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Mobile Applications folder not consolidating on external drive

19765 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2012 9:10 AM by hejish RSS
  • Dario de Judicibus Calculating status...

    I found a trick. I tried it and it works. It uses directory symbolic links. You can create them in Windows by using a freeware called junction or a tool in SDK called linkd. I suppose the same approach could work in Mac too but I have no idea about how to create such links in MacOS. I described the process on my blog for Windows only. It is advanced stuff, so I take no responsibility for damages. Be sure you know what you do.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    Wow, this is some old thread that you've resurrected.


    Junctions have been shown to work OK with the Mobile Sync Backup folders and even work when iTunes is reading content from within the iTunes Media folder. Last time I looked however iTunes had a habit of breaking the junction if it tried to write new data out to the target folder, such as might happen when you download a new app.


    I'd be cautious of relying on the behaviour.



  • Dario de Judicibus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, th epoint was that it is still a common request by many users. I spent some times to find an answer in Apple's and other forums, but I found no satisfactory recommendation. So, when I found a way I decided to share. I had not yet downloaded another app since I did the move, so you might be right. There are continuosly new iTunes versions and I hope that the bug you mentioned is not in anymore. But in case I'll let you know here. Thank you for advice.

  • Dario de Judicibus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I added your comment to my blog, to warn readers, just in case. Thank you.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    You're welcome. Funnily enough I've just been investigating some other iTunes start-up behaviors because people have talked about putting shortcuts in place to redirect the iOS device backups. I'm testing with Windows which may not necessarily carry over to Mac but I've noticed two definite changes.


    In the past if you had split library where the library folder was on an internal drive and the media folder had been relocated to another path, if you started itunes while that path was inaccessible iTunes would reset the media folder location to the "default" path, i.e. iTunes Media inside your iTunes folder. This change would be permanent. Under the current build it seems the change is a temporary adjustment and resets to your choice if the path is available next time iTunes starts up. I have no idea when this change happened.


    In the past if you had created a library in a non-standard location, i.e. not at <User's Music>\iTunes and the library was missing when you started iTunes it would prompt you to Choose or Create a library. If the library was in the standard location and missing, iTunes would silently create a new empty library for you. Now I see the same silent rebuild for a missing, non-standard location library. Again, I've no idea which build changed the behaviour.


    I've just double-checked and it seem iTunes now behaves properly with a junction/symlink both when reading and writing. Previously the linked folder in the chain would become a regular folder with the new item visible in it, but access to the other items in the redirected folder would be lost.


    The all seem like useful improvements but it would be nice to know exactly which build things changed with just so that one can give the correct advice to the non-upgrading hold outs.


    One obvious non-standard behaviour of iTunes that hasn't changed is the fact that when you double-click on a library file it opens the last library it had open rather than the library file you've just clicked on. An easier way to switch libraries is so overdue...



  • Dario de Judicibus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, you are confirming my negative impression about iTunes. I really do not understand. Apple is so innovative in so many areas that I really cannot understand why iTunes is so primitive and unfriendly. The typical "you should not care" program, where the user is taken our of any decision. The problem is that sometimes you MUST take some decision, as for instance when your C-disk is full!

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    Oh you're free to organdie your media any way that suits you, but iTunes won't cope well if you change things around after you've imported the content to the library. It can even migrate your media to another drive but it could be better at managing that process. Ideally it would be capable of moving the whole library rather than copying just the media folder.



  • hejish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I confirm that this is a problem for me as well.  I have some big (1Gb+) apps and I do not want them on my tiny SSD.  I used the trick of un-selecting the advanced option to consolidate files and then reselected it.  I had some random other media which was local and that copied over just fine.  Not the apps.


    I don't want to make links to "redirect" itunes.  I also wish "consolidate" to mean consolidate and not copy.


    If I could just have the option like I do with other media to consolidate files (for apps) I believe it would be fixable.  Apple - please make it so.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    Assuming you have a split library, that is main iTunes library folder inside <User's Music> on your SSD with the media folder elsewhere, use File > Library > Organize Library > Rearrange Files in the folder "iTunes Media" (if you can) followed by File > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files.


    Any files remaining in <User's Music>\iTunes\Mobile Applications should now be orphaned copies that it is safe to delete.


    See also Make a split library portable.


    I have a Windows script called ConsolidateByMoving that can move instead of copy files, including apps, but I guess you're probably running a Mac.



    Various PCs, iTunes, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone3GS,iPod Classic+Nano
  • hejish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did that and the files are still seen in the wrong location.


    However, I did a command-option-delete in itunes, deleted the offending apps from itunes, re-downloaded them, and voila they are indeed in the right place!  It is a one-at-a-time painful operation, but it worked for me.  I then deleted from the original location.


    The consolidate files feature does not operate properly for apps.

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