13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 20, 2012 4:00 PM by Limnos
rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

I burned in music from CDs to two different computers.  I now have a hard drive with two music folders on it, Music and Music2012.  I have used the "Add to Library" action in iTunes to import all of the music from Music to Music2012.  NOTE: All of the album names now in iTunes have been renamed.


My question is this: Do I DARE delete the Music folder from the hard drive?  Are some songs archived there and thus will be lost when I delete that folder?  How do I make SURE that I have all my music collected into Music2012?


I'm dealing with 30,000 songs, and so a lot of time will have been lost if I lose a chunk of this music.  The renaming of the albums adds one more caveat to the mix.



MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    What are the preferences settings you use in iTunes for "organize music", "copy to folder when adding to library" and "media folder location?  Do you keep your main library on the internal or the external drive?  By "library" I specifically mean the library.itl file which iTunes uses and where the main active iTunes folder is located.


    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


    What are all those iTunes files? - http://www.macworld.com/article/139974/2009/04/itunes_files.html

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    My preferences are:


    iTunes Media Folder Location: /Volumes/MUSIC/Music2012


    Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized: checked


    Copy Files To iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library: checked


    That said, it's taken me months to burn this music in and some of the earliest burning took place on this computer, the one that I primarily use to listen to the music.  Because of that, and since I was learning as I went, I'm not POSITIVE that I had both of those two items checked during the months long process.  It's likely they were checked, but I'm not sure.


    Finally, I want to copy the music to a second hard drive that I can use at other locations.  That's one reason I'm verifying all of this; I want to copy the music over and ensure that I have all the music on that second hard drive.  Also, I do want to KNOW where all the music is. 

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    My preferences are:


    iTunes Media Folder Location: /Volumes/MUSIC/Music2012


    That is exactly as it is listed?  I use an older iTunes and on mine it is separated by ":"  You have a lot of folders called Music and I am trying to keep this all straight.  You also never answered my question about the location of the library file.  We need to get this all straight because in the past week there have been two 100+ post topics where we were trying to unravel this kind of thing and were not provided with complete information which made even more of a mess of it (at least for me!)  If necessary, take a screen shot of your external in list mode so we can see the full structure.   Use Command+Shift+4 to select an area. You can use the camera button in the editor window to post screenshots.


    Ultimately we want to make sure you have a nice neat package with all your iTunes content in one place.  We will do this by consolidating but we want to make sure we consolidate them to the right place, nor delete any folders still in use.


    By the way, just an issue of terminology.  You burn a CD when putting files onto a CD, but you rip files from a CD as part of copying them to the computer.  You don't burn a CD to a computer.

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    To start, I'm using iTunes 10.5.3.  There are no ":" used for the path or the two checkboxes.  (I only added them here for the checkboxes to clarify.)


    There are a lot of Musics.  Let me break it down for you exactly:


    The hard drive is called MUSIC.  (upper case letters)


    The path to the folder I use for iTunes is: MUSIC/iTunes2012. (I had initially called it Music2012 here to make it easier, but the actual name is iTunes2012.)


    The path to the music scanned in from the other computer is: MUSIC/Music.


    The library.itl files appears to be on my computer's hard drive (see pic Mac HD 3 below).


    You can view here: http://rowlandwilliams.com/screen.gif

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    Let me ask you this.  Is there anything in the structure of the current iTunes library that you value highly?  Playlists?  Data Added?  Last Played etc?  How much customization in the addition of artwork?  I see all kinds of things everywhere and it might just be easier to start afresh with an iTunes library, if that is amenable to you.


    You also have that MUSIC/music folder and your iTunes2012/Music folder  How much content is duplicated there?


    Leave it for now, but iTunes can be very fussy about you renaming files or folders used in its directory structure.


    How much extra room do you have on the external drive, especially in comparison to the size of your media files?

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a single playlist that I want to keep.  But can't I export it and then bring it back in later?  There is nothing else here that matters other than the music; the eliminationof crap files that were brought in when I ripped songs in mass; and the renaming and even the renumbering of a lot of the albums and songs - a lot of work went into this renumbering and renaming and I don't want that effort and time lost.


