Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 12:19 PM by turingtest2
sean melchionda Level 1 (0 points)
What is the default iTune Folder Structure for iTunes 10? As far as I can tell in windows 7 it goes something like.

My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music

Other folders for downloads, pod casts, mobile applications are all in the iTunes Media folder, however the iTunes library database files are located in the iTunes Folder.

The reason I ask is that I am re-doing my music collection and I set up the folder structure mentioned above, but iTunes re-arranded everything and copied all of my music into the iTunes Media folder.

Anyone have any idea how iTunes does it by default?

Various, Windows 7, HP Media Smart Home Server
  • Homina8or Level 1 (10 points)
    In iTunes, go to Edit, preferences, choose the advanced tab and deselect "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized".
  • LostOnline Level 1 (0 points)

    The iTunes 10 Folder Organization is:

    *USER*\Music (My Music shell folder)\iTunes\

    within that folder should be the following folders:

    • [Album Art]: This is iTune's proprietary, poorly compressed, method of storing album art
    • [Backup]: Mine just has one file "iTunes-20101215-Ratings.xml"
    • [Previous iTunes Libraries]: everytime you do an update your 'iTunes Library.itl' is saved here in case there's problems with the update
    • [iTunes Media]: This is where the good stuff is. I'll go more into that in a sec.
    • Your iTunes Library files are here as well, Genius, Extras, Music Library, etc.




    *USER*\Music (My Music shell folder)\iTunes\iTunes Media


    • [Audiobooks]: In here is will be your Audiobooks in Author (Album Artist/Artist) Folders. {Audiobooks\James Patterson\Witch & Wizard.m4b}
    • [Automatically Add to iTunes]: This is an iTunes system folder, anything you put is here will be automatically added to your library. Anything you put in here that iTunes doesn't understand will be put in a folder [Not Added] then a folder with the date & time of the add {iTunes Media\Automatically Add to iTunes\Not Added\2010-08-20 14.34.00}
    • [Downloads]: This is a system folder used to keep things that are being downloaded. All the downloads will be in a folder named after the 'Title' of the thing being downloaded (The [Name] field of the 'Get Info' page) with a "download.XXX" & "Info.plist" (The metadata for the dowloading file). At least for me, at the moment all video files will stay here until I un-check/re-check the 'Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized' option, hopefully this will be fixed in the next update
    • [iPod Games]: If you have any of the old click-wheel games they'll be here (no sorting folders)
    • [Mobile Applications]: iPhone/Touch or iPad apps will be stored here (no sorting folders)
    • [Movies]: Here you have all your Movies sorted in folders named after the Titles {iTunes Media\Movies\Big Trouble\Big Trouble.m4v}
    • [Music]: Here's your Music sorted by [Album Artist] (Or Artist if none listed) then [Album] tracks are titled %Track Number% %Title%.XXX {iTunes Media\Music\Colors\Falling In\06 Hey Girl.mp3} "Hey Girl" being track #6 on the Album "Falling In" by the band "Colors"
    • [Podcasts]: Here we have folders for the Podcast name although since the podcasts' metadata provided by the creators there are often many folders for a single podcast as there are slight diferences is their naming (I have folders for [Ask A Ninja], [Ask A Ninja - iPod], [Ask A Ninja - SD] & [Ask A Ninja - Video] all from the same podcast)
    • [TV Shows]: Folders for Show -> Then Season {iTunes Media\TV Shows\Caprica\Season 1}
    • There should also be a ".iTunes Preferences.plist" file
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    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 "<Media Folder>" (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 "<Media Folder>" 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.   NB This will create duplicate copies of any file that needs to be consolidated, and you will need to manually clean up afterwards. If space is at a premium try my scripts Unconsolidated to find out what would need moving and ConsolidatebyMoving to move rather than copy 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 called CleanDeadArt.


    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.



  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 (0 points)

    Perfect! Thanks for this valuable info!

  • radioscooter Level 1 (0 points)

    This is extremely helpful, thanks. However, my problem seems to be straddling the two worlds. In my iTunes folder I have the iTunes Media folder completely separate from the  iTunes Music folder. The iTunes Media folder contains the folders: Books, Automatically Add, and Podcasts (but they're empty). And the iTunes Music folder contains duplicates of those folders  - plus everything else including the Music folder.


    And now I have a separate Music sub-folder inside the Music folder in which iTunes has moved about half my files. Here's the location string:

    MyMusic>iTunes>iTunes Music>Music = about half my music files

    MyMusic>iTunes>iTunes Music>Music>Music = the other half of my files


    Many artist folders are duplicated in both Music folders. I'd love to have them all live in the Media folder like your 2nd example above. Or just back to how they were (in one Music folder) earlier. But I don't know how I can move them all without bringing the 2nd Music folder along with the migration or renaming.


