8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2010 10:56 AM by turingtest2
Complainer Level 1 (10 points)
Since Itunes uses one of the most frustrating, non-intuitive and intrusive file manaagement schemes around, someone must have written some documentation on how iTunes goes about the chore of storing, finding, and managing data in a Windows environment. Where do I find such a document that will tell me when iTunes creates new folders, where, why, what storage decisions can and cannot be controlled by the iTunes user. I know from experience that the preferences advanced tab barely scratches the surface for controlling all the unwanted things iTunes is doing to my Windows file structure.

Generic, Windows XP Pro
  • ed2345 Level 7 (22,789 points)
    Complainer wrote:
    Where do I find such a document that will tell me when iTunes creates new folders, where, why, what storage decisions can and cannot be controlled by the iTunes user.

    If you go into Edit > Preferences > Advanced, and turn off both the "Keep..." and "Copy..." options, iTunes will not move or rename any of your files or folders, but rather will reference the file in its location existing at the time the file is added to the library.

    If you let iTunes automatically add a file, either by ripping a CD, making a purchase at the iTunes Store, using the "Create XXX version" command, or using the "Automatically Add" folder, then iTunes puts the track into your designated iTunes Media folder, in an Artist/Album structure.
  • Complainer Level 1 (10 points)
    This posting is helpful but not complete. I still don't understand when and why iTunes creates a half-dozen iTunes subfolders when the program starts even before I have a chance to change setting or before anything is downloaded or executed. Also, I don't understand how Audible.com files are handed off from audible to iTunes. I don't understand how and where digital rights restrictions are managed. I don't understand where decrypted files are stored. I don't understand default locations or folder names for ringtones, podcasts, audio books, etc. And that's just a few of the questions that first spring to mind.

    These are issues one has to know about just to install iTunes on his computer without disrupting everything else. Just installing iTunes resets the file links so that opening, say, a music file in Windows will cause iTunes to open and start creating all these subfolders. Most programs manage files and folders within fairly clear boundaries, e.g. under a folder that has the program's name. I'm not too happy that Itunes wanders hither and yon scribbling its graffiti all over my file structure. But it wouldn't be such a problem if I knew what to expect.

    I don't want to read a long operational specification plan. I just want to know what triggers iTunes to start creating file structures what when and where on Windows. Somebody must have written that all down somewhere.
  • Katrina S. Level 7 (24,095 points)
    If you find this master document, let us know!

    You're right, Apple stuff is scattered all over a PC's hard drive after an itunes install, and it's not explained in detail. It just works, doncha know? So you don't need to know the details of any of it. Until something goes horribly wrong. OK, I'll stop with the sarcasm.

    Here is Apple's article on the subject of itunes 9 folder structure:

    itunes preferences are stored in yet another folder (these are for XP, VIsta and Win 7 are a bit different):
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes

    The DRM is stored on the PC in a folder named SC Info, mentioned in this article :

    The itunes database is stored in a file with an itl extension:
  • abel116 Level 1 (0 points)
    So, I still don't get it. I believe, somehow, I have 2 different itunes files meshed together. Whatever the reason, I now have all these folders, subfolders, etc. that are in my pc's music folder. I just want to mesh all these files into 1 main music folder WITHOUT creating a bunch of copies so that I can delete my itunes and redo the whole thing! I'm doing this so that I can rename, change the genres etc. So basically, I want all my music on my pc in ONE place so that I can rename/fix it then put in all into my recently emptied itunes!?!?! Any basically easy ideas for a mostly new itunes user?
  • Katrina S. Level 7 (24,095 points)
    abel, it's difficult to give solid advice without knowing whether you simply have duplicate entries in itunes, or actual duplicate files on your hard drive.

    Also, I have no idea if your hard drive is big enough to create a new itunes folder and run the file > library > consolidate command, which will move copies of all the files to a certain folder. They'll all be in one palce, and after you make SURE everything is working correctly, you could get rid of the muddled folder setup.

    I don't understand your setup, or quite what you mean about
    +somehow, I have 2 different itunes files meshed together+.
  • Grandmaster Jesh Level 1 (125 points)
    It's hard to say what is happening with your personal situation without seeing it. You said:

    "Most programs manage files and folders within fairly clear boundaries, e.g. under a folder that has the program's name."

    On my PC this is what iTunes does. In the Music folder, contained in the user folder, all of iTunes business goes on inside of the iTunes folder. In that folder there are a few other folders and files that iTunes uses to do what it does, and they keep everything organized pretty well, I'd say at least. As long as "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" and "Keep iTunes Media Folder organized" are both checked in the Advanced tab of Edit > Preferences, all your music will files will be kept in the iTunes Media folder and organized by Artist and Album names within it. You don't change the names of the folders yourself in Windows Explorer, iTunes does all this when you modify this info within the iTunes program.
  • Grandmaster Jesh Level 1 (125 points)
    1. Go to Edit > Preferences, Advanced tab.

    2. See if "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" are both checked. If the second option ("Copy....") is already checked, then you should have all of your media files for your iTunes library should be located in one place, the location listed right above these two options, in a box that says "iTunes Media folder location."

    3. The path in this Media folder location box should say something similar to this:

    C:\Users\your name\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media.

    I have Windows Vista and this is what my path is, yours may be slightly different, but the last two parts, unless you changed it manually before now, should say either: \iTunes\iTunes Media or \iTunes\iTunes Music.

    4. If the two options from step 2 were unchecked, check them now.

    Now I'll ask a question: what does it say in the iTunes Media Folder Location?

    Message was edited by: Grandmaster Jesh
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,886 points)
    As to what folders iTunes creates here is a representative graphic.

    The main disctinction between iTunes 8 & 9 is that in 8 folders like Audiobooks, Movies & Podcasts were scattered in amongst those for different artists. By moving all the music into a Music subfolder the top level *iTunes Media* folder is now neatly divided into different classes of media.

    When you install iTunes it should have asked about associating files and making iTunes your default player. In your shoes I would have said no until I'd had a chance to explore the program.

    On initial install iTunes will also create a default library and offer to import your existing media into it. It may also ask for your *Keep iTunes Media folder organised* & *Copy to iTunes Media folder when adding to library* preferences at this point, but I can't honestly recall. Again, declining to import your entire library at this point would have allowed you to explore the software first.

    With Keep... and Copy... turned on iTunes will attempt to root through the computer making copies of existing media in .mp3, .wav or other iTunes compatible formats and offer to convert anything in .wma.

    As mentioned elsewhere in this thread you don't have to use the iTunes layout, you can put your files anywhere you like. Anything that iTunes downloads, transcodes or rips will, however, end up in this layout. Also your library will be much easier to maintain if all iTunes content is inside the iTunes Media folder whether you let iTunes keep it organised or, like me, decide to do things your own way. This requires extra effort since having ripped a new album I then have to "correct" it for my presonal style, rename & move the tracks, delete from iTunes & reimport.