10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2009 8:48 AM by thicks
Our Tiny Servant Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Ok, so now all my music is on my external hard drive, which has cleared tonnes of space on my Macbook which is great.
But, now there are none of my old playlists in tact. They're just blank spaces. How do I go about restoring the information?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2.16 GHz 15inch 3 GB Ram
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    How was it that you moved the music. You COULD have moved the whole library to the external with all your playlists intact, but it sounds like you did something to prevent that. Did you start the library over again or something after manually moving the music?

    Patrick
  • Our Tiny Servant Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hmm yes. I imported the entire library again. The playlists still exist, though, so there must be some information on them somewhere.
  • ernie goldstein Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    my imac has a 500g HD so all my music is still on my mac. I do have 2 external HD's. My 1terrabit lacie I use just for time machine. Also i have a 500g lacie that i use for a second source to back up itunes, photos, etc. this is how i made another back up ove my play lists. 1st I created a folder on my desk top and named it playlists. Then i open itunes & right click on a play list. when the pop up window opens set to save as your playlist .xml where, desktop, format .xml I then I then drag the playlist on my desk top into the folder that i created. i do this for all my play lists. once i have all my play lists in the music folder on my desk top i then open my external hard drive & drag my play list folder into it for safe keeping. do not remove the playlist folder from the desk top as any time you add more play lists or make changes to existing play lists you can do the same procedure again. now after you do this and want to test it out all you do is delete one of your pay lists from your itunes library. then go to file, library import playlist. click on the playlist that you deleted & presto it reappears. I have over 200 playlists so i do everything i can to make sure i do not lose them. I really do not think this is really related to the original question but thought it might be helpfull information to some people. I am always on these boards asking questions so i just thought i might be helpful to someone this time.
  • PT Level 7 Level 7 (20,880 points)
    If you can put the library back to the way it was on the internal drive with the playlist working and all that, here is how you should move it to the external drive...

    Assuming you use the iTunes default settings where iTunes copied added items to your iTunes folder and organizes your library (meaning - everything is all self contained in the iTunes folder), then all you have to do is drag & drop your iTunes folder (not just the iTunes Music folder you find inside the iTunes folder) to the external drive and copy the entire thing.

    If you want to test that it worked or would like to actually start using it from that location instead, use these instructions when you start iTunes to point it to the new location...

    How to open an alternate iTunes Library file or create a new one
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304447

    If you are just testing to make sure a backup copy works and still want to use the internal location, then close iTunes after you verify it works, and restart iTunes again with the same instructions and point it back to your internal drive (original) location. Otherwise you are all set to use the library from the external location.

    Additional info...
    Back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=307074

    Cheers,
    Patrick
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,100 points)
    To save you all this work in future - instead of backing up all your playlists separately into a folder, just backup the iTunes Music Library.xml file.
  • ernie goldstein Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Chris,
    Like I said I am far from a genius as I am always asking questions on this board.I do believe your way is easier way than mine. just let me know if i did it right. I went to finder clicked on music then clicked on itunes folder then dragged itunes music library .xml which was not a folder but looked like a piece of paper into my external hard drive. I did a test by removing one playlist & I did get it back when i went to file import. Is this the way you said to do it. If thanks.Also you can now let me know if i am backing backing up my itunes music library the correct way. I go to finder click on my music folder then drag the itunes folder to my external HD. Any time I add any music to my library I always back up. I have almost 21,000 songs in my library & am trying to do what ever I can to make sure it is saved in case my internal HD ever dies
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,100 points)
    Yes - provided that you are COPYING not moving to the external drive, that's fine. And to copy the entire iTunes folder to the eHD is a wise move - that copies all your music AND the iTunes Library files too.
  • ernie goldstein Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Chris
    Thanks for the quick reply. I will copy my playlists your way now. Chris, I have 140g of music in my itunes library & 267g left on my imac internal Hd. I think if I ever got to the point where my internal Hd was running out of room I would just buy another imac with the new 1terra bit HD. I am sure I would be one of the people who screw up the process of transferring my music to my external Hd to free up space on my Mac. I am always reading about people on this board screwing it up & am sure I would be adding my self to the list. Thanks for all your help & am quite sure you will be helping me out again sometime as I always see you on this board
  • Thomas Knoop Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Reading this thread hits home with a similar question: if I've backed up my iTunes library to an EHD and want to 'test' my backup by playing music from the EHD on another computer (mac laptop which on its own doesn't have enough storage to hold the music library), how do I access the iTunes library on the EHD and play music on the laptop? Thanks
  • thicks Level 2 Level 2 (395 points)
    It's better to start your own topic-question than to piggyback on one from someone else, but I'll respond.

    You can right-click (control+click) on a file in the finder and open it in iTunes or QuickTime. If you do it in QuickTime, you can be sure that you won't be adding the file to your library.