1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2013 10:35 AM by turingtest2
Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everyone

 

I wonder if anyone can offer me some advice to rectify the problems I'm experiencing in my itunes?

 

I have been saving my media to an external hard drive since rebuilding my itunes collection, while keeping the library on the hard drive of my MBP.  This was working well with no problems but as my media reached 300GB on my external I thought I would copy it to another external hard drive as back up, and after that I decided to also make a copy of my library data to the same second external drive so I would have a full back up of itunes in case of failure of my main hard drive...

 

So after copying my media from my first external drive to the second, and then copying the library data from my MBP hard drive it seems the copy of my media and the copied library are working fine on my second external hard drive, but now when I open the first external drive where I originally was saving my media files I am suffering quite a lot of broken links???...I followed the copy process as I have done in the past although I did not tick the check box for renaming and moving my media as it was about to be copied,and I thought that was correct as I used the consolidate function to copy it..

 

Been trying to figure out how to rectify the problem tonight and am getting nowhere fast.  Can anyone offer suggestions as to how I can sort the issue on my original external hard drive as it's the one I prefer to store my media on and it was functioning perfectly before?? from having a tidy and clearly functioning itunes I now have a mass of problems....

 

 

I hope this is clear to someone.....as I was hoping to have it fixed in readiness for a new MBP...am I missing something obvious?


MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    The best way to move an iTunes library is not to choose a new media folder, but to move the whole thing en masse. This only works however if the library is self contained to start with. See Make a split library portable.

     

    tt2

  • 2. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Turing

     

    I realise moving en masse is easier, but as my media folder is quite large i.e.300GB and always growing, I chose to store it on an external drive and leave the library database on my MBP ( as was recommended by many people when I rebuilt by library..).  I only chose to move them both so I could have a complete back up of both in case of failure of either my MBP or the first external drive.  I intend to keep the media files on an external for my new MBP too, as it willl only have a 256 SSD memory which is why I was starting to prepare by backing up my library.

     

    Currently it seems I only have 700 broken links out of 33000 and it seems all can be located which is how I'm slowly resolving the issue for now, so hopefully I will have no problems moving forward after this.  I have looked at the link you posted, and am I correct in understanding that you recommend running an entire copy of itunes on an external rather than just separate media files? Sorry but the more I delve into this the more confusing it seems to become..as I thought having a separate media storage on an external drive was the ideal solution for a large media library.

  • 3. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    When the library is organized as an iTunes folder containing the library files and an iTunes Media folder containing all the media it should relocate easily to another drive or computer. Running the entire library on the external drive is easiest from this point of view. It can be backed up by cloning the folder to a second drive, and the backup will be a fully working library.

     

    Depending on the size of the library and speed of the drives having the library files on an internal drive may make the library more responsive, although this is more likely to be a problem if you've moved the library to network storage. If this is the case then the library files alone can be copied into an internal drive leaving the media behind. When the time comes that you want to move things around first copy the library files back to the correct position on the external/network drive and connect to them there to reestablish portabilty, then move the whole thing as a unit again.

     

    tt2

  • 4. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the tips Turing, and I will in future store a total copy of itunes on my external drives.  That is now clear to me.

     

    But to finish ( hopefully)..can you advise me how I can restore the library on my original external drive?..  As I said before I now have a fully working library on my second external drive ( media and database), but would like to restore the now damaged media files on my first external drive with the fully functioning versions from my second external drive ( and which way would I do it safely ) and I'm hoping that should restore the broken links I am now experiencing.  Then I can migrate my MBP database file onto the first external from my MBP, and I should have my original library up and running again too?

     

    Or is there a way I can just copy ( or clone if that's the same?) the fully functioning library I have on my second external drive back on to my first external drive?

     

    Am I making sense?....if you have the patience to answer this it would be a huge help to me as my itunes is currently of huge importance to me and I cannot risk losing any of the tunes on there ( it's pure music, nothing else)...and I'm starting to lose the plot ..lol

     

    Cheers.

