Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2015 3:16 PM by nicholefrommccall
Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

I find files in Music > iTunes > iTunes Media
Other files are in Music > iTunes > iTunes Music
Still more files are in my Download folder.

They're not duplicates.


Why is this, & how do I get all the files into ONE location?


Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.4.11), G4 1.42GHZ 1GB/160GB
  • Limnos Level 8 (46,070 points)

    iTunes 9 introduced a new way or organizing files. You probably have remnants of both.


    iTunes 9: Understanding iTunes Media Organization -


    Image of iTunes folder structure Dec. 2011 -

    see also:

    Image of folder structure and explanation of different iTunes versions (turingtest2 post) -


    How to Consolidate Your iTunes Library and Keep It Organized -


    Note that consolidate copies, not moves.


    It may works simply to go to iTunes preferences and uncheck "keep media organized" then recheck it to get iTunes to have a fresh look at everything.


    As always, back up your computer before any major undertaking on your computer.

  • Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

    I must have upgraded from earlier versions.  I now have v9.2.1


    I tried the trick of turning off "Keep iTunes Media folder organized", then on again.  I watched a progress bar doing something, but there still seems to be various files in many locations, instead of one tidy directory/subdirectory structure. 


    I don't understand your distinction of "consolodate" vs. "move"; I'd expect a consolodation to move & organize data.  As I decipher the "help" articles/forum threads, I expect to end up with the extra iTunes Music ƒ to disappear, all music files to end up in the Music ƒ within iTunes Media ƒ, with tunes from the same artist combined within a folder titled (artist's name).


    Not sure if this helps you understand, but within iTunes folder are these:

    Album Artwork ƒ

    iTunes Library

    iTunes Library Extras.itdb

    iTunes Library Genius.itdb

    iTunes Media ƒ (a Music ƒ within that)

    iTunes Music ƒ

    iTunes Music Library.xml

    Previous iTunes Libraries ƒ (only iTunes 4 Music Library file lives here)


    Since I have no idea what's what, I'm reluctant to mess with most of them (except the actual music files & their folder names).  Perhaps some are unnecessary, but I can't be sure.




    Nor can I figure out where Playlists live.  I'd consider uninstalling the whole mess, re-installing, then having the current version of iTunes organize my files newly, if I didn't end up without Playlists, copies of songs I previously decided to delete from iTunes, etc.  (Nearly 1,000 songs may not seem like much to others, but it's a LOT to compare, de-dupe, etc.)


    I got concerned with this over the weekend, when downloaded songs stopped playing automatically in iTunes, & didn't appear there (they were in the Download ƒ).

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,070 points)

    Am busy now.


    Playlists are part of the overall coordinating Library.itl file. You can see how this is structured of you peek inside the library.xml  They are at the end.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,880 points)

    For iTunes consolidate means to make a copy of a file that is outside the iTunes media folder which it places inside the iTunes media folder, it then makes the iTunes entry point to the new copy instead of the old one and the original file is left in place, no longer connected to iTunes.


    It isn't clear if your current library has inherited every file that is in the older structure so just in case this process should make sure that you're not missing anything. You may still have some deduping to do but this way should keep that down to a minimum.


    1. Turn off the option to Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.
    2. Use the Add Folder to Library... command to add the iTunes Music folder. This will pick up any files in that folder currently disconnected from the library.
    3. Use the option iTunes > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files. - wait until complete.
    4. Delete the folder iTunes Music, iTunes is no longer connected to anything in this folder.
    5. Hold down Option and use the menu item iTunes > Show Exact Duplicates.
    6. Sort the resulting list on Date Added, delete the duplicates added today, sending the files to the trash.
    7. Click the show all button, then review the remaining tracks added today to see if these are tracks you previously discarded without deleting which you definitely want to throw away, if so select and delete.
    8. Turn the option to Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library back on, assuming you want to...


    Any remaining duplicates will need filleting out in any way that works for you. Try Dupin/Dupin Lite from Doug's Scripts or this post for some thoughts if you'd prefer to do it by hand.



  • Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

    Searched unsuccessfully for a "library.itl" file. 


    I did open the ".xml" file (even tho Excel didn't especially like the file) & found playlists near the end.  I assume this file is a series of pointers for iTunes?  Clearly, a critical file to keep!


    It's late, I'll try to mess with TT2's steps tomorrow....

