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Topic: Moving iTunes Folder and "My Music" Folder

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Old 05-16-2008, 07:06 PM
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Moving iTunes Folder and "My Music" Folder

I've read on this site and others about moving "My Music" folder but I'm still confused, I want to move the "My Music" folder on my C drive to another internal drive I've named M. I have some music files (or folders) that are in the "My Music" folder that have not been imported into iTunes folder. Questions:

1. Since "My Music" folder includes iTunes I have read I need to be careful about doing this so I assume I need to first move the iTunes folder, right?

2. Following the directions to move the iTunes folder > Keep iTunes Music folder organized > Edit > Preferences > Advanced > General Tab > Change > I would then navigate to my "M" drive > Click the make new folder button > Enter the name of the new iTunes Music folder.
Okay what do you name this folder, iTunes? Before doing this process should I create a folder on my "M" drive named either "My Music" or "My Music 2" so this new iTunes folder can be put inside it?

3. The next step says to choose Consolidate Library but what to do next confuses me.

A. One quote I've found says: "Now you can delete the original iTunes music folder. However, be careful not to delete the iTunes library files. These will be in the same location as the iTunes music folder. If you delete them, iTunes won't recognize the songs in the library."

B. Another Quote: "After the folder has been copied, locate your original iTunes Music folder, and drag it to the Recycle Bin. Note: Don't remove the iTunes library files that may be in the same location as the iTunes Music folder."

Okay so inside the "My Music" folder is located the iTunes folder and inside it is a "iTunes Music Library", a "iTunes Library" and all the individual music files. What specifically do I delete and what do I keep?

After moving the iTunes folder is it alright at this time to start dragging all the music files inside the "My Music" folder on my C drive to my M drive?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:40 AM
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Before you start, BACKUP at least your iTunes Library file (C: My Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl) - just in case.

You can name the folder on M: whatever you'd like - the steps you list in #2 above tell iTunes what it's name is. When you do the Consolidate Library Command, it will COPY all the music files from C: My Music/iTunes/iTunes Music subdirectories over to the new folder on M:. Since it copies vs. moves, all your music files are now in both places.

At that point, you should be able to play all your songs in iTunes. Double check with Get Info that they are indeed located on the M: drive. Live with this setup for a few days before removing the music files from the C: drive just to make sure everything is working.

NOTE-at no point do you manually drag the music files from C: to M:. The Consolidate command does that for you. Once a song it in iTunes, if you manually move it outside of iTunes, iTunes will not know where it is.

Now - on the C: drive, your iTunes LIBRARY file is still there. In My Music/iTunes, there is a iTunes Library.itl file - this is your library file & is very important - don't delete it. There is also a iTunes Music Library.xml file in this directory. Leave this directory alone. The music files that you can now delete is in the iTunes Music subfolder here. This contains all the (now) duplicate music files that you may delete.

There is a way to move the actual library file also - I don't know how - and in my case, I just left it on the C: drive. Seemed easier. Only my music files are on the other internal drive.

One more word: Back up your iTunes Library file at least once a week - you'll eventually be glad you did. I also backup all of my music files every few weeks.

Last edited by Cold Irons; 05-17-2008 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:47 PM
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Okay I followed the directions to move the iTunes folder and now the path inside iTunes is now M:\My Music\iTunes so that part is done.

Now back to my C drive where everything still resides, so Clicking on "My Music" on Start menu gives me C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music. Inside "My Music" folder are quite a few various music folders (some albums, some just individual songs) containing MP3, MPEG-4, and WAV files, I assume since these are not located within the iTunes folder I am free to do whatever I want with these (TAKING CARE NOT TO DELETE THE ITUNES FOLDER AT THIS POINT) be it deleting them or dragging them over to my "M" drive, correct?

Again clicking on "MY Music" on Start menu and following the path to C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music\iTunes I am now inside the iTunes folder containing the following:
1. iTunes Music Library

2. iTunes Library

3. ContentsDB

4. MPEG-4 files (lots)

5. Previous iTunes Libraries (folder)

6. iTunes Music (folder)

7. Album Artwork (folder)

8. iPod Games (folder)

I know I must keep the "iTunes Music Library" and "iTunes Library" but what else needs to be kept and what can be deleted? Maybe to keep me from being confused someone could say just delete these (by number) or keep these (by number). Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:24 PM
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You can delete 6, provided you're satisifed that the files inside it were successfully copied to M: during the consolidation.

If the loose mpeg-4 files of 4 were a) already listed in iTunes prior to consolidation and b) not used by other programs (like WMP), they can be deleted...after you're satisfied that they were successfully copied to M: during the consolidation. If those files are not "iTunes files" or if you use other programs to play them, leave them alone.

Everything else stays right where it is.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:15 PM
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Boy this has been so confusing to me that I'm not sure what's going on.

First going back to my first question of my last post, are you saying any music files that are in "My Music" regardless of whether they're in the iTunes folder or not should not be moved? And if so, then why?

After moving the music files from C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music to M:\My Music\iTunes I'm not getting the same number of folders, going to the former it has 131 Objects and the latter has 231 Objects.

I've spent alot of time trying to compare the folders to see if they are the same and although some are the same, some are different. Some folders might not have the same number of files in them and of course there all more folders to deal with so it's confusing.

I had planned to delete the music files within the iTunes Music folder on the C drive once they were transferred to the M drive so I could save some space on the latter but now I don't know.

When comparing the iTunes Music folder on C drive with the transferred folders on the M drive if I find identical folders should it be safe to delete them?

