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iTunes is able access two different media folders at once???

3019 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2012 12:05 PM by NeddySeagoon RSS
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NeddySeagoon Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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Oct 2, 2012 10:25 AM



Just in the last hour I discovered that my iTunes library is split across two locations and iTunes is playing content from both.


I normally keep my iTunes library on an external drive.


Today, I was transferring my AppleTV purchases to the iTunes library and when it was done I discovered it had put those files onto my internal drive - in the original music folder.


Obviously I had changed the location in Prefences (the when and the why are forgotten, but I must have).


However, iTunes is able to play the content on the external and internal without me needing to change the Prefences and my AppleTV can also access both locations.


I thought iTunes could only have one location.


Was I wrong?


Has this happened to anyone else?



  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    Even if you have iTunes set to manage your media you can override this by holding down the option key while dragging items to iTunes.  It will leave them whever you put them.


    Letting iTunes manage your media you cannot have two media folders designated at one time.  You could designate one, consolidate items to the one, change media folder location and selectively consolidate some items to the other and split media this way.


    If you do not let iTunes organize your media for you then it can be pretty much anywhere.  I do not let iTunes manage my media and I used to have it on 2 separate drives.  Right now I have it in 3 major folders outside the iTunes folder.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,130 points)

    iTunes can point to only one location in which to save new imports or purchased, as set in the Advances preferences, but as you have discovered can point to multiple locations for existing content. The full path to each item is part of the library file, depending on what that setting was at the time the content was imported or downloaded, so content can be in multiple places and all be accessed by iTunes without problems. It's been this way since the early versions of iTunes.


    This, by the way, is why the Consolidate command exists, to pull all the content from such scattered locations into a single place (the only set in the Advanced preferences), should you ever wish to do so.



  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,130 points)

    Absolutely do not just move the music in Finder. You'll break iTunes that way. If you want all your tracks in a single place, make sure the correct location is selected in the Advanced preference and then use the Consolidate command. That's what it's for.




    iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4), Core i7 Radeon 4850 8GB
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    I believe depending upon what you instruct it to do when you make the setting changes it may move your old media or it may just start orgnaizing future additions that way.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    I saw an AppleTV across the room once in an Apple Store, about 2 years ago...


    The below is about my generation of Apple equipment.

    G4 Quicksilver 2x1GHz 250/120GB HDs, Mac OS X (10.4.11), OS9.2.2, iTunes7.5, QT7.4&QTP2.5.1
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,130 points)

    You cannot do this and have also iTunes copy and manage the content files automatically. You either have to manage your iTunes content and library manually, or allow iTunes to manage everything itself, and there's no option in iTunes to split the locations by content type. There may be a third-party utility that would help, such as TuneSpan:




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