13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2010 11:57 PM by turingtest2
s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I tried looking through a lot of topics that had similar problems but haven't run across an answer yet. I am trying to locate original files for itunes. The library is directed to an external HD. The files are in the HD and I can 'find' them one at a time. As with others on this forum, I don't want to do it individually. Any one know an easy way to point to the music folder for all the titles?.

I actually have the whole library on a travel drive as well and it seems to find them there. If the travel drive is unplugged, then it cannot find the original. I'm guessing that there is a path that needs to be followed and yet in the advanced prefs it is pointing correctly.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,395 points)
    iTunes is a data base manager and creates associations - path - and if you disconnect the HD that the file is on then of course iTunes will want to find the 'original' - what would you expect?

    MJ
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks MJ, your DB analogy is helpful so I understand how that works, but it seems that even on a database that is disassociated, you can point once and all records can be reimported without individually updating records (especially since they are all located together). I guess the question is, How do you do that?

    BTW in the past, I have not had this issue. I have moved complete itunes folders to new drives and redirected the application to source the new drive and it has found almost everything. (I don't mind finding the odd individual song) I am not sure what to do here. I am moving everything libraries, mobile apps, source files. The whole itunes folder. What I don't know is if there are system files or such that need to be updated separately.

    Regardless. I still have a problem, but don't really know what to do. Any links to step by step directions?

    s2
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    MJ I just re-read your message. In case it isn't clear, the HD is connected to the system that is running itunes so there is a physical connection.
  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,395 points)
    If you are keeping 'all' the files including the Library file on the ext HD - and nest everything as if it were on the internal HD then I don't see where you can go wrong. That is how I handle other iTunes libraries that I have on ext HD's.

    When launch iTunes I do so with the 'option' key down and direct iTunes to the Library file on the ext HD and all works fine.

    iTunes will default to the last opened library - if it cannot find the last library opened it will give the dialog to find/open/create a different library.

    MJ
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Strange - I thought you had solved it MJ. It worked all of once (yesterday). I option-opened itunes. Located the library (and checked the files) on the remote drive and successfully accessed all my music. This morning I started up and tried the same thing. It has reverted back and is unable to find the sources unless I manually point each one. Not something I want to do everyday.

    Any other thoughts…

    anyone?
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,120 points)
    Perhaps the following snippets of info. have bearing:

    If your library is on an external drive which is not connected when you start iTunes it may open an older internal copy without complaining.

    iTunes always opens the last library it opened if it can.

    If iTunes opens from a library stored on an internal disc, but the library content is stored on an unconnected external disc, iTunes will "know" that all file paths are invalid, even if you subsequently connect the external drive. Closing & reopening iTunes should resolve things.

    tt2
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Unfortunately not. The drive is connected and running prior to launching itunes. I do not have an itunes library on an internal disk. I do have it on another USB external drive that I keep unplugged/disconnected. It seems to work fine from there, but is not suitable for a permanent solution.

    I have closed and relaunched itunes (3) times today to see if I can get lucky and have it connect to the 'last location'.

    Thanks tt2, but still open to other ideas.

    You used to be able to zap parameter ram or some such back in system 9. Is there an equivalent in OSX that would reset any system prefs that are guiding my itunes to a location I don't want. Is that even a solution?
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,120 points)
    Keeping libray & content togther on the same drive will, I suspect, prove more robust. If you could arrange to copy your library files to the parent of the media folder on the "content" drive, then use the Shift/Option-start-iTunes method to open the library from the "content" drive you might get lucky.

    When library & content are in the standard arrangement then iTunes can cope with changes in the drive letters or device IDs as all file references are considered relative to the library file.

    The order in which your devices are connected or initialise themselves when you start your computer may explain the random nature of your problem.



    tt2

    N.b. On a Mac the .itl extension is omitted. The xml file may be called iTunes Music Library.xml depending on the location of the library.

