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Question: Adding the iTunes Media Folder

Hi,


I have installed iTunes on my Windows 10 PC.

Now i would like to point iTunes to my already organised Media Folder located here: G:My Media\iTunes Media

I have tried to change the iTunes Media folder to this location in the "edit" "preferences" "advanced".

But the library is still empty. How can i add my library so that iTunes can play the music?

MacBook Pro, Windows 10

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Answer:

OK, if you want to start from scratch:


Press and hold down shift immediately after clicking the icon that launches iTunes, keep holding until asked to choose or create a library, click create and choose a suitable location, i.e. G:\iTunes.


This should make the library file G:\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl and the media folder should be G:\iTunes\iTunes Media. If for some reason it isn't use the reset button in File > Edit > Preferences > Advanced where you're looking at the current value to correct it.


Use File > Library > Organize Library > Rearrange Files if it isn't greyed out to switch from old layout to new one. If the option is greyed out there is nothing to do and the library is in the new layout already


You can now move or copy existing content into the iTunes Media folder and add it to iTunes using drag & drop or File > Add Folder to Library.


If Keep organized is enabled, or you use the Automatically Add to iTunes folder, or Copy files is enabled and you drag in content from outside of the media folder, iTunes will arrange music into the standard <Media Folder>/Music/<Artist>/<Album>/## Name>.<Ext> layout you're aiming for.


tt2

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Feb 28, 2018 12:17 PM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

See Make a split library portable and/or Move your iTunes library to a new computer. The iTunes library has two main components, the database and the media. You cannot change the media folder preference and expect iTunes to show you what is in it.


If you have a previous machine with the database for this library then connect the drive back to it and prepare for the move by copying your library files into the My Media folder and accessing the new copy of the iTunes Library.itl file with the shift-start-iTunes method. Once you have fixed that you can (optionally, but I would) close iTunes, rename My Media as iTunes then shift-start-iTunes to access the library again. Then you can move the drive to the new machine and shift-start-iTunes to connect to the library once more.


If you only have the collection of media and no .itl files to draw on use the shift-start-iTunes method to make a new library at G:\iTunes, move your iTunes Media folder from G:\My Media into G:\iTunes and use File > Add Folder to Library to add the contents of the media folder to the library.


See also Backup your iTunes for Windows library with SyncToy.


tt2

Feb 28, 2018 12:17 PM

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Feb 28, 2018 12:37 PM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

Just to add to tt2's sage advice ... the iTunes Media Folder Location setting (somewhat confusedly) does not determine where iTunes looks for existing library content - that is specified within the iTunes database (the iTunes Library.itl file). All the location setting does is to determine where iTunes will add new library content (in combination with other settings). If you use the portable format, as tt2 describes, the library file will be in the same parent folder as the iTunes Media folder and - irrespective of where that containing folder is - iTunes will default to the correct media locations.


For example, on my primary system the iTunes library is stored on a external drive (K:) in a top level folder (K:\iTunes). This folder contains both the iTunes Library.itl file and the iTunes Media folder. The default settings in Edit > Preferences > Advanced are as follows:

User uploaded file

Feb 28, 2018 12:37 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 6:17 PM in response to hhgttg27 In response to hhgttg27

Thanks guys,

Soory for being a bit slow, but i dont get it quite yet.

Im gonna try to be more specific here about what im trying to achieve.


I have iTunes installed on two different machines.

One is a macbook pro(bootcamp) and one is a desktop pc. Both running windows 10.

I have one instance of my music library on the macbook and one instance on the desktop.


When im on the desktop i need to be able to edit and rename songs, and the same when im on the macbook.

I am not using iTunes store so lets forget about that part and play count etc is not really important.

The two iTunes Media libraries are located on the C drive on the laptop and on the G drive on the desktop.

I will keep these folders in sync with Goodsync that i run manually when i like.


The remaining part is to add the iTunes library folder located on the G drive.

With this setup should i keep the .itl files inside the iTunes Media folder?

Mar 1, 2018 6:17 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 6:27 PM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

The database file should be in the parent folder of the media folder, not inside the media folder, and it is the parent folder that you sync. The media folder is normally called iTunes Media and the parent folder iTunes. You would normally edit one library, then mirror any changes to the other before making any edits in that one. See iTunes Folder Watch for a tool that can scan the media folder for inconsistencies that might arise if you make edits to the two copies independently and then sync. I use SyncToy but I assume GoodSync does a similar job. The clones of my libraries work on various drive letters and paths, including a switch from Windows to Mac.


tt2

Mar 1, 2018 6:27 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 11:18 PM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

When you say the clones of your libraries work on various drive letters and paths, do you have 1 database/.itl file to be shared with all libraries or do you have 1 .itl file for each library?

