Right now the channel scrolls pretty quickly with all the people freaking out about iTunes 11 and I don't go back through pages and pages...
Which version of iTunes are you using? To be honest I am still using iTunes 7.5 and have never changed media location but I know people using iTunes 10 said when they changed the media folder location in iTunes it would ask them at the time if they also wanted to move old media there too, or did they just want any media from that point on put in the new location?
Do not copy the folder from one drive to another. iTunes will lose track of it unless it does it, or unless you relocate your whole iTunes library to the external drive (this may be the better solution, IMHO).
iTunes: How to move [or copy] your music [library] to a new computer [or another drive] - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527 - a somewhat bewildering and not always easily understandable set of options.
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 iTunes Library.itl file in the moved iTunes folder.
For the record there's this reference for iTunes 11 but it really doesn't strike me as having the specifics you need. iTunes 11 for Mac: Move your library to another computer - http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12168
I found another article:
I've done what it says but it didn't move anything to free space. The subtitle of the article is "Change where imported files are stored."
But it states: "From now on, new songs and other items you import will be stored in the new location. Songs you’ve already imported stay in their current location."
So I am left with whether I can/should copy entire "iTunes" [folder] or just the "iTunes Music" [folder] to the external Seagate hard disk (which is a 3TB disk and my "iTunes" [folder] in Music is 400GB).
The iTunes Library.itl file is in the former, i.e., entire "iTunes" [folder].
I do not know if iTunes 11 differs from iTunes 10 in this regard or not. I simply do not know. You are the one with iTunes 11 and can best determine what messages you see when you try to change the location for stored media. Maybe it will move old media, or maybe it won't. If it won't then your best bet is to move the whole library intact. Although iTunes doesn't really do it this way, the library basically says, "Look for the files on the same drive on which the library files are located." If you move the library files along with the media files this still applies. If you don't then it will lose their location. There is again something I know iTunes 10 will do but I don't know if they have changed it with iTunes 11 (they broke a lot of things that otherwise make sense; somebody has to experiment so why not you). That is if iTunes loses the location of a bunch of files that are otherwise structured according to its general preferences if you find one of those files it will find the others based upon the same criteria. So move your folder, then when iTunes complains it can't find your files, try to find one. If you're lucky things have not changed and it will find the others. If you don't want to try this then play it safe and wait a month or so and post back and maybe somebody else will have tried it and we can post if they were successful.
Thank you for such prompt and useful reply!
I'll think about it some more.
1. Move the ITunes Music [folder], leave all else including iT.library.itl file, and see any messages or if iTunes still works. If not, move the folder back (meaning me or import via iTunes?)
2. Move the entire iTunes [folder], and see what happens.
3. If trouble, restore from backups!? (TimeMachine, SuperDuper, or CarbonCopyCloner)
4. Call Apple iTunes tech support and ask their advice, even if it costs me $$?
5. Wait a month.
These are options I think of. Any further advice appreciated. TIA
Another option I have NO experience with and feel intimidated: TuneSpan application. I own it but have never used it and have no knowledge how it works (i.e., actually move files from computer iTunes to external hard disk?)
Message was edited by: pwwwayne
Back up first, then try things without worry.
Call Apple? You can, but not to be mean to them you are likely to receive just as careful attention and experienced help here (uh-oh, maybe not, I see so far I'm the only one who has responded! ).
If you want to play it safe, move the whole iTunes folder. That's a tried and true method going back years.
Thank you. No. I would not have been mean them; I was even willing to pay $$ for help not under warranty.
I have found the solution: TuneSpan application, available from Apple App store and http://tunespan.com
It has thus far freed up some space by moving several TV Shows from iTunes to my external HD. Still learning it and want to move more TV shows. But I got 70GB moved which helps a lot! A glitch or two, but got very raoid response via email to support. Still working on how iTunes deals with the "Span".
Apple Support Community has been vital to me since my first Mac (about 1990)! If not for this support forum, I would have trashed that first Mac and never touched a computer again. Now I can't live without both Mac and this support forum! -- why I was surprised it took "so long" for someone/you to respond to the first post.
A bit late here but my $.02 worth.
Because my MBP (750GB) hard disk has only 13% available space, I consolidated and organized my iTunes Music and then in Advanced Preferences changed the location to external Seagate hard disk.
This is backwards.
First you change the location then you consolidate.
However, I feel the better option is to simply move the entire /Music/iTunes/ folder to the external, hold Option, launch iTunes, select Choose library... and select the iTunes folder on the external.