11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2015 1:29 AM by Cralwalker
robertfrommargate Level 1 (0 points)



I have recently started using a Time Capsule with an external hard drive attached. I have moved my music and video to the external hard drive to free up space on my MacBook Pro hard drive. I have set up iTunes to play from the external hard drive (which works fine), however, although I have changed the location of the iTune media folder in Preferences it keeps reverting to the iTunes media folder on my Mac's hard drive. Is there a way to stop it doing this?





MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Limnos Level 8 (47,381 points)

    A lot of people confuse moving media and changing media location preferences with moving their iTunes library. Are you clear on everything there and sure you know what needs to be done and how?


    iTunes reverting back to default location is usually a result of connection being lost to and external drive.  I've seen a few other mentions of this in conjunction with people using a Time Capsule for this purpose.  You may need to restart the computer or otherwise make sure the TC is always connected before starting iTunes.  Put the TC in your startup items too.

  • robertfrommargate Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Limnos


    Many thanks for the quick response. This is the first time I have tried to move my iTunes media and as such I would admit not to knowing very well how to do it. I have moved the iTunes media folder content from my Mac hard drive (i.e. music, videos etc.) to the external hard drive. I have updated the iTune preferences so it knows the new location of the media files. I have not moved the iTunes library. If you have any further advice on this it would be much appreciated.


    Regarding my Mac 'forgetting' where the iTunes media is stored, I think you are right in that it is due to the Time Capsule and Mac becoming disconnected. I have the Time Capsule in my Dock as so should be able to check relatively easily to ensure it is connected. I will monitor what happens to see if any more light can be shed on this.





  • Limnos Level 8 (47,381 points)

    If you have iTunes set to default preferences this is the way to move it:


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


    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 (shift on Windows) key held down and guide it to the new location of the library.


    While you can move just media (and leave the iTunes library files on the computer) I personally don't see too much advantage in doing just that, and several disadvantages. In other words I do not recommend: iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449


    If you're starting to work with this, these link might help undertand:


    What are the iTunes library files? - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660


    More on iTunes library files and what they do - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes#Media_management


    iTunes 9: Understanding iTunes Media Organization - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3847

  • robertfrommargate Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. You were right in that my Mac can take a while to register the media is being kept on the external hard drive. However, as long as I check before adding media this seems to work OK. I am not sure about moving the iTunes library at the moment but will give it some thought. Many thanks for the links and help.





  • stuburgess Level 1 (0 points)

    This is an old thread but the best I can find on the topic to date.


    I keep my 200GB of music on a NAS and am also pulling my hair out trying to solve this reset issue. I understand that since I sometimes sync my itunes (as my iphone needs calendar and contact information on a regular basic). I use a Macbook because I need it to be portable (this is why it is possible to sync without have the NAS mounted). This means I often do not have my share mounted and iTunes is systematically resetting my default media location.


    When I get home, and sync with my music store (the share mounted), my music is now present as should be expected, but the default setting has been changed. Worst of all, I have to put it back, and then off goes iTunes organizing all my files, rebuilding Genius (and maybe other things, again, which takes at least a day).


    In a perfect world, itunes should just ignore the bad media location reference or ask me where it is, but not just change it to garbage. This complaint is all over the forums still and therefore, wondering if there was a better fix out there, an idea or should I just wait until Apple hears us?




  • deepey Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I have the same problem, and it seems to have gotten worse since iTunes 11.


    My iTunes media lives on my Time Capsule because there isn't enough room on my MBP. I have the Time Capsule set to mount on startup, so when I'm at home everything seems to work fine.


    The problem comes when I use my computer on campus, or anywhere away from home. If iTunes 11 is open (i.e. if I forget to close it), it automatically creates a new media folder on my MBP. When I get home and try to play music, I get a bunch of little exclamation marks, and have to reset the media location in preferences (which takes a while).


    The bigger problem is that, since iTunes 11, my media location keeps resetting even when I remember to close iTunes before leaving home. Once again have to reset the media location. Then it goes through the whole process of organizing my files, etc. etc. It's beginning to make iTunes unusable for me.


    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?



  • rsalimbene Level 1 (0 points)

    Haven't seen a solution to the problem of iTunes reverting to the default media location when the network media folder wasn't available. Here is what I stumbled on today. My apologies if I've missed this elsewhere.


    I'm storing all my media on a network drive (Time Capsule). Named the folder in which the media is located "Itunes Media". Created an alias of the folder on the network drive in my Itunes folder in the default location on my MacBook Pro that contains my Itunes library file. Named the alias "Itunes Media" (which is the same as the default folder that Itunes wants to create.) Pointed Itunes to this folder using Advanced Preference (it refers to the original location on the network drive, so I don't know if this step was necessary.)


    Quit Itunes, and unmounted my network drive. Restarted Itunes. The media location in Advance Preferences was blank! Of course, lot's of exclamation points for my files. But, Itunes didn't create and point to a new media location.


    Quit Itunes and mounted the network drive. Restarted Itunes. It pointed to the correct location, with no missing files.


    Haven't done a lot of testing, but seems to work. If anyone finds the obvious problem with this solution, please post!

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,381 points)

    rsalimbene: Changing the location in preferences or making an alias does nothing to cure the detached network drive problem.  What you found is exactly how iTunes normally would be expected to work. iTunes only does the link check upon startup or if you try to play a track. So, if the drive is turned off when you start iTunes and turned on after starting it will still think the links are broken. You turned off the drive and of course iTunes lost the links.  You turn it back on and start iTunes and as the app starts iTunes sees the files are there.


    Changing the preferences to a different media location merely affects files added from that point on unless you also choose to consolidate/organize.  If you case you changed preferences, but if you didn't add anything then it is simply sitting there idle. 


    iTunes is annoyingly good at seeing past aliases and even symbolic links.

  • motekiest Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm on a Mac Mini and have the harddrive hard wired to the computer and it still defaults to the wrong folder everytime the Mini restarts. So it has nothing to do with losing connection before Itunes is started.

    It is annoying that in this day and age it can't just stay where it's told to stay.

  • Eden Sarfaty Level 1 (80 points)

    Still the same problem -- it has persisted for years. Most annoying is that Finder will halt while it accesses (spins up) a sleeping external drive even when the Finder operation involves only the internal drive. So why can't iTunes wake an external drive that it has been told (in Preferences) holds the Media folder (same with the library file itself, iff you have it on the external drive)?

  • Cralwalker Level 1 (0 points)

    This is really annoying, every time I restart my MBA, iTunes looses the network path. Blech.