9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2013 7:21 PM by IsisKayElaine
Rudolfensis Level 1 (45 points)

Most of my music is inside the older-format "iTunes Music" folder (thousands of songs), and some of my latest additions are in the new-format "iTunes Media/Music" folder (a few dozen songs).


Running latest Lion and iTunes. The option "Keep iTunes media folder organized" is checked, and has always been.


I'd like to merge the two, but the option to do so — "Reorganize files in the folder iTunes Media" — is greyed out. (When I forcibly un-grey it by changing the 1 to 0, it doesn't do anything when run.)


What should I do? I believe have two options (each with it's own questions):


Option A) Run the "Consolidate files" command to get everything from "iTunes Music" copied over to "iTunes Media/Music", and then delete "iTunes Music"?


     - Question 1: This would copy from the old folder to the new, but leave everything in the old too — making duplicates, correct?


     - Question 2: Will it move absolutely everything? Thus being 100% safe to delete the old "iTunes Music" folder?


     - Question 3: How would I check that 100% has been copied over? If I delete the "iTunes Music" folder, and some wouldn't have been copied over (for whatever reason), they would get a mark next to them... but that's only when you click to play it. Maybe I can somehow force iTunes to look through all the songs and see if they're all in the right places and if not then append marks?



Option B) Manually drag/move all the files from "iTunes Music" into "iTunes Media/Music" and hope that iTunes recognizes it?


     - Question 4: Is this 100% safe? Everywhere I've read it advises against manually messing with stuff like that...


     - Question 5: Should quit iTunes before doing this? Because if I quit, it'll still be thinking everything is in the "iTunes Music" folder when it starts up — and it won't be. Or should I leave it on? Then it can track where files are moved... or can it?



I hope to hear what you think!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
  • 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.


    If the bulk of your library is in ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Music, with just a little in ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Media, then:


    1. Confirm under Edit > Preferences > Advanced tab that the designated media folder is ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Music. (If the preference is pointing to iTunes Media, update it to point to iTunes Music, then close, pause to allow files to save, and reopen iTunes.)


    2. Open the menu Library > Organize Library, tick the box Consolidate files and click OK. This will pull in copies of any files outside the designated media folder inside, inside it, and switch the database entries to point to the new copies. Ratings, play count, date added etc. are preserved.


    3. For peace of mind manually confirm that for a sample of random files in the ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Media folder you can see a corresponding file in ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Music folder. Use the Get Info > Summary tab to check that iTunes is looking at the copy in ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Music.


    4. Close iTunes.


    5. Drag the folder iTunes Media out to your desktop. (You're going to throw it away later when you are happy you don't need to reverse any of following)


    6. Rename the folder iTunes Music as iTunes Media.


    7 Start iTunes.


    8. Check under Edit > Preferences > Advanced tab that the designated media folder has automatically updated to ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Media, if not change it.


    9. iTunes reads the folder layout preference from the designated media folder. If you had to change this in step one it is just possible that the Reorganize option is now enabled again. If so tick it now and apply.


    10. To ensure iTunes really has your files in the correct layout, untick the option Keep iTunes Media folder organized on the Edit > Preferences > Advanced tab, apply the change, then tick the option and apply again.


    11. Check that everything is OK. Throw away the iTunes Media folder from the desktop.


    General advice: Backup up everything before you start. In particular the iTunes database file ...Music/iTunes/ Library. You should always be able to reverse your actions by undoing a rename or restoring a file that has been updated to an earlier version of it.


    The steps above will tidy everything up into the new layout. What it won't fix is any orphaned files or folders that might be lurking in your media folders. For instance when you rename an album, and iTunes is organizing your files, it will create a new folder with the new album title, move all the tracks into it, then as it moves the last track out of the old folder it will delete the now emptied folder. If for some reason that delete folder action fails iTunes won't go back and perform any housekeeping to remove it. This it more of a problem for Windows users where other programs, such as Windows Media Player, create additional files in the album folders which iTunes doesn't move. Any files you may have deleted from iTunes in the past without sending to the trash would also be in this mix. Doug's Scripts has some tools which would let you add in any files in your media folder not in your library which you could then choose to keep or throw away properly.






  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,844 points)

    Oops a minor edit I missed earlier...

    General advice: Backup up everything before you start. In particular the iTunes database file ...Music/iTunes/iTunes Library. You should always be able to reverse your actions by undoing a rename or restoring a file that has been updated to an earlier version of it.


  • Rudolfensis Level 1 (45 points)

    Hi Thanks! I'm going through your steps, and during Step 1, when I changed it to be the iTunes Music folder, iTunes asked me:

    Would you like iTunes to move and rename the files in your new iTunes Media folder to match the “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” preference?

    I answered yes. Is that right?

  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)

    Yes, that is correct.

  • Rudolfensis Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks!  After Step 10 it showed a progress bar as iTunes was working on some songs.. is that normal? (Does that mean some files weren't moved over?)

  • Rudolfensis Level 1 (45 points)

    Great, it worked! Thanks to you both - turningtest2 and Chris CA! (Sorry for all the questions, I just wanted to make sure I'm doing this the right way, to prevent anything from getting messed up.)


    One other thing:


    I'm having another problem with iTunes in Lion (that I've seen a few other users have too)... I think it's a bug, but maybe you'll know better?


    Please see here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3278074?tstart=0


    THANK YOU again!

  • IsisKayElaine Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a PC with Windows 7 and had the misfortune of installing Itunes 11.  I did finally find information that enabled me to return to Itunes 10.  However, I then had Itunes Music and ITunes Media/Music folders.  Though Edit>Preferences>Advanced said it was using the latter, in fact it was using Itunes Music and did not know about the contents of ITunes Media/Music (though it WAS putting stuff I added after reverting to ITunes 10 in Itunes Media/Music folder.

    So I followed the steps in your post. 

    Re step 3, File>Get Info was grayed out (and ctrl-i didn't work).

    Re step 9, File>Library>Organize Library>Reorganize files.... was NOT re-enabled

    After step 11, YES, when I started ITunes the  ITunes Music folder renamed to ITunes Media had all the contents of the ITunes Music and ITunes Meda/Music folders I had started with.

    BUT in spite of my unticking & OKing and reticking & OKing the Edit>Preferences>Keep ITunes Media folder organized, EVERY item in my library had the dread ! in front of it.  I did find that for an instance in which I had one song by one artist in one album, I COULD successfully get that ! to go away.  However, that fix is not an accceptable way to locate all 23GB of unlocated songs!


    I do have backup folders to restore things to the state I started from, but then I'm back to my original problem.


    Anything else to suggest?  Perhaps your steps had something Mac specific in them? 


    I certainly hope you can help, because of all the posts about fixing this sort of problem I found and read, yours was the most promising.

  • IsisKayElaine Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I decided to at least try another locate, and when asked if I should use that that location to find other stuff (even though it specifically referenced the specific song in ITunes Media I pointed it to), Itunes processed through and left only 6 songs with the dread !.  So maybe I stumbled upon the solution.  (I don't have a clue how those 6 songs went missing, deleting them was no great loss.)