8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2012 7:14 PM by Surferdude012
Surferdude012 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently transferred my iTunes library to an external drive. Everything is working fine except when I play from the external drive (media folder location is selected to external drive in iTunes preferences) it loads the songs back onto my internal hard drive. Can anyone help?

MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2011), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Limnos Level 8 (47,146 points)

    How did you do this move?


    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 use iTunes' default preferences settings:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Open iTunes and immediately hold down the Option (alt) key (shift on Windows), then guide it to the new location of the library.

    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

  • Surferdude012 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Limnos, thanks for your reply.


    I moved it by selecting the itunes media folder location to my external drive then by selecting library and choosing organize library. I am pretty sure that I have a good path bc everything seems to be working fine other than my problem described above.


    Also, would you happen to know how to confirm that my entire library has made the transfer?


    Thanks for your help!

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,146 points)

    Look at the information for the folder you designated as your media folder on the external, then check what iTunes says is the size of yoru library.  Also see if the media folder in your iTunes folder on the internal drive is empty. 


    Do you recall confirming you wanted iTunes to move all your media to the new folder location?  If you don't then I think it will only start putting newly added itemson the external.


    Moving just your media isn't the best thing unless you are comfortable with all the ins and outs of iTunes.  It is better moving the whole iTunes folder.


    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

    iTunes 9 [and later]: Understanding iTunes Media Organization - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3847

  • Surferdude012 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Limnos,

    Thanks for all the info.


    My itunes library says 37.59 Gb and my external drive says 57Gb which is brand new and only has my itunes library on it. So that's a bit confusing.


    I do recall selecting all media to my external drive and the new folder location. The problem is not the external having the content. The problem is everytime I play from the external it loads it back on to my internal drive. Also, when I delete from the internal it deletes from the external as well. I can't figure it out!



    The media folder on the internal is not empty as I have not deleted anything as of yet. I have been testing it out by eracing one song off the internal drive at a time and experementing.

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,146 points)

    20 GB difference?  Something odd is going on. 


    I have no idea why if you delete the file in iTunes it deletes it on both the external and internal.  Usually if you delete a reference it will ask if you want to delete the file too and then it deletes the file linnked to that reference.  One reference = one file, not >1


    Are there any complicating factors such as iTunes Match?

  • Surferdude012 Level 1 (0 points)

    I know right!? Gosh big difference. I was thinking that maybe movies weren't included.


    I don't know about itunes match?

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,146 points)

    You can expect a bit of a difference, especially if you are looking at a complete itunes folder since that includes extra artwork files.


    I don't have a simple answer.  If it was me I'd start by wondering about all those extra files in your external folde.  You're either missing a lot of items in your library or something is creating duplicates.


    I have no idea why items disappear from two places when you delete them from your library.  It's almost like having a symbolic link.  This is happening instantly in both places?


    Frankly, I would aim at resolving what is going on with your files, then getting it all back together in one iTunes folder and moving that to the external as a complete package.  I have to admit I don't do that and have in the past had my library on 3 separate drives, but I also have never encountered the problem you are seeing.


    One thing you can do in iTunes is get info on a track and see to which file it points.  You can also use command+r to reveal it in Finder.

  • Surferdude012 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay I will try. Thanks for all your help, its very kind of you.