Library has a limit to the number of songs you can have it. Well now this has made me think how much music can I put in my iTunes library.

    I have a desktop PC running Windows XP Pro and a 12' Apple PowerBook G4 with a 1 GHZ PowerPC processor - both have iTunes installed and I wonder if iTunes does have a size limit does it vary from PC iTunes to Mac iTunes or on both is the size limit the same?
  • boxhead Level 4 Level 4 (1,500 points)
    Some versions back there was a limit, around the 32,000 track mark. Nowadays library size is, I believe, only limited by the amount of memory on your computer.
  • Jayson Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    It just keeps going and going, the more smart playlists x songs equal longer start ups I have just over 220GB of music mostly high quality copies of CDs and my Vinyl Collection and it works fine.
  • Steve Itano Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Very interesting.... I was talking to a Apple Care Tech rep about moving my iTunes library to a external HD, it was "his" opinion that I was streching the limits of iTunes at 50 gigs..... now you guys are way above that.... how do we ask the gurus at Apple????
  • Jayson Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    strange, If you call apple ask for someone with tier 3 support, they realy know their __
    I have friends that have all gone successfully over the 50GB as well with no known problems????? maybe there is some underlying feature that stops functioning, but what? itunes (4.9) seams to run great. Im sure if it stoped working in any significant way at 50GB you would see a lot more posts about it.
  • Jayson Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    just a side note i thought of, I think itunes is slowed more by actual track number and sorting through all the information associated with the actual music file than the actual GB size of your music collection. for instance I have 10,850 songs which consume 228.21GB of space. because every thing is recorded and imported at the higest quality / sample rate / bit depth as itunes will allow, i have not that much music but it takes up a lot of space my buddy has around 80GB of low quality mp3s, close to 30,000 songs and lots of smart playlists and his itunes takes much longer than mine to load initially.
  • Lita Kaufman Level 5 Level 5 (5,315 points)

    Bad, bad Apple Care Tech - 50 gb - ***?!?!??! Does this guy know that Apple makes a 60 gb iPod?

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)
    Gotta agree with Lita on this one. That was just dumb of an Apple Care rep to say. My iTunes Library is currently about 117GB. There is no limit to the size of the Library, but the iTunes interface might slow down the larger the iTunes Library file gets. But it would have to get really, really big to cause any serious slow downs.

    iTunes keeps all of its data in a database, the iTunes Library file. This database is really nothing more than pointers to the physical files that reside on your HD. You see the contents of this file when you use iTunes, but if you want a look at the raw data you can Export your Library and open the resulting XML file in a spread sheet app, like MS Excel.
  • Huw Evans2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Don't know if this related but I have just tried creating a brand new iTunes 5 library on a Windows PC (XP Pro) by scanning my existing MP3 directories. iTunes stopped when 50GB had been identified, although I have in excess of 150GB of music on my PC.
  • Christopher Lee2 Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    THANK YOU to all of of you for your replies to my original message... very informative. I think Jayson nailed it for me when he indicated that it's not the gigs, it's the number of songs. My 153GB of music = 38k songs... in his case he's got ~11k songs taking up 220GB of space.

    Much appreciated, as always!

  • Andrew De Andrade Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I have 298gb and 65k songs

    it is pretty slow sometimes.... especially if i am playing music and editing id3 tags at the same time
  • Sara Callen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Well, I have 36k songs filling up 292gigs of space on my main machine spread over 4 drives. [G4 DP 867] PLUS I have 34gigs of music on my old G4 400 that I have networked to my iTunes library--for rarely played tunes.

    I do experience 1 or 2 second gaps in the middle of songs sometimes, but that is rare. Sharing the library onto my iBook over airport takes about the same time as you describe

    I did have the problem with the machine hanging, sometimes even just dying, several months ago when the iPod [an old 5 gig] was attached and iTunes was not running. I fixed the problem, but can't remember what did it. I know that I restored the iPod software about that time, and also rebuilt my library. [I had a hard drive that was loosing/corrupting data so I moved everything off of it, formatted it and then moved the data back.]

    I wish I could specifically remember what fixed it, but the above is all I can remember. Everything works great now.

    Good luck Christopher
  • Douglas Abbott Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Interesting observation.

    I've got 19 320 songs occupying 112.75G of external hard drive [LaCie 500G-D2/FW400/FW800/USB]. I haven't noticed a significant problem in starting up. I do see considerably longer search times (which should be understandable). I also have My Music divided across 2 partitions (I don't have another drive of any size that I can use to create a single folder). Would defraging the drive improve things or running the disk utility find hidden or subtle problems?
  • STEADI-G Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am currently at 120,659 songs 9,700 albums. I have 3 Lacie 500GB/FW800 for the collection. My iTunes is crawling. I just upped my RAM to 8GB. it helped alittle. I got TP2GO working on the problem..anyone else got an ideas. I have a friend who has 180,000 songs. He is crawling too...He says Apple is working on a version of iTunes called,"iTunes Pro"...anyone know about this? He said it will be more processor effiecient and faster.
    Thank you
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