    Thanks to both of you!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,880 points)

    For libraries originally created on a Mac with an older build of iTunes the library database file is called iTunes Library rather than iTunes Library.itl. I'm afraid I don't know when the change was made. With iTunes closed you can manually rename the file, then hold down Option as you start to get options to Choose or Create a library. Click choose and open the renamed file.


    The .xml file is provided for third party support and contains some but not all of the information held in the main iTunes database. iTunes doesn't really make any use of the xml file, though it can sometimes be used automatically to attempt to reconstruct a damaged database file. You may find the .xml file is easier to review in a text editor than Excel.



  • Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

    2. Use the Add Folder to Library... command to add the iTunes Music folder. This will pick up any files in that folder currently disconnected from the library.

    I finally scrounged up my backup drive, dug into your instructions, & got stumped by this step!  I can't find a command Add Folder to Library.  Perhaps unique to Windows version?


    I get the impression that Consolidate (followed by deleting "iTunes Music" ƒ & duplicates) will accomplish the task, but I'm not sure what this step 2 would do, if I had it or could find it.


    I grabbed all the music files in my Download ƒ & stuck them in iTunes Media -> Automatically Add To iTunes.

    I then viewed nearly 400 duplicate files from within iTunes (step 5). 


    That will take me some time to sort out!  ...But cleaning up iTunes, & knowing now how to get new downloaded files properly into iTunes, I'll be in better shape from now on.


    All other instructions seem clear & simple.  Thanks!!!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,880 points)

    In Windows it is the menu command File > Add Folder to Library. On a Mac I assume it will be in the iTunes menu but if you can't find it just drag the iTunes Music folder onto the Library icon in iTunes and it will do the same job.


    The point of this step is to get iTunes connected to every media file in your media folders, i.e. those tracks that you previously deleted from the library without sending the corresponding files to the trash. Once everything is connected you can dedupe and this time make sure that you actually remove the redundant copies.


    The consolidate command brings in a copy of any file that is outside the iTunes Media folder into it and redirects the library to the new copy. Once this task has been completed you know it is safe to delete the originals stored outside the iTunes Media folder.



  • Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

    I believe I now know what you're referring to.  Under File menu, there's an Add to Library choice, which brings up a Finder directory window.  From there I assume I can choose *all* the folders in the iTunes -> iTunes Music ƒ


    Obviously, I haven't done all that much with iTunes yet, tho I might eventually turn my iBook into a dedicated music "server" for my stereo system.


    I'll work on this more when I get home from work this afternoon.  Thanks!

  • Ric Lobosco Level 1 (115 points)

    It all seems to be going well, still have some de-duping to do, etc.


    ONE last question: There's still a folder Previous iTunes Libraries, with one file within it iTunes 4 Music Library.  Should I toss this, or do something else with it???


    This should sort out the mess, both of my making & Apple's surprising sloppiness in their upgrades.


    Thanks, tt!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,880 points)

    The Previous iTunes Libraries folder is where iTunes puts a dated copy of the database during each upgrade. If something goes wrong during the upgrade and the new database isn't set up properly you can restore this backup copy to the library folder.


    I've not come across a file called iTunes 4 Music Library but I doubt it is doing useful service. Check the file creation/accessed dates. Should be safe to discard.



  • gremlok Level 1 (0 points)

    I want to check if I got this right. I currently have music on my Mac, my NAS and a few external HD, app. 25.000 songs total. Some songs are on several devices (which were basically backups). I now wish to consolidate everything onto a new NAS.


    Not sure how I get started with your steps above?


    Do I create a new iTunes library on the new NAS then add the various folders from the different devices as per your step 2?


    My major concern is duplicates and keeping the library history (plays, ratings, info....)



  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,880 points)

    Your current library contains your playlists, ratings, play counts etc. so creating a new library is not what you want to do...


    I suggest you create a new iTunes folder at the root of the new NAS, then an iTunes Media folder at the root of that. You can then change your media folder to <New NAS>/iTunes/iTunes Media and consolidate all media to that location. The logic for doing this is that if/when you want to move the library to a new machine you can copy the library files from their current location into <New NAS>/iTunes, open and close the library at that location, then connect the device to any other machine and open the library. Accessing a large library over the network may have performance issues, but once the library has been opened, and it works, the library files can be copied to a local drive and used from there and they should continue to be able to access the media at the remote location.


    See Make a split library portable



  • Saba22 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks! This is just the info. I was looking for!

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