13 Replies Latest reply: Sep 17, 2010 9:27 AM by 2muchcoffeeman
2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
iTunes was installed on Computer Alpha. Library was kept in external hard drive (External). The library on External was not a backup; it was the primary, one and only library used by iTunes on Alpha. All music purchased from iTunes Store downloaded directly into the library on External. Hard drive on Alpha was too small to contain the library.

Alpha died. Kaput. No chance of opening iTunes on Alpha any more.

New computer acquired, Computer Bravo. Windows 7. iTunes 9.2.1.5 for Windows downloaded/installed on Bravo. Bravo is authorized.

External connected to Bravo via USB. Windows explorer, viewed on Bravo, indicates the Library on External is still in place.

iTunes opened on Bravo. iTunes finds three music files on Bravo hard drive and adds them to the "music" view of iTunes.

I go to Edit/Preferences/Advanced and change the iTunes library location to Extenal/iTunes_library. Save.

Nothing happens. I can't get iTunes to load the "music" list in iTunes with the songs contained in Extenal/iTunes_library file.

iTunes closed. I hold shift key and open iTunes, thereby prompting the "choose library" dialog. In the dialog, I select "choose library" and once again select the External/iTunes_library directory, but when that directory is chosen, all the individual files within the library are displayed, and the dialog is waiting for me to choose one of the hundreds of individual files within the Extenal/iTunes_library file. None of those files is the library; only the entire collection of them together is the library, yet the dialog will not permit me to select External/iTunes_library file in its entirety as the library. I abandon the dialog.

iTunes uninstalled from Bravo. Wondering what to do next.

Gateway LT21; Atom 1.66Ghz; 1GB RAM; 32bit OS, Windows 7
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,005 points)
    Library was kept in external hard drive (External).

    You mean the *iTunes media folder* was kept on the external.
    The iTunes library consists of the iTunes folder (default in \Music\iTunes\ and all contents as well as everything in iTunes.
    once again select the External/iTunes_library directory

    Do you have an iTunes library.itl file? Should be in an \iTunes\ folder along with iTunes library.xml file, Album Artwork folder, iTunes Genius file and a few other files as well as an iTunes media folder.
  • Katrina S. Level 7 Level 7 (24,090 points)
    When you do that shift-start of itunes, it's expecting you to choose an itunes database file.




    From your description, it sounds like that file is back on the dead Alpha hard drive in the usual place, which is C:\ username \ music\itunes folder, filename
    iTunes Library.itl



    Unless you happen to have a backup copy of that ITL file, you'll have to re-add all your content files from the exHD and start over with itunes ratings and playlists.
  • OldOrganicUniDiversity Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yo 2muchcoffeeman, you are a remarkably articulate individual. Thought I'd take the liberty admiring your demonstrable writing.

    My scenario is spot on with your description. I read the other posts/responses; ideally, here's some augmenting comments for your consideration:

    1. Both responses I viewed are spot-on with their directions. The responses share a common concept & theme, as you've likely also ascertained, which is 'pointing' (referencing in the dialog box) to a higher level directly.

    2. The concept of the library master file/key database file is the key to success. The other responses share the detail filenames (& extensions), greater expertise than I for iTunes, and the 'library' master files become more obvious to me when I view details in the correct subdirectory (on your External drive & potentially Alpha's main iTunes directory). Seeing the library files' time, date and size help. May help you orientate to the last confident time you updated or added to your library.

    3. Bravo's installation will have created a library file, believe you noted that, but or course doesn't show (since it's newly installed). Copying the appropriate file from Alpha, as the respondents suggest, is a possible patch and route. If you don't have it running & handy though it's a pain. So,

    4. With Bravo, do a fresh consolidate library within iTunes and it should work - just as though someone handed you an 8GB USB stick of cool new songs & you copied them to your drive (internal or external) in a new folder under iTunes\yada yada new tunes (whatever).

    Good luck. The other trick I found was that mine was asking for a specific drive mapping associated to my external drive. Error was like "can't drive L:\....", so I had to add connections (USB sticks, other external drives, etc - or do a hard DOS code drive mapping). Basically, once my "Bravo" saw the same drive map, bada bing - it was all fine.

    ideas, sorry for too much info if worthless
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    Chris CA wrote:
    You mean the *iTunes media folder* was kept on the external.


    Yes, I believe you are correct, and that I used the wrong terminology. By "library," I was referring only to the directory on External where the actual .mp4 music files are stored.

    The iTunes library consists of the iTunes folder (default in \Music\iTunes\
    and all contents as well as everything in iTunes.


    So, in my case above, it seems you are saying that "library" ought to refer to the following:
    1. The c\my music\iTunes directory and all its component files on the Alpha hard drive, AND
    2. the iTunesmusicfiles directory on External

    Is that correct?

    If yes, then I am left scratching my head about something:

    Before Alpha died, I went to Edit/Preferences/Advanced and, in the window where iTunes asks me to specify the location of my iTunes LIBRARY, I specified External\iTunesmusicfiles.

    And it worked. Thus, I am left with the impression that "library" is a term referring only to the directory where the actual .mp4 files are stored. (Thus, iTunes itself provided a very good reason for me to think of the "library" in this limited, incorrect, way).

