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Question: Locate iTunes Music after moving location

I had my iTunes music (along with all other media) on an external drive. I have now upgraded my Macbook Pro so it has a large enough internal drive (SSD) to hold all my files. So I'm moving my library to be on the main drive.


I copied my iTunes music to my internal hard drive's Music folder. (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media)


In iTunes' Advanced Preferences, I changed the location of the music library to the new one.


iTunes however finds some of the music in the new location, but not all songs. A finder search indicates that they songs are actually there, but iTunes isn't seeing them. Other than locate them one by one (there are hundreds), how can I get iTunes to see all the songs please?

MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012), macOS Sierra (10.12.4), SSD, Optical Drive swapped for HD

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Well I was a bit worried about the possibility of the script deleting some good links, so I went the other option, which turned out to be pretty easy.


I restored from the TM backup just prior to me moving stuff, so I had an empty iTunes Media folder on my main drive, with iTunes still pointing to the external. I changed the location of the media folder in Settings, then File > Library > Organize Library, and checked Consolidate files. iTunes then copied all the files over from hard drive. No duplicates now, and iTunes running as it should be.


Thanks @Limnos for all your help, I've learned a lot about iTunes now!

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Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM in response to JDfunky In response to JDfunky

In iTunes' Advanced Preferences, I changed the location of the music library to the new one.


Ah, but preferences does not change library location, it only tells iTunes where to store any new media added.


Something you could try first would be to find one file then iTunes should ask if you want it to find others. This may take some time and will only work if you have iTunes' preferences set for it to manage and organize media.


Otherwise you need to consolidate your files to the new media location (make sure you have room because iTunes will copy them to your destination).


iTunes 12 for Mac: Change where your iTunes files are stored - http://support.apple.com/kb/PH19507 - This should say "Change where your media files but not where your other library items are stored" - more information at: https://discussions.apple.com/message/22026652#22026652 - and steps 5-8 in https://discussions.apple.com/message/24491967#24491967


May 2016 post by Kenichi Watanabe summarizing consolidate process - https://discussions.apple.com/message/30216507#30216507

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Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM in response to JDfunky In response to JDfunky

iTunes does not look for files, it assumes it already knows where they are based upon when you first added them. Consolidating gets iTunes to copy files to another media folder location and inventory their new locations as it does so.


You got ! because the ! links point to the files on the old drive and the good link points to the newly added version. If you wanted to you could create a dozen of links all pointing to the same file and get a dozen duplicates in iTunes.


Where are my iTunes files located? - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1391 --> Locate and organize your iTunes media files - https://support.apple.com/HT204668


iTunes 9 [and later]: Understanding iTunes Media Organization - http://support.apple.com/HT201979 [NO LONGER WORKS] - plus supplemental information about organizing to new structure https://discussions.apple.com/message/26404702#26404702


Image of folder structure and explanation of different iTunes versions (turingtest2 post) - https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-7392 and making an iTunes library portable.


Consolidating puts a copy of the media files in the new location. If you already have the media folder copied there (unless you trash it) then consolidating will result in duplicate files being copied into that folder. Again iTunes does not work with files, it works with entries in its database.


If you want to work with what you have you can go to the Dougscripts web site and get one of the scripts there that will delete dead links. You just have to hope one of your so-called good links isn't really a dead link because it will delete that too.

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Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM in response to JDfunky In response to JDfunky

In iTunes' Advanced Preferences, I changed the location of the music library to the new one.


Ah, but preferences does not change library location, it only tells iTunes where to store any new media added.


Something you could try first would be to find one file then iTunes should ask if you want it to find others. This may take some time and will only work if you have iTunes' preferences set for it to manage and organize media.


Otherwise you need to consolidate your files to the new media location (make sure you have room because iTunes will copy them to your destination).


iTunes 12 for Mac: Change where your iTunes files are stored - http://support.apple.com/kb/PH19507 - This should say "Change where your media files but not where your other library items are stored" - more information at: https://discussions.apple.com/message/22026652#22026652 - and steps 5-8 in https://discussions.apple.com/message/24491967#24491967


May 2016 post by Kenichi Watanabe summarizing consolidate process - https://discussions.apple.com/message/30216507#30216507

Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM

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Mar 13, 2018 3:07 PM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

Limnos wrote:



Something you could try first would be to find one file then iTunes should ask if you want it to find others. This may take some time and will only work if you have iTunes' preferences set for it to manage and organize media.


