Yes, you can try setting the media folder via preferences to F:\iTunes\iTunes Media. Don't let iTunes consolidate if it prompts. Close iTunes. Rename the original media folder on the C drive as something like Not iTunes Media then restart iTunes to see if it behaves properly. If the worst comes to the worst I have a tool that can repair the links but it shouldn't be necessary.
I have a split library and would have liked to make it portable. (Then i'd like to use it on several computers, a mac running OS X 10.5.8 and a pc running windows vista.)
I was trying to follow your directions (also, in this post: https://discussions.apple.com/message/18525450#18525450) but i have the following problem: my media files are in the parent folder of my external drive. (I have no idea why we did this when we set it up, it was at least 6 years ago.. It seems really untidy in retrospect..)
My library files are on my internal drive, at the classic location (.../Music/iTunes).
My media files are on my external drive, in the parent folder. So, in the parent folder, i have the Music, Movies, Podcasts, etc folders that should be in a subfolder, if things were tidy..
I haven't found this elsewhere, but is there a way to move these media files to a subfolder? I am under the impression that if i do what apple support tells me to do (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449), it will copy the files. I can't do that, i don't have enough space on my external drive to copy the files. Is there a way to move them and not copy them?
I am running itunes 10.6.3 on OS X 10.5.8.
If there isn't a way to do that, is it possible to go on with making the library portable, and have the library files in the same folder as the media files folder? How bad is that?
Thanks if you can help!
To be portable the relative path from the library database to the media folder needs to be as a direct subfolder. Nothing else works, so putting the library files in the root won't cut it.
I gather there isn't enough room on this drive to temporarily duplicate the media. For Windows I have a script called ConsolidateByMoving which can be used to move rather than copy files to the correct path. I had hoped that Doug's script RelocateSelected would do something similar, although reading the notes it seems it just uses a flat folder. You could disable iTunes Keep organized option, relocate the files into /iTunes/iTunes Media/Temp, set the media folder as /iTunes/iTunes Media, then turn Keep organized back on to, um, organize things.
Might be better still to buy a new external drive, copy the existing iTunes folder from the internal drive to /iTunes on the new external, use option-start-iTunes to connect to the relocated library, set the media folder to /iTunes/iTunes Media and consolidate the library. Once you know it is all working properly you can wipe the old copy of the library on the other drive and clone the new one to it for security.
A portable library can be moved between computers quite easily, however when switching between Windows and OS X or vice versa there is fairly long internal adjustment process (well long if you have a big library) that happens on the first run.
Thanks a lot.
I've thought about it, i think i will use an external drive, but i think what i'll do is make room on the existing drive (the reason it's full is it has a lot of other media that has nothing to do with itunes) by moving some other unrelated files to an external drive, enough to be able to duplicate the itunes media files, then move the itunes media files with the temporary duplication, and once that's done, move stuff back.. That way i just need to borrow an external drive...
(My library is 178G, is that big?)
Another idea that occurred to me is that you don't have to consolidate everything in one go. You could, for example, consolidate all tracks by artists beginning with A, then delete their original artist folders, then B etc. but there are potential gotchas with artists that begin "A ", "An ", or "The ", and the more steps that are involved the more chances there are that you'll delete the wrong thing by accident at some point.
If you don't have a second external drive now I urge you to buy your own now rather than borrow one temporarily. Hard drives can and do fail without warning. At a minimum your iTunes library, and all other data that matters to you, should be on two separate physical drives.
178Gb is big enough that you will notice the delayed start up time when you switch from OS X to Windows or back again.
What RAID level? And yes I'd still recommend another backup. Something like a slim 1Tb host powered USB drive is quite reasonable and taking a snapshot of the state of the library before any major change allows you to be radical knowing you can revert to the current state of play if things go horribly wrong.
In this case if you copy the library files to \iTunes on the new drive and consolidate the library into \iTunes iTunes Media then you can thoroughly test the library on the new drive with the old one disconnected before reconnecting, clearing away the old media files, cloning the new library into the RAID and switching the active library to copy on the RAID. You can subsequently update the backup disc at intervals of your choosing.
iTunes 11.1.5 on Mavericks here. Trying to move the iTunes library and media files on a new NAS for (alternate) access from my 2 macs.
I did the steps suggested in this thread to consolidate my library before moving it to the NAS share, also to reorganize it as iTunes saw fit. The media files were located outside iTunes folder in a folder called Music, and even after the consolidation, iTunes did not touch anything related to the media files (did not copy the media files inside the iTunes Media folder as I was expecting).
Former location of the media on the original mac: /users/mihneam/Music
What I did next was to change the location of the iTunes media folder from Preferences -> Advanced -> Change to point inside the iTunes Media folder (so I could make the library portable). I was asked if I wanted iTunes to move and update the content to the new location, I said yes, and after the operation completed, the media files were still left in their original location outside iTunes folder.
I moved them manually inside iTunes Media folder and it worked for the original mac on which the library had been built. at this point the library is supposed to be portable as described in this thread. And I have copied the entire iTunes folder (containing both the library and media files) to the NAS, option-started iTunes and pointed it to the NAS library, and it works fine for the original mac.
Current location of the media on the NAS is: /Volumes/Muzica/iTunes/iTunes Media
2 problems though:
1. I try to point the second mac to the same NAS location, iTunes opens the library, but cannot play music complaining it cannot find the files (I have the option to Locate file or Cancel).
2. When playing music from the original mac, the played songs are moved by iTunes in a subfolder called Music it created under the iTunes Media folder! It looks like there is still a reference somewhere in the library to the former Music folder which used to hold the media files. Very strange, since this scatters my music files.
What can I do to make it work from the second mac and also to make sure the library database is not corrupted internally so it stops moving my songs like this.
Thank you so much for your help!
Thanks for replying, tt2!
The full path is /Volumes/Muzica/iTunes/iTunes Media, and now it works also on the second mac. I think all it needed was to open and close iTunes on the original mac, then re-point the second mac to the NAS library.
Do you think I should move manually the music from iTunes Media to the iTunes Media/Music folder? It seems iTunes is moving itself the played files, but it would take a while to cycle through my entire collection to get everything in the proper place like this :-)
In general don't move things by hand. With some limited exceptions that can confuse iTunes, although it is slightly more forgiving on a Mac.
First check under File > Library > Organize Library... that the option to Rearrange files... is greyed out. This confirms that the library should be using the modern layout that places music items in <Media Folder>/Music/etc.
Next go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced and untick the option to Keep iTunes Media folder organized, click OK, then go back and turn the feature on again. All your files should move into the correct places.
Yes, Rearrange option was grayed out from the first media folder reorganization I did earlier on.
But unchecking and rechecking the Keep iTunes Media folder organized did the trick and forced iTunes to move everything in the right location (well, except for the extra files I had in several folders with jpg covers and pdf cd slieves)!
Thanks a lot, tt2!