Opening up iTunes, taking an idividual song and clicking on Get Info shows that all the songs are pointing to the M drive, does this mean that all the files were transferred alright from the C drive to the M drive despite the fact that there are 100 more folders and the files may be in different folders?

If a file didn't get transferred would they disappear within the iTunes player since the songs that are there are all pointed toward the M drive?
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:30 PM
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1. Boy this has been so confusing to me that I'm not sure what's going on.

Don't despair! Since you saved a copy of your pre-consolidation library (that "iTunes Library.itl" file) and haven't trashed your C:\\...\iTunes Music\ folder yet, you can always start over from scratch.

2. First going back to my first question of my last post, are you saying any music files that are in "My Music" regardless of whether they're in the iTunes folder or not should not be moved? And if so, then why?

Well, in your first post of this thread you said, "I have some music files (or folders) that are in the 'My Music' folder that have not been imported into iTunes folder." That could mean a number of things...the safest way to read it is that those files are not part of your iTunes library -- that iTunes doesn't know about those files. In that case, they would not have been copied to M: during the consolidation. So if you trash them, you're likely trashing your only copy of them; p'bly not something you want to do ;-)

(And, none of us here know what other apps might be using those files...another music player, another movie viewer, etc.)

3. After moving the music files from C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music to M:\My Music\iTunes I'm not getting the same number of folders, going to the former it has 131 Objects and the latter has 231 Objects.

I've spent alot of time trying to compare the folders to see if they are the same and although some are the same, some are different. Some folders might not have the same number of files in them and of course there all more folders to deal with so it's confusing.


If you weren't using the "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" setting prior to consolidation, the different number of folders on M: is not surprising -- iTunes uses an \artist name\album name\song name.ext hierarchy when it organizes your files; you might have used a simpler scheme on C:. (Or your files' ID3 tags might not be accurate, and things like guest artists or compilations may have fooled iTunes into breaking one album up into several.)

Or, if you weren't using the "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" setting prior to consolidation then there's a good chance that only a part of your music files lived in the "iTunes Music" folder (other files might be in, say, your "Downloads" folder, or a folder named "Toonz from Mikey on Friday", or in folders in your "My Music" folder, etc.). See 7 below.

4. I had planned to delete the music files within the iTunes Music folder on the C drive once they were transferred to the M drive so I could save some space on the latter but now I don't know.

Yup, that's half the reason to consolidate to an external drive, trying to save space on C:. Do you recall how many tracks were listed in iTunes before consolidation? How does that compare to the number that shows now? (Select the "Music" item in the left column of iTunes window; the total number of song tracks will display at the bottom of the iTunes window.) There's a couple of ways to check the before/after consolidation numbers; see 7.

5. When comparing the iTunes Music folder on C drive with the transferred folders on the M drive if I find identical folders should it be safe to delete them?

Yeah -- if they're identical (same items, same total size) then they're safe to delete from C:. But try the method in 7 to find out if anything's missing...it's easier than poring over folder after folder....

6. Opening up iTunes, taking an idividual song and clicking on Get Info shows that all the songs are pointing to the M drive, does this mean that all the files were transferred alright from the C drive to the M drive despite the fact that there are 100 more folders and the files may be in different folders?

Getting Info on one song will tell you about that one song....doesn't really tell you anything about all the songs. But yes, it's a very safe bet. See #7.

7. If a file didn't get transferred would they disappear within the iTunes player since the songs that are there are all pointed toward the M drive?

No -- if any songs didn't transfer they would not disappear from iTunes; they just wouldn't play (and if you tried to Get Info on such a song, iTunes would complain in a dialog that it couldn't locate the song's file).

One quick way to tell if song files are "missing" is this: create a regular (non-smart) playlist; call it "All Music". Now select the "Music" item at the top of the left column in iTunes; use the Edit menu or Ctl-A to select every track in the main display area; drag the selection onto the "All Music" playlist; Select None just to keep things tidy. Now you can compare total counts -- select the "Music" item to see how many music files iTunes knows about, and select the "All Music" playlist to see how many music files iTunes can actually locate. (iTunes won't add a "missing" file to a playlist.) If the count is different, you can list the missing files by creating a smart playlist and making its sole condition "Playlist is not 'All Music'".

You can also compare the counts from your old (C:-based) library to your new (M:-based) library; post for details.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Everything is p'bly just fine with your consolidation; everyone urges caution before deleting old files simply because no one wants an angry critter coming back crying about how some SOB's bad advice "made me lose all my files -- waaa!" <g>

And if you want to start over, you can -- post for details. But you're p'bly just fine ;-)
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:22 AM
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S2_Mac I did what you said by creating a playlist named All Music and selecting everything in Music and then dragging all the songs to that Playlist folder. Didn't know what you meant by saying "Select none to keep things tidy" but I compared the Music list to the All Music list and they are identical, the same amount of items.

So does this mean everything transferred okay and I can now delete the iTunes Music folder?

Back to the various music files and folders inside "My Music" in C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music alot have never been imported into iTunes but just as many have been imported. These files I'm talking about are directly inside "My Music" folder not inside the iTunes folder. I just want to be clear on this, even though some of these files are also inside the iTunes Music folder am I free to drag these over to my M drive to get them off my C drive?

For some reason I have some of the same files and folders both in "My Music" and "iTunes Music folder. What I'd like to do is to move all the files and folders inside "My Music" folder (not the iTunes folder or anything inside it) to "My Music" folder on my M drive and then make a backup of that folder.

Last edited by mccoady; 05-22-2008 at 01:23 AM.
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