Otherwise you need to consolidate your files to the new media location (make sure you have room because iTunes will copy them to your destination).


iTunes 12 for Mac: Change where your iTunes files are stored - http://support.apple.com/kb/PH19507 - This should say "Change where your media files but not where your other library items are stored" - more information at: https://discussions.apple.com/message/22026652#22026652 - and steps 5-8 in https://discussions.apple.com/message/24491967#24491967


May 2016 post by Kenichi Watanabe summarizing consolidate process - https://discussions.apple.com/message/30216507#30216507

Thanks Limnos. I tried your first suggestion to find one lost file. iTunes did not do what it 'should' have; i.e. it did not ask me if I wanted it to find others. (that would have been great!)


You then suggested consolidating files to new media location. Not sure why you say 'make sure you have room because iTunes will copy them to your destination' ... as I mentioned, I had already manually copied to the new location. So I don't want it to copy them there again.


I looked through the other posts, and tried a suggestion there: File > Library > Organise Library.. > Consolidate Files. This didn't work, still files that iTunes couldn't find.


I then tried something which wasn't mentioned in the posts, since I saw it in the menu: File > Library > Consolidate Files. That created duplicate entries in iTunes, one that plays, and the other with the ! symbol to the left. (I tried to insert a screenshot for you in this post, but when I pressed Upload, nothing happened).




iTunes doesn't allow me to sort by that column on the left; if it did I could select all of them easily and delete the extraneous entries, and I don't wish to do it one by one (13,000+ songs).

Mar 13, 2018 3:07 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM in response to JDfunky In response to JDfunky

iTunes does not look for files, it assumes it already knows where they are based upon when you first added them. Consolidating gets iTunes to copy files to another media folder location and inventory their new locations as it does so.


You got ! because the ! links point to the files on the old drive and the good link points to the newly added version. If you wanted to you could create a dozen of links all pointing to the same file and get a dozen duplicates in iTunes.


Where are my iTunes files located? - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1391 --> Locate and organize your iTunes media files - https://support.apple.com/HT204668


iTunes 9 [and later]: Understanding iTunes Media Organization - http://support.apple.com/HT201979 [NO LONGER WORKS] - plus supplemental information about organizing to new structure https://discussions.apple.com/message/26404702#26404702


Image of folder structure and explanation of different iTunes versions (turingtest2 post) - https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-7392 and making an iTunes library portable.


Consolidating puts a copy of the media files in the new location. If you already have the media folder copied there (unless you trash it) then consolidating will result in duplicate files being copied into that folder. Again iTunes does not work with files, it works with entries in its database.


If you want to work with what you have you can go to the Dougscripts web site and get one of the scripts there that will delete dead links. You just have to hope one of your so-called good links isn't really a dead link because it will delete that too.

Mar 14, 2018 3:49 AM

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Mar 13, 2018 6:04 PM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

Ok, thanks for further info. I guess the only way I can get out of the predicament now is to delete all the music files from new location, then consolidate the files so that iTunes puts a copy of them there.. but that will still leave iTunes with duplicate entries won't it?


Maybe I could do the above, but use Time Machine to restore an earlier version of the iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml files?

Mar 13, 2018 6:04 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 3:48 AM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

Well I was a bit worried about the possibility of the script deleting some good links, so I went the other option, which turned out to be pretty easy.


I restored from the TM backup just prior to me moving stuff, so I had an empty iTunes Media folder on my main drive, with iTunes still pointing to the external. I changed the location of the media folder in Settings, then File > Library > Organize Library, and checked Consolidate files. iTunes then copied all the files over from hard drive. No duplicates now, and iTunes running as it should be.


Thanks @Limnos for all your help, I've learned a lot about iTunes now!

Mar 14, 2018 3:48 AM

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Question: Locate iTunes Music after moving location