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How To "Start From Scratch" and Build a Clean iTunes Library on a Portable USB External Drive?

8840 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 28, 2011 1:04 PM by Chris CA RSS
jayessemm Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 26, 2011 10:09 AM

A while ago I posted about my confused (and confusing) mess of an iTunes:

 

https://discussions.apple.com/message/16183210#16183210

 

While dozens looked I guess eveyone agreed with me "what a mess" and moved on.

 

So ... someone at the Apple Store suggested that what I should do is start from scratch. But I'm not sure if I understand all the steps.  He said I should:

 

* create a folder of all my songs and just the song files not all the other iTunes stuff -- copy all the mp3 and m4a files that I have in Music > iTunes > iTunes Music > Music to a temp folder let's call it "all my music"

 

* launch iTunes and tell it to move to / always look at / whatever the terms my new portable external USB drive

 

* click on file / add to library and tell iTunes I want to add that "all my music" folder to iTunes

 

At this point I don't care if we lose playlists, artwork, play counts and all that stuff.

 

Does this approach make sense?

 

Is there another way?

 

So how do I tell iTunes to only look to the external?  How do I get rid of the old stuff I have on the internal that is offering duplicates and phantom entries?  Do I need to delete iTunes and then download a new copy?  Should I delete the iTunes foilder? ...?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Many thanks!

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    jayessemm wrote:

     

    So how do I tell iTunes to only look to the external?  How do I get rid of the old stuff I have on the internal that is offering duplicates and phantom entries?  Do I need to delete iTunes and then download a new copy?  Should I delete the iTunes foilder? ...?

     

    the simplest and working way.

     

    go to iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced

    On there change the iTunes Media Folder location to your external hard drive

    Check that the rest of the preference pane looks similar to the following picture.

    screen-capture-21.png

    After doing so, on menu bar go to File -> Library -> Organize Library

     

    This will force iTunes to copy all songs and playlist's to the new place and to build up a new database for the Library.

    Empty or corrupted files will left behind on the old location.

     

    After checking that all is on place and working at the new location, you may delete all files at the former location.

     

    Done

     

     

    Cheers - Lupunus

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,410 points)

    An even simpler way...

    Hold Option and launch iTunes.

    Select Create library... and swlect a location on the external drive.

     

    On the external, go to /iTunes/iTunes media and there is an Automatically add to iTunes folder.

    Hold Command and Option and drag this to the desktop.

    Anything you want to add to this new iTunes library, drag to this folder.

     

    If the items are on the external (same drive as the library), they will get moved to /iTunes/iTunes media folder.

    Items not on teh external will get copied to /iTunes/iTunes medai/ folder on the external.

    You can then delete them from the internal.

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,410 points)

    I've ended up with the music on the USB portable drive and all those other iTunes files -- the .xml and .itdb and .itl files -- on the internal. 

    Note that if the external is not on and ready before you launch iTunes, you will get exclamation marks by everything as iTunes will not be able to find them (on the non-ready external drive).

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,410 points)

    Quit iTunes.

    Copy the entire /Music/iTunes/ folder to the external.

    Then on the external move all the music in the current iTunes media folder into /iTunes/iTunes media/ folder (which is the iTunes folder you just copied to the external from the internal).

    Hold Option and launch iTunes.
    Select Choose library and select the iTunes folder you just copied to the external.

    Now everything is neatly in this iTunes folder on the external.

     

    Go to iTunes prefs > Advanced and make sure iTunes media folder location is set to /iTunes/iTunes media/ on the external.

    Now you can delete /Music/iTunes/ on the internal.

     

    Make sure Copy files to iTunes media folder whan adding to library is checked. Then everything will be copied to the iTunes folder on the external. You can delete it elsewhere after you add to iTunes.

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