    As for how much of the music is duplicated between the two folders, that's why I started this thread.  I assume that all the music from MUSIC/Music has been copied TO MUSIC/iTunes2012 - and that's what I want.  But I'm not sure of that, and that's why I'm concerned about not moving MUSIC/Music to the new hard drive.  I want to move ONLY iTunes2012 to the new hard drive.  But if I do, will my other computer be searching for music that is now only in the MUSIC/Music folder?


    This external drive has 2tb and I'm using 900gb.

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    You can export the playlist as an xml format listing.  You will have to re-associate the actual tracks with it.


    If the files are  in WAV  format then names are numbers are an issue.  If they are mp3, AAC or Apple Lossless then no problem.


    The tricky thing will be to make sure everything is in the new library without creating a ton of duplicates.  I don't know of a very easy way to do this.  The one time it happened to me I spent an hour or two sorting though by hand.  There are a few tools that are supposed to handle duplicates, but some of mine are not really duplicates so I didn't trust them.  E.g. I have one album with the same track twice but one is electric and the other acoustic.


    I would suggest doing this then.  If at any stage things are not as they shold be, stop and double check back here (by the way, I have one hour left to help).


    Make a new folder on that external which will be your new library home.


    Start iTunes and immediately hold down the option key.  When it asks you where to create a new library go to that new folder.


    You will have a blank library.


    Double check that iTunes preferences are set to copy music, organize, and the media folder location is inside this new folder you just created.


    Make a new playlist and call it something like "Main collection"


    Go to the Music folder in External > iTunes2012  Double check that it has lots of files basically equal to all your collection.  If it does, drag that folder to the Main Collection playlist.  iTunes will now take a while adding all those files and copying them to the media folder in your new library.

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    Let me confirm what it is that I think you're telling me to do.  Basically, we're telling iTunes to change what it sees as my main folder.


    Let me tell you what I was thinking of doing before I opened this thread:


    Copy directly every file in the MUSIC/iTunes2012 folder to a new folder on the new hard drive.  I will be using my wife's iTunes account with this second hard drive.  Therefore, none of the songs I've purchased will be used on her hard drive.  (Won't matter.  The VAST majority of music is from CD not iTunes.)  She would open her iTunes, select the new hard drive as her destination.  I assumed that iTunes would read that folder and create all the documentation necessary from those files.  But I understand from you that the library.itl is key for iTunes to read these files.  Correct?


    Question: Will that itl file tell me where it thinks the music is located now?

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    PS: There are 30,000 songs in iTunes, manually removing dupes is daunting as ****.  And trusting software to this - no way, not after months of ripping.


    There has to be another way.

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    No, we are creating a brand new iTunes library using the media fodlers from the folder you presently think contain everything (as stage 1).  Everything is brand new.  The old things are still around too.


    iTunes has several key components.  One is the library.itl file. This is a database file and stores the location of which media files are in your collection and where they are located, as well as which artwork, play count, a duplicate of track information etc.  The other element is all the media files.


    What we are doing is rebuilding the library from scratch.  In the end it will all be in one folder that will be completely portable and can be copied to whatever drive you want, intact.


    The itl file would tell you that except the itl file is only readable by itunes.  You can read the xml copy of the .itl file (I noticed you had one floating around where it shouldn't be so make sure you get the right copy) but it isn't easy.


    My wife gets home in 10 minutes so I won't be on much before 10 pm central.

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    To speed up the process of importing (it takes forever with this many songs), can I go ahead and populate the new folder with music from iTunes2012 as a first step?

  • rowlandwilliams Level 1 (0 points)

    By just copying and pasting from the current folder to the new without using iTunes software?

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)

    Won't work.  iTunes has to do it.  It doesn't scan the folder for files.  Only the "automatically add to itunes" folder does that.  iTUnes has a very tenuous relationship to the media files.  It doesn't monitor them regularly but when it does it is very fussy about you having done things to them.


    Use the automatically add..  It will move them there rather than copy them and in doing so save you space.