6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2013 11:45 PM by davisk34
drumstix1020 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Read these directions before actually doing anything, just so you can do this right. I've messed things up before, it can get ugly...

 

That being said, here's what you've gotta do if you're running on a Mac:

 

  1. Have all your music on the external hard drive. It should be organized in folders the way iTunes set it up
    • The folders should be organized something like this:
      • iTunes Media (Top folder, everything is inside of this folder)
        • Audiobooks
        • Automatically Add To iTunes
        • Books
        • Downloads
        • iPod Games
        • iTunes U
        • Mobile Applications
        • Music
        • Podcasts
        • Ringtones
        • TV Shows
        • Voice Memos
    • Those folders are what I have in my 'iTunes Media' folder on my external hard drive. You don't necessarily need to have all of these folders. (I happen to just have a lot of things in my iTunes.)

  2. Finding your iTunes Library Files
    • The way iTunes works is there are two parts to make what you see in iTunes work right. There's your media (songs, video, iPod games and Apps, etc) and there are your library files. They tell iTunes what your playlists are, where your 'iTunes Media' folder is located, and a lot of other important things. Here is how to find the iTunes Library files (there will probably be more than one!)
    • Look in (yourusername)/Music/iTunes
    • There will be a few things in here:
      • Album Artwork (It's a folder)
      • iTunes Library Extras.itdb
      • iTunes Library Genius.itdb
      • Itunes Library.itl
      • iTunes Media (a folder)
      • iTunes Music Library Backup.xml (this file might or might not be here. If there is no file with this name, it's okay.)
      • iTunes Music Library.xml
      • Some "temp" files (maybe, maybe not -- they are not important for this)
    • Anything in the list that is BOLDED needs to be placed in (yourusername)/Music/iTunes
      • If you copied these files to your external hard drive, you will need to copy them back onto your internal hard drive. These library files do not need to be in the same place as your iTunes Media folder.

  3. Telling iTunes Where Your Music Is
    • Now that your iTunes Media folder is on your external drive, and your Library Files are in place in "(yourusername)/Music/iTunes", we need to open iTunes.
    • On the top bar of the screen, go to iTunes>Preferences.
    • In preferences, go to the farthest right tab, titled "Advanced" with a picture of a gear.
    • The top section says "iTunes Media Folder location" and underneath that you see a filepath ending in the 'iTunes Media" folder.
      • This path is probably wrong, not leading you through the external hard drive.
      • If it is incorrect:
        • Click "change" on the right and then locate the folder in the prompt that shows up. Once the "iTunes Media" folder on your external hard drive is highlighted blue, click "Open" in the bottom right corner of the window.
        • Give iTunes a moment or two (depending on the size of your library) to re-locate all of your songs. Voila!
      • If it is correct:
        • Do nothing!
      • While you're in the advanced section, let's check to make sure you have a few important 'housekeeping' things checked off:
        • "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" (CHECK THIS BOX!)
        • "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" (CHECK THIS BOX!)

  4. At this point, iTunes should be all ready to go. Before I get into any troubleshooting, note a few things:
    • If you ever unplug/disconnect the external hard drive from the computer, you must first make sure that iTunes is NOT running.
    • Also, if the hard drive is unplugged and you open up iTunes, all of your songs will have little symbols next to them. Until you plug/reconnect the hard drive, the songs will stay like this and will be missing.

  5. TROUBLESHOOTING:
    • Not having permission to access the external hard drive:
      • In Finder (or on your desktop), right-click the external hard drive (if you don't have right-click, control-click will also work).
      • Click on "Get Info"
      • A thin, tall window will appear on the screen.
        • Part One:
          • In the "General" section, make sure that "Locked" is unchecked. If it IS checked, uncheck it.
        • Part Two:
          • We are now focusing on the very bottom of the window, where it says "Sharing & Permissions"/
          • In the bottom right corner of the window there is a small padlock icon. Click it. When asked for an administrator password, type it in, and click "Ok".
          • You will now notice that the bottom section of the 'get info' window is not greyed out anymore. Make sure your user name (it says in parentheses "(Me)" so there is no going wrong here) has "Read & Write" privileges.
            • If not, click on whichever privilege you currently have, and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on "Read & Write".

 

If you have any other issues, I will add them to the troubleshooting list to help you out. Hope this was helpful!


iMac (24-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (44,645 points)

    If a person has iTunes set to default of organizing their media and therefore has everything organized on the internal drive the way you indicate, all they need to do to get it onto an external drive is copy the entire iTunes folder to the external drive, then start iTunes with the option key held down and guide it to the library file on the external drive.  You do not need to alter preferences  or copy things individually.  The only time you need to change preferences is if you want just media on the external drive.

     

    iTunes: How to move your music to a new computer [or another drive] - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527

     

    do not confuse moving your whole folder and library with moving just media files as in

     

    iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

     

    Quick answer if you let iTunes manage your music:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Start iTunes with the option key held down and guide it to the new location of the library.

  • drumstix1020 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My iTunes library is set up the way I said in the top post and works totally fine.

     

    Both ways work, the advantages of mine would be that should iTunes try looking fo a library, it will always be in the default location. Downside is that then should someone move their iTunes library to anther computer they need to remember to get those library files on the external hard drive.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (44,645 points)

    My iTunes library is set up the way I said in the top post and works totally fine.

    Yes, and that is the default structure to which I was referring.  iTunes will organize it that way automatically unless people do start changing settings (in which case they should know what they are doing and how iTunes works with library files and media structure.)

     

    Both ways work, the advantages of mine would be that should iTunes try looking fo a library, it will always be in the default location.

    It makes people think they have to change media location in preferences.  They do not unless they want to relocate media only and leave other things on their internal drive (in which case there is no point in copying library files to the external, and you certainly wouldn't want to then delete them from your internal).

     

    Downside is that then should someone move their iTunes library to anther computer they need to remember to get those library files on the external hard drive.

    Just copy the whole iTunes folder and it will get the library files to the other drive in one step, along with all the other files.

     

    Your post has good stuff but it makes a move appear intimidating and look like people have to do a lot of organizing to move the collection.  It also throws in  extra steps (namely altering preference settings) that could cause confusion or even make a mess of things.  If people leave iTunes to default preference settings (which most people do) the move summarizes into a short line:  Copy a folder and hold an extra button the next time you start iTunes.

     

    Note that the instructions in the link I provided earlier do also include many steps, but those are to ensure that everybody does have it all organized correctly before simply copying the iTunes folder.  In the end it is just a simple action.

  • drumstix1020 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks for the advice, im getting into the whole ASC community as a helper, so I'll definitely do things the easiest way possible. Like in the articles you linked.

     

    Thanks,

     

    jake

  • sjkiss Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there: I feel like I've done this. But when I'm disconnected from my NAS, iTunes automatically reverts to the original default location of the library.  I'd like to prevent this from continuing to happen.

  • davisk34 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was able to have all my itunes library show up as it should but I have two problems

    first when I buy new music on my phone itunes on my mac puts it in the default drive location instead of the external drive

    second and more important when I went to back up my phone it gives me an error and tells me it can't back up  because there isn't enough drive space but there is plenty on all drives