  • 5. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    Assuming the media is already in place (which it should be since you it copied from there in the first place) copy the library file iTunes Library.itl, iTunes Library Extras.itdb, iTunes Library Genius and sentinel (hidden?) from the second (working) external drive and paste them into the library folder on the first external drive. Copy over the Album Artwork folder too unless you think it is unlikely to have changed. If the original library was split (sorry if I missed the details) then you can create a new iTunes folder for the library files and album artwork folder, then move the iTunes Media folder inside and open the library on this original external drive. It should all work.

     

    As long as you routinely connect to one or other copy you can then use a folder cloning tool to update the second copy of the library with any changes. If you can, avoid using the two independently otherwise you have to play catch up.

     

    Again having made this original version work again you can copy the library files to an internal disc and access them from there, but it means you have to do mode work to generate a fully functional backup. (In short: Copy library files out to external one, open and close library from external one, update clone of iTunes folder on external one to external two, switch back to using library on internal drive).

     

    tt2

  • 6. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, rather than doing a split transfer, could I erase the itunes media from my original external drive and do a complete copy from my second external hard drive?  I am worried about doing another split transfer, and everything you have written suggests that a complete transfer would be a simpler proposition.  So should I remove itunes from my first external and then copy it all back on to the first drive from my second external to avoid any potential problems.  I'm just really wary as my library on my second external is now the only clean working one I have, and it's years of work and a lot of irreplaceable music!

     

    Thanks for your patience.

  • 7. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    Here are typical layouts for the iTunes folders:



    If the two media folders are already identical you can save a lot of unnecessary deleting & copying by replacing the non-working set of library files (the stuff outside the red box, i.e. the library files and Album Artwork folder) with a working set from the other library. Copying everything across should work too, but ought not to be necessary.

     

    tt2

  • 8. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Turing

     

    Thanks for your patience with my query!  Unfortunately I have manged to mess up my original library i.e my library files on my internal drive, and media files on my first external drive.  So am I right to assume that if I use the library on my second external drive which is working ( albeit with my music folder outside my itunes directory file), that I can copy my library files back to the internal an then copy back my media files to my first external, and theoretically I should be back where I started?

     

    Sorry for the need to double check- but at the moment my second external drive is the only clean , working library I have got...and I'm so wary about moving it again!

     

    As I said, I thought I had a good handle on itunes until this fiasco, and now I can't seem to see the wood for the trees!

  • 9. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    You need to get your second library in the portable shape as above, with the library files in folder that contains the media folder. You can then clone that folder to any new path of your choice. Probably time to look at  Make a split library portable again. If you give me the paths to the library and media folders I can give you step by step instructions.

     

    tt2

  • 10. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you! You are such a star for helping me with this nightmare!

     

    OK, so heres a screenshot of my working library on my second external hard drive:

    Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 17.12.09.png
    All my music seems to be in that music folder at the very bottom, as it has folders for all six thousand or so music media files (i.e. I'm guessing, all my music media), and the music folder inside the iTunes Media directory only has a list of a few hundred files of media...
    The path to my media in iTunes preferences currently reads with this external drive connected :
    /Volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Media
    Is this is all you require ? As if not let me know what else you may need and I'll get on it, as I really need to correct this asap.
    As I said before I wasn't sure if I should run the consolidate media command to try and get that music folder  with the majority of my files back into the music folder within the main iTunes Media directory...assuming that's what that command would do...
    And yes, once I have got the library in one working unit I was then hoping to clone it to a fresh external drive I have ordered ..which I'll have to figure out how to do too..lol
    My end goal is to have a full library on my mains powered external drive that I can then clone to a usb powered second external drive, so I can maintain a regularly backed up library on my second drive which I can then DJ from!
    I really hope all of this is making sense to you..

  • 11. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    OK. I take it the drive we are looking at is called /Volumes/Backup. The active library files seem to be stored where we want them <Device>/iTunes, but the music should ideally be inside <Device>/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music.