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    What do you have under Edit > Preferences > Advanced for the location of the media folder?


    If it currently reads My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Music then change this to My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music but don't let iTunes move any files if it asks to. Then turn off Keep iTunes Media/Music folder organized, click OK to apply the change, then turn it back on again. This should pop all the files back up one level that are currently deeper than they should be.


    If it already reads My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music then turn off Keep iTunes Media/Music folder organized, apply the change, then turn it back on again.


    If you're certain there aren't any files in the iTunes Media folder, then just delete this, close iTunes, rename iTunes Music as iTunes Media and restart iTunes.


    I suggest you install iTunes Folder Watch and set its option to check for dead tracks on startup. This will root out any tracks that are no longer in your folders, or that are in your folders, but not in iTunes.


    Use my script CleanDeadArt to tidy the remaining empty folders up and give the DeDuper script a go on what's left to remove duplicates.


    Finally see my article on Grouping tracks into albums for general tips on tidying up the logical organization of your tracks as opposed to the physical structure.



  • chezchas9 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!


    I was going nuts trying to figure out why my audiobooks were not being organized into a separate Windows folder called Audiobooks (they used to be, but after I upgraded iTunes, they were scattered throughout all the artist folders within my iTunes Music folder). Your instructions helped be get things back to the way they were. I know that many iTunes purists may wonder -- "what does it matter where the files are within Windows? All that should matter is how they appear within iTunes." For me, the answer is simple. Although I normally listen to my audiobooks on my iPhone, I sometimes like to listen to them on other non-Apple devices. If my audiobooks are grouped within an audiobook folder in Windows, it makes it much easier to load a non-Apple mobile player with audiobooks by dragging and dropping, and not needing to tax my brain to distinguish audiobook folders from music folders.


    So again, many thanks for your help.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    See also Audiobooks on iPods.



  • chrisn0012000 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi folks, I'm new on the forums and joined having found and gone through this post carefully as the result of a hideously complicated migration to my new PC thanks to this whole music dealie.  I've succeeded I think , and so wanted to post a big THANK YOU to turingtest2.  I have to say, as a programmer of 30+ years, migrating my music to my new PC with new OS, has been just about the most mindbending experience ever.  My brain is not too bad at recursion thankfully and I suspect that's the only thing that has kept me sane in the last few hours of turmoil.  Duplicate filenames, then duplicate files, of a not inconsiderable music library at various levels of nesting and with some form of mysterious folder name hiding/renaming that seems to be going on courtesy of Win7 and/or the user account / administrator account, nearly broke my brain but I've got through thanks to your carefully worded advice above. 

    *click* Yes, recycle bin, I DO want to permanently remove this half-billion-terabytes of data, do it NOW before my head explodes. *click* *wait for ever*... bing! *hmm, there's no emoticon here for exhausted relief*




    Thank you, thank you, thank you, turingtest2.  Now I'm going to go and lie down for a while...

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    You're welcome.



  • chrisn0012000 Level 1 (0 points)

    Good grief.  Seems I spoke too soon.  I've just booted up the PC, returned the display format in iTunes to what it was prior to the duplicate witch-hunt, and noticed there's not artwork. Everything else appears ok, all 4000+ songs still there.  Or so I thought.  Let's play a song.  "The song xxxxxx could not be used because the original file could not be found..."  *Temperature rising*.  Yes, Locate it please.  Hmm, doesn't appear to be there.  Ok, let's browse the file structure.  Oh... my...


    [insert self-restraint here]


    Seriously, this is 2012.  iTunes is up to version 10.  Do a google search and see how far back this problem or some variant of it goes.  *pop* (no emoticon for brain explosion).

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    Oh dear.


    Please tell me you weren't too vigorous with the deletions, or that you still have a backup, the hard drive from your previous computer, or the media on an iPod. As long as you have it somewhere I should be able to help you get it working properly on your new system.



  • chrisn0012000 Level 1 (0 points)

    Cheers tt2, appreciate the concern!   In answer: perhaps, yes, and yes, respectively.  Not a biggie, but I'll probably leave it for tonight as I've got to get up early for work tomorrow.  Recoverable situation, which was why I did *really* delete rather than leave things in the recycle bin... the hardcore deletion was simply to spare my brain yet another level of potential complexity.  It's purely a pain in the bottulus and something that shouldn't *have* to happen in this day and age.  But I should be able to sort things out ok, so no stress, just time.

    Thanks again, and if I may say so you are a modern day hero.  Sorry if that makes you blush.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    That's a relief. If you let me know what you've got where in terms of library files and media folders at some point then I should be able to suggest the best approach.



Previous 1 2 Next