Or i ask this way. Since i have 2 installations of iTunes on two different computers, should i use the same .itl file for both instances of iTunes?

Mar 1, 2018 11:18 PM

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Mar 2, 2018 6:10 AM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

Each library should be self contained, i.e., include both the iTunes Library.itl file and the iTunes Media folder. While it is theoretically feasible to set things up so that two instances of iTunes can access the same library, it requires extra configuration (e.g., for both systems the drive letter and path to the folder containing the iTunes Library.itl file and the iTunes Media folder would have to be the same) and would be more prone to errors than the standard setup.

This is what I use:

  • System 1 has the iTunes Library on an external hard drive with the iTunes Library.itl file and the iTunes Media folder contained in K:\iTunes.
  • System 2 has the iTunes Library in the standard/default location, C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes
  • I do updates on both systems - #1 is the one I use most of the time, but only #2 has an optical drive so I use this one for importing new CDs to the library
  • I synch the two libraries regular (often daily), using a portable hard drive as both the transport mechanism and as an additional backup of the library content - so if I've made changes to the library on system 1 I will:
    • synch K:\iTunes on system 1 to the iTunes folder in the root of the portable drive, and then
    • synch the iTunes folder on the portable drive to C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes on system 2


Obviously this synch process is reversed if I've made updates to system 2. The key to this is to never make changes on both systems and hope to magically "merge" them later - this doesn't work! It is possible to set something up without using the additional portable drive, and synch the two libraries directly over a network - practically, though, I've found this slower than using the portable drive and it lacks the benefit of having an additional "failsafe" backup of the whole library.

Mar 2, 2018 6:10 AM

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Mar 2, 2018 6:29 PM in response to hhgttg27 In response to hhgttg27

Hi,


And thanks for the reply. Since i dont have a portable drive i will be using my desktop drive as a backup\sync location.


Desktop location is G:\My Media\iTunes

Laptop location is C:\Users\username\Music\My Media\iTunes (network: \\MACBOOKPRO\Music\My Media\iTunes)

I am using GoodSync installed on the desktop to sync these two folders.

When making changes in iTunes on the desktop i close iTunes, run GoodSync and sync the folders(sync from desktop to laptop) I can then play\view the edited file on my laptop. All seems to be working like expected.


But the other way around, when making changes on the laptop, running GoodSync (sync from laptop to desktop)

and starting iTunes on the desktop to play the edited file i get an error saying that i need to manually locate the file, although the edited copy of the file is in the library at the correct location. So the new file is there, but its like the .itl file is not being synced (properly) when im syncing from the laptop to the desktop.


So syncing one way is working, but not the other way which is a bit strange. Any idea why this is happening?

Mar 2, 2018 6:29 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 2:24 AM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

There are two locations of interest for each library, the location of the .itl file, and the location of the designated iTunes Media folder. When you see an error with iTunes not locating a track please post the true path to the file, the path as shown on the Song Info > File tab, and the media folder location, then perhaps we can see what is going wrong.


tt2

Mar 3, 2018 2:24 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 9:12 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Desktop:

G:\My Media\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\Cosmic Mojo\Zodiac Retrowired Spinmachine\01 Zodiac Attac.mp3

The .itl file is inside the iTunes parent folder.

iTunes Media Folder Location in preferences is G:\My Media\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music


Laptop:

C:\Users\username\Music\My Media\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\Cosmic Mojo\Zodiac Retrowired Spinmachine\01 Zodiac Attac.mp3

The .itl file is inside the iTunes parent folder.

iTunes Media Folder Location in preferences is C:\Users\username\Music\My Media\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music


The two parent folders that are synced is G:\My Media and C:\Users\Username\Music\My Media

Mar 3, 2018 9:12 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 9:21 AM in response to KaosiKosmos In response to KaosiKosmos

In both cases the media folder should be the folder ...\iTunes Media not ...\iTunes Media\Music.


You may have hidden .iTunes Preferences.plist files in the Music folders that are set with the old layout value, 0, meaning that Artist folders are put in that folder rather than a Music subfolder. Check for the same files in the iTunes Media folders and make sure that the layout value is given as 1, which adds the Music subfolder into the path between the media folder and the artist folder.


tt2

Mar 3, 2018 9:21 AM

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Question: Adding the iTunes Media Folder