     

    The trouble with the consolidate command is that it makes copies. That takes time, and then you have to manually delete the originals, and if you don't have room for two complete sets of the media it will just clog up the drive and fail.

     

    Let's do a little more fact checking before we get started. Is there anything at all inside /Volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music? If you look inside /Volumes/Backup/Music do you just have artist folders or are there folders for other media types, e.g. Movies, Podcasts etc.? Or perhaps you only have music in your library?

     

    tt2

  • 12. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for the delay in responding i didn't see your reply til just now, and no, there is nothing but music in my iTunes...so just artist files...I use it purely for music.

     

    With regard to the consolidate command, I have the room on that drive in case it comes down to copying them...my drive is a 1TB drive ( as is the new one which arrives tomorow.) and my iTunes is approx 308GB  so, If I had to manually delete all the copies as a means of achieving a tidy library then I would..!

     

    Anyyway my idea is to use the mains as the drive I store my updated back ups on, as its only USB2 and I will be using a Firewire connection with my new drive as it's a better drive to use for sustained access to my library..(quicker, less draining on the Mac)

     

    But obviously I want to get this back up drive in order first....

  • 13. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)

    OK, this should sort you out...


    1. Move the following files and folders from /Volumes/Backup/iTunes  up to /Volumes/Backup/
      Album Artwork (folder)
      iTunes Library.itl

      iTunes Library Extras.itdb
      iTunes Library Genius.itdb
      iTunes Library.xml
      sentinel (hidden)

    2. Launch iTunes. It should warn that the library is missing. Browse to the file /Volumes/Backup/iTunes Library.itl and open it.

    3. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced and change the media folder location to /Volumes/Backup/Music. Let iTunes consolidate files if it asks, if not use File > Library > Organize Library... Tick Consolidate files and click OK.

    4. Close iTunes. Rename /Volumes/Backup/Music as /Volumes/Backup/iTunes Media. Start iTunes.

    5. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced, check that the media folder location now reads /Volumes/Backup/iTunes Media. If necessary, change and then close and reopen iTunes.

    6. Go to File > Library Organize Library... and, if not greyed out, tick Rearrange files in the folder iTunes Media, then click OK.

    7. Delete /Volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Media which now contains redundant copies.

    8. Move the following files and folders from /Volumes/Backup/ into /Volumes/Backup/iTunes
      Album Artwork (folder)
      iTunes Media (folder)
      iTunes Library.itl

      iTunes Library Extras.itdb
      iTunes Library Genius.itdb
      iTunes Library.xml
      sentinel (hidden)

    9. Launch iTunes. It should warn that the library is missing. Browse to the file /Volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl and open it.

    10. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced, check that the media folder location now reads /Volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Media. If necessary, change and then close and reopen iTunes.


    Each time you change something and start iTunes just check that a track will play. If not, close iTunes and undo your last action.

     

    That should be it. You can clone this iTunes folder to any other drive and the clone is a functioning copy of your library.

     

     

    tt2

  • 14. Re: Help! Just copied iTunes media to second external drive and now have broken links in the original drive??
    Dorso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok many thanks for this advice, and before I start..should I make a copy of this library just in case something doesn't work after I've attempted this change?... I'm almost frozen with fear about messing this library up...

    I have an empty external hard drive ready to do a  copy or  for the hopeful outcome of a fully working library ready to clone.

     

    My final bit of info for you which I forgot to give you is that the path for an example of one of the tunes I originally copied over reads:

     

    /volumes/Backup/Music /artist/album/song

     

    and an example of one of my most recent additions to the library reads

     

    /volumes/Backup/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/artist/album/song

     

    Ok I hope that's clear, and I'm guessing you may have known that may have been the case, but just checking before I start your instructions that this confirms your thoughts on how my music is organized on this drive.....

     

    Oh and I really will do you an hour long mix of any style of music you request after this in thanks...that's if you want one..( I promise you it'll be good..! )..as you have the patience of a saint...lol

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