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.
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.
Cheers - Lupunus
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.
Thanks to both of you.
These things are never as easy as I want them to be :-)
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. Still, it seems to work and I'm happy to let those sleeping dogs lie. I lost the playlists but got rid of the usless 30,000 phantom entries with a ! beside them. Small price to pay. For some reason the podcasts are full of the ! s but no big deal to delete them all -- I can always download them again if I really need.
Thanks again for your help!
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).
Thanks Chris. I know the solution is not the most elegant (which is why I mentioned it) but given my troubles I'm just happy to be there. In any event with all the songs on the external iTunes is useless without the external plugged in.
If I wanted to "clean things up" can I just drag those other files in the iTunes folder to the external or am I asking for trouble?
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.