    If I understand you correctly, the reason why that maneuver worked is because of the presence of the library.itl file that was located in Alpha\c\my music\iTunes, and because the .itl file was populated with some kind of data specific to the contents of External\iTunesmusicfiles, and because the contents of the .itl file pre-dated the transfer of the iTunesmusicfiles directory to External. And that every time a subsequent change occurred in External\iTunesmusicfiles such as the addition of a new music file via iTunes purchase/download, a concomitant change occurred in the .itl file on Alpha, thereby keeping the iTunes player on Alpha synced up with the warehouse of music over there on External.

    Do I have it right so far?

    Now, with Bravo, I am trying to establish the same setup I had on Alpha. And because Alpha is dead, I need to attempt this using a fresh installation of iTunes on Bravo. And a fresh installation of iTunes on Bravo means a virgin .itl file on Bravo.

    Again, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that if iTunes on Bravo is going to work just like iTunes on Alpha did, then the .itl file on Bravo must contain the same data that the .itl file on Alpha did.

    To accomplish this, I have two options:
    1. Obtain a copy of the .itl file from Alpha and transfer it to the same directory location on Bravo
    2. Build the .itl file on Bravo manually.

    Again, am I getting this right?

    If so, I don't think No. 1 above is an option. I'm left with No. 2.

    If I have to click individually on all the files in External\iTunesMusicFiles, I guess I can deal with that. Not a huge problem. But what I want to prevent is transferring the .mp4 files to the Bravo hard drive. I want only one copy of each .mp4, and I want each of those .mp4s to reside on External, not on Bravo.

    Doable?

    Thanks to all who have taken time to respond to my issue. I do appreciate it.

    Message was edited by: 2muchcoffeeman
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    Thanks, hatter. This tutorial looks very helpful. I will study.
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,005 points)
    Before Alpha died, I went to Edit/Preferences/Advanced and, in the window where iTunes asks me to specify the location of my iTunes LIBRARY, I specified External\iTunesmusicfiles.

    You can select the *_iTunes media folder location_* as shown here...



    And it worked. Thus, I am left with the impression that "library" is a term referring only to the directory where the actual .mp4 files are stored.

    No, it didn't ask you about a library. If iTunes asks you about a library, it is asking about the iTunes folder. If you hold Shift and launch iTunes, it will ask you to *Choose library* or *Create library*. The iTunes media folder location defaults to the iTunes folder.

    If you do not hav ethe iTunes library.itl file that was on Alpha, then you simply need to create a new library (iTunes folder).
    Simplest way to do it is hold Shift and launch iTnes.
    Select a location on the external and give it a useful name.
    Then simlpy drag all the music on the external to \iTunes Media\Automatically add to iTunes\ folder in this new iTunes folder you created.

    This will add everything to iTunes and it will be stored on the internal in the \iTunes Media\ folder in the library folder you creeated on the external.
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    Got it. I will give it a try and report back. First, I will need to install a fresh version of iTunes on Bravo.

    Thanks.
  • Katrina S. Level 7 Level 7 (24,090 points)
    +To accomplish this, I have two options:+
    +1. Obtain a copy of the .itl file from Alpha and transfer it to the same directory location on Bravo+


    That's your ONLY option if you want to preserve metadata such as Date Added. I suppose you could also go through and painfully adjust ratings and play counts for each song, assuming you could even remember them all.
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    Chris,

    You were (are) correct; iTunes asked me to configure the +media folder+, not the library. Your instructions appear to have worked: The iTunes library is on the Bravo hard drive; the iTunes media files -- the actual, space-consuming .mp4 files -- remain on the external drive. When iTunes is running, it is able to play song files only when the external drive is attatched to Bravo -- +which is exactly how I want it+. So, thank you!

    Now, the problem is that iTunes on Bravo does not detect my iPod when I USB the iPod to Bravo. Windows is able to detect the iPod, but iTunes is not. I'm now deep into the documentation trying to figure out how to fix that one. But that's another post.

    Message was edited by: 2muchcoffeeman
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    Thanks, Katrina. Sadly, Alpha is dead, and with it, my previous .itl file. The biggest chore I face is rebuilding the dozens and dozens of playlists I had constructed. I never used the rating feature much, or paid much attention to play counts and other song metadata, so I don't face any reconstruction work with that kind of stuff. The work is going to be in the playlists.
  • Katrina S. Level 7 Level 7 (24,090 points)
    Is Alpha's hard drive still OK? You could put it in an external hard drive enclosure for about $20, depending on the hard drive.



    If the playlists are on an iPod, there are 3rd-party ipod manager softwares that could retrieve the playlists from the ipod.
  • 2muchcoffeeman Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    I think Alpha's hard drive is okay. The problem with Alpha is the power supply, and frankly, it's a computer that deserves to die anyway. didn't know about the "enclosure" concept. will research.

    Also will research the iPod manager software. Thanks!

    . . . but, as I said to Chris, above, the new big issue is getting iTunes on Bravo to even SEE the iPod. Whole 'nother issue. I won't hijack this thread about it, and will research elsewhere.