I have my media on an external as well, and have seen this issue. What I noticed was, if I open iTunes and my external drive is not connected then iTunes will change the media location to its' default. So I learned that to avoid the problem, I have to make sure the external is connected before opening iTunes.
If your drive is connected (and showing on desktop/Finder) but iTunes is still changing the media location to its' default then I can't say why that would be.
I'm running a 2008 MBP (upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard) and keep my data on a 500gb external 2.5" drive connected via USB. I've experienced the same issue with my iMac G5 (upgraded from Tiger to Leopard) with media on a 1tb external Firewire drive with its' own power source. My 'fix' works for both of my set ups.
Message was edited by: Uisge Beatha
I was going to post about this exact same issue. This happens to me all the time as well. I have an external drive connected to my Airport Extreme via USB storing all my music. iTunes always resets the location to the default.
The drive is connected and reachable, so no idea why it keeps happening. Any help would be appreciated.
So I tested a little bit, and seem to have worked around this. For some reason iTunes will not connect to the router's drives, and I guess just default to the home directory.
However, if I first click into the music drive I have connected to the router, THEN open iTunes, the music location is preserved as it should be. Guess I will add that to start up...
Hope this helps. Not sure why iTunes would not try to connect to the drive (TimeMachine does this to another connected drive), but at least this does work.
I keep my music on an external drive and also had this issue, but with a different twist. Not only was were the preferences set back to the default (i.e., local) folder, +but every item in my library was mapped back to the default folder as well+. So now my music won't play, and I have so many objects in my library that "locating" each individual file would take forever.
Does anyone know how I can map the library items back to my external drive? The only thing I can think of is to copy everything to the default/local folder so that iTunes recognizes it, then consolidate my library which copies it back to the external. This seems unnecessarily time-consuming and complicated. There must (or should!) be an easier way.
With all of the trouble shooting that I did in trying to get my library onto my external drive I ended up consolidating everything in the end.
First I directed my "Media Folder Location" to me HD (wirelessly), hit okay to the following question, it went through it's motions then asked I wanted to keep it organized. I said yes. After that was done, I went File — Library — Organize (Consolidate on earlier versions of iTunes). Selected both prompts and let it copy everything to my drive. It took a **** of a long time.
When it was done I was super excited cause my laptop was now clean of all my music and movies. Unfortunately, when I restarted iTunes the following day, my media was pointed the default folder. Which brought me to this forum. I have now learned to boot my HD at login and open iTunes afterwards. Amazing.
Thank you everybody.
With a new external hard drive that is Mac and Windows compatible, I can plug it in and start using it as is, without reformatting it. However, then I end up with the same problem you all describe -- iTunes default directory changes periodically from my external hard drive back to the internal hard drive. I found that if I use Disk Utility to format the new external hard drive as "Mac OX extended (journaled)," iTunes never changes my default directory again! iTunes remains pointed to the external drive even if it is not plugged in when I open iTunes, unless I tell it otherwise.
This worked using Leopard, and now Snow Leopard.
i was also facing the same problem, but i seem to have found a solution i closed the itunes out of frustration. And then when i restarted everything was normal once again. i think the external drive had mounted by then and restarting the itunes put everything back in place. so i decided to put this thing on the forum. would be glad to know whether it helped others or not.
The problem is that when the location changes I don't notice. I import files into iTunes and they are placed on my local disk. I then have to:
1. Change the iTunes Media Folder Location to my external drive
2. Run Consolidate files from the Organize menu
Bit annoying really, might end up buying a NAS instead of Time Capsule because the TC is so slow and doesn't seem to support using it as an iTunes media server.
# Right click (or Ctrl click if you’re not using a mouse) on the “iTunes Music” folder on the external hard drive and choose “Make Alias”, the icon for this folder will look like a normal folder but with a little arrow on it
# Move the new “iTunes Music alias” folder back to the iTunes library folder on your internal hard drive (if you have not changed the defaults the path should look like “Music” > “iTunes” > “iTunes Music”)
# If you’re like me and don’t want to delete the existing files on your internal hard drive before you’re sure the new setup is working, change the old “iTunes Music” folder name to “iTunes Music Backup”
# Change the name of the “iTunes Music alias” folder to “iTunes Music” (so now everything is the same as it was before except the “iTunes Music” folder icon has the little arrow on it)
# Open iTunes
I would like to know if you've found a sollution, because I have exactly the same problem. I used to use both my local drive and my external drive to store music and the paths would stay intact even if the external drive wouldn;t be connected. Every now and then I would add the music files on my local drive by simply changing the settings to the music folder on the external drive and by opening the music files when connected to the extrenal drive. This would relocate the files to the external drive. Then I would delete the local files.
It used to always remember the path of the songs but now when I opened iTunes without being connected to the external drive it changed all the paths of all the songs to the local music folder....
Thanks for your answer.