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"Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" not working

10945 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2011 4:57 PM by turingtest2 RSS
texas.flood Calculating status...
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Dec 31, 2010 3:00 PM
I recently got myself an external hard drive so that I could backup all my music. The majority of my music is organized into the "Itunes Media" folder. However, I also have music files in another folder in the Music folder on my computer. I was on the Apple Support FAQ and it suggested that I select the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" option under the Advanced Tab in Preferences to copy any extra files to the "Itunes Media" folder. However, after I selected it, nothing happened. I restarted my computer hoping that maybe that's what it needed, but still nothing. Those music files were already in my Itunes Library, just not in the folder. Any suggestions? I know I can manually move those files into their appropriate location, but it seems a bit tedious. All help is appreciated.
Windows Vista
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,385 points)
    As it says, files only get copied into the iTunes media folder "when adding to library".

    Go to to itunes menu File > Library > Organize library - Comsolidate, this will copy anything in iTunes but not in the *iTunes media folder* shown in iTunes prefs Advanced, into that folder.
    Mac mini (mid 2010) - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5), silver mini, blue mini, green shuffle, iTunes 10.1.1, 32GB wifi iPad
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,900 points)
    Once you've consolidated your library try this tip for the backup project...

    *Fast backup for iTunes library (Windows Only)*
    Grab SyncToy 2.1, a free tool from MS. This can be used to copy your entire iTunes library (& other important data folders) onto another hard drive or network share. You can then use SyncToy periodically to synchronise or echo your library to the backup. A preview will show which files need to be updated giving you a chance to spot unexpected changes and during the run only the new or updated files will be copied saving lots of time. And if your media is all organised below the main iTunes folder then you should also be able to open the backup library on any system running the same version of iTunes.

    tt2

    Time to spin some SRV...
    Various PCs, Windows XP Pro, iPhone3GS iOS4.2.1, 160Gb 1.1.2/2.0.4, 30Gb 1.3, Nano 1.4 - iTunes 10.1.1.4
  • HelpOrganize Calculating status...
    I'm seeing the same issue. The question I have is should the music files reside within the "iTunes Media" folder or should they reside within the "Music" sub-folder within the "iTunes Media" folder. It's amazing how difficult it can be to organize the iTunes Library.
    Windows 7
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,900 points)
    HelpOrganize wrote:
    I'm seeing the same issue. The question I have is should the music files reside within the "iTunes Media" folder or should they reside within the "Music" sub-folder within the "iTunes Media" folder. It's amazing how difficult it can be to organize the iTunes Library.

    If your media folder is called *iTunes Media* then they "should" be inside the Music folder.

    Here are typical layouts for the iTunes folders:



    If you have upgraded from version 8 (or earlier) to iTunes 9 (or later) at some point, then your media folder (everything inside the red outline) may still be called *iTunes Music* instead of *iTunes Media*. The extra Music folder inside the media folder is used if you have allowed iTunes to *Upgrade to iTunes Media Organization* (iTunes 9) or used *File > Library > Organize Library > Reorganize files in the folder "iTunes Media"* (iTunes 10). Depending on your choices for *Keep iTunes Media folder organized* and *Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library* plus a little bug in which one build changed the name of the file storing the choice of layout it is quite easy for some of your files to be organized according to one layout and some the other.

    Assuming you're happy letting iTunes organize your files the following steps should tidy things up (should it be necessary):

    1. Select *File > Library > Organize Library... >* Tick *Reorganize files in the folder "iTunes Media"* and click OK. Skip if this option is greyed out (already upgraded) or you prefer the older layout.

    2. Select *File > Library > Organize Library... >* Tick *Consolidate files* and click OK. This will bring any files currently organised outside the designated media folder into it.

    3. Select *Edit > Preferences > Advanced* tab, uncheck *Keep iTunes Media folder organized* and click OK.

    4. Select *Edit > Preferences > Advanced* tab, check *Keep iTunes Media folder organized* and click OK. This triggers iTunes into reorganizing everything according to your preferences.

    5. (Optional) Close iTunes, rename the folder *iTunes Music* as *iTunes Media* then restart iTunes. Check under *Edit > Preferences > Advanced* tab that the location has automatically updated. If you can't access the media for any reason just undo the folder rename.

    6. (Optional - Windows only) If Windows Media Player has ever had access to your files it may have liberally scattered folder artwork files about which iTunes won't tidy up when it reorganizes things, thus leaving behind a heap of folders with artwork and no media. I've written a script for cleaning this mess up which you can find at http://samsoft.org.uk/iTunes/CleanDeadArt.asp

    PS. If you really prefer the older layout, but it is already in the new one then edit the file called *.iTunes Preferences.plist* in your media folder and change the integer from 1 to 0 before doing step 3.

    tt2

    PPS For general tips on getting stuff organised see http://samsoft.org.uk/iTunes/grouping.asp
    Various PCs, Windows XP Pro, iPhone3GS iOS4.2.1, 160Gb 1.1.2/2.0.4, 30Gb 1.3, Nano 1.4 - iTunes 10.1.1.4

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