    Message was edited by: turingtest2
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the image. Perhaps the issue is that the Itunes folder is organized like itunes 8 and I am using itunes 9. the question is can I just add and name the folders you show in the graphic? How do I go about re-organizing it to look like an itunes 9 structure?

    Also is that the check box for itunes>prefs>adv>'keep itunes media folder organized'
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,120 points)
    *Don't move any media* until your library is working reliably.

    My experience is that you can move the "library" files (outside the red box) anywhere and provided the "content" (inside the red box) stays put iTunes will find the files. You can also move the library as a whole, "library" & "content", when nested as shown. Typically when people run out of room they follow a guide which explains how to relocate the content only using iTunes to manage the shift. This has two drawbacks, first iTunes can sometimes fail to complete the operation leading to an unstable library and second it complicates things when unxpected system changes occur.

    You might find your existing library and content will reconnect if you edit the location of the iTunes Media folder in preferences to the current location, close iTunes and reopen.

    iTunes 9 will work perfectly well with files in the older layout. If you "upgrade" to *iTunes Media Organisation* it should reorgainse the files, but similar caveats obtain. If iTunes crashes while moving the files about (as has heppened to others posting here) then repairing things is complicated. The automated process also fails to rename *iTunes Music* to *iTunes Media*

    Again, from my own tests and when properly nested, iTunes will accept the renaming of the *iTunes Music* folder as *iTunes Media* and update the iTunes Media folder preference automatically. If that works and you then close & reopen iTunes and everything still works normally, you can try pushing an Artist folder into iTunes\Media\Music. I think it works, but I manage the structures inside iTunes Media manually & I don't have time to test it just now. If iTunes doesn't llike any step you take just put things back where the were. You can always let iTunes manage the iTunes Media Organsiation upgrade if you have a decent backup and can restore.

    tt2
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,120 points)
    Again, from my own tests and when properly nested, iTunes will accept the renaming of the iTunes Music folder as iTunes Media and update the iTunes Media folder preference automatically. If that works and you then close & reopen iTunes and everything still works normally, you can try pushing an Artist folder into iTunes\Media\Music. I think it works, but I manage the structures inside iTunes Media manually & I don't have time to test it just now.

    OK, got that wrong. It's probably going to be easiest just to leave iTunes to do it, but for anyone who likes to manually organise their library (i.e. has Keep organised turned off) but still wants to move things into the new layout it can work. Having renamed *iTunes Music* as *iTunes Media* and checked that the preference for the iTunes Media folder is set to ...\iTunes\iTunes Media close iTunes, move the artist folders from *...\iTunes\iTunes Media* to *...\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music*. Start iTunes and change the designated media folder to *...\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music*. iTunes will update the library and when finished should be able to access all the media. Close iTunes, reopen iTunes, change the change the designated media folder back to *...\iTunes\iTunes Media*. Close, reopen & test. You may also need to now take the final step of executing the menu *Library > Organize Library > Upgrade to iTunes Media Organisation* although itunes might already recognise that you're using the new layout and disable that command.

    As ever backup up library files before changing anything and be prepared to backtrace your steps if something doesn't work out the way you expect.

    tt2
  • s2pid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks to all. While my question has not been answered, I ended up creating a new library. Now my songs show up, but all my playlists are gone. What I can't figure out is how to import back ups of playlists I made. I had backed them up and have .xml files for each one. It's not as easy as dropping them into itunes or 'adding'. Anyone have thoughts on that? Otherwise I've given up on trying to have the music recognized as I originally asked.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,120 points)
    The backed up XML files will refer to the old locations of files. When you try to import an XML playlist it will attempt to add the corresponding file to the library, which it can't because no file is there, and then add the track into the playlist, which it can only do if the file is already in the library or has been successfully imported. If you are prepared to edit the XML file so that the paths corespond to the current locations then it will work, otherwise at the end of a lenghty import process you will just get some empty playlists.

    tt2