How to Relocate your iTunes Library

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psimon

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Relocating music

Please choose the appropriate forum for this topic. Thank you. I am currently running the latest iTunes software (4.5). I have purchased an external firewire drive to hold all of my digital photos and digital music. I want to relocate all of my music (whether it was downloaded through iTunes, downloaded elsewhere, or just copied from my library of CDs using MMJB when I first got my iPod.) from my internal hard drive to this new external one.

I know I can just move the files, but how do I ensure that nothing changes with respect to iTunes except for the source of the material? I don't want to mess up what I have now, but I can't keep all the files in their current location. How do I make iTunes find everything in the new location?

Thanks... Paul
 

noogabooga

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you mean u want to keep playcounts, ratings, etc? I dont believe you can.

You could delete all the songs from ur iTunes library then re-add them from the new location but you would lose playcount & ratings information. You could save ur ratings at the least using this method perhaps
 

jh-retired

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I have done this myself when I installed a new internal drive.

iTunes makes it *REALLY* easy, although it's not quite obvious.

I'll be writing up an iPod 101 article on this, sometime :D

I'm not sitting on an iTunes-ed computer right now, but I'll do the best I can to describe the process I used.

1) First, go to iTunes --> Edit --> Preferences. Choose the "Advanced Tab."

2) Turn ON "Keep my iTunes Music Library Organized" AND "Copy New files to the iTunes Music Library Folder."

3) Choose a new Music folder, and enter it into the appropriate box in the Advanced Tab of Preferences. (For me, a folder on the new internal drive. For you, on the external drive.)

4) Click OK, and exit Preferences.

** THE KEY STEP ** -- First, an intro:

This next step will *copy* (Not Move) all your music into the new music folder, which is what you want. All ratings, playcounts, etc will remain unchanged.


5) In the "Advanced" menu (I believe), choose "Consolidate Library." Sit back while iTunes copies all your files.


When you are finished, delete the MUSIC FILES from your old Music Library folder (Manually). Stay away from the "iTunes" folder-- it needs to stay, for reasons discussed in the next 'paragraph.'

In my experience with iTunes 4.1/4.2, I noticed a bug. It may be fixed in 4.5, but I'm not sure. While all the MUSIC FILES are copied to the new music folder, the "iTunes" folder (which contains the Library XML and associated important files) are not copied/moved. THEY MUST STAY IN THE OLD FOLDER. This is mildly inconvinient, but it isn't a big problem for me.

Test.
 
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psimon

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azdude..... thanks!

Sure looks like it works. An observation and clarification....

1. It appears that all of the tracks are now organized by artist directories as opposed to album. Not a problem as iTunes takes care of the sorting, but it is a different approach.

2. I want to make sure I delete the right thing.... Everything is now residing in H:\iTunes\*.*...... I can now delete what is located in the original installation in d:\iTunes\My Music\*.*.... right?


3. What about the files that are in:
D:\Documents and Settings\Paul\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\*.*..... do they have to stay or can they go?

Many thanks for the great help..... Paul
 

jh-retired

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1. It appears that all of the tracks are now organized by artist directories as opposed to album. Not a problem as iTunes takes care of the sorting, but it is a different approach.
Correct, and a good addition. This method will apply "The iTunes Way" if you weren't already using it.

2. I want to make sure I delete the right thing.... Everything is now residing in H:\iTunes\*.*...... I can now delete what is located in the original installation in d:\iTunes\My Music\*.*.... right?
Correct. Just don't delete the D:\iTunes\iTunes directory (That holds the Music Library.xml file. (This caveat assumes that iTunes 4.5 did NOT fix this bug).

3. What about the files that are in:
D:\Documents and Settings\Paul\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\*.*..... do they have to stay or can they go?
Anything and EVERYTHING that *used* to be in your iTunes Library now resides in H:\iTunes. You can delete the originals.

If you want more confidence before you delete music files, you can verify that iTunes is now "looking" in H:\iTunes for each file by right clicking on any song of interest (in the library) and going to "Get Info." Look for the Path to the file. They should **ALL** be "H:\iTunes\Artist\Album\##_Trackname.*" now.
 

MacMuse26

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azdude_15GB said:
...Just don't delete the D:\iTunes\iTunes directory (That holds the Music Library.xml file. (This caveat assumes that iTunes 4.5 did NOT fix this bug).
I don't think this is a bug, just a not-so-obvious-why design choice.

At its heart, iTunes is a database program. The core database iTunes V4 uses is 'iTunes 4 Music Library.itl'. The code is also designed as a single user system. Multiple users attached to the same core database leave the file open to corruption. (SQL/Oracle = $$$, iTunes = free). Therefore, Apple defined the location for this file based on the Window's user "variable"/'shell folder' My Music. iTunes creates the database at 'My Music\iTunes'. Change 'My Music' in the registry or with TweakUI from Microsoft, and iTunes uses the new location for the database. The companion file 'iTunes Music Library.xml' living at the same location is just a human readable courtesy copy of the database. iTunes writes to it, but never reads from it unless you use File menu \ Import command.

The music files, however, are not limited to single user access. The Advanced preference option lets you set the file location to any available disk, inluding network devices.
 

jiggles

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hi, this is a great post and i appreciate the information within. here's my Q: i have my library split over two drives as i have a laptop with limited space and an external drive with unlimited. now i have some tunes that are on the external drive that i really want on the laptop drive. how do i safely move them from the external to the laptop? thanks...
 

Schmolle

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It does not matter where you put your music files, be they in one place, divided over two or scattered over 30 (network) drives.

To move files between any of these locations, follow the instructions as per above and modify the XML file in accordance with the file movements.

For example: if you want to move file Foo.mp3 from an external to an internal drive, do this:

- Shut down iTunes
- move Foo.mp3 from one drive to another
(using your favourite text editor:)
- Edit the XML file: find the entry for Foo.mp3 and modify the path to what it is now.
- Edit the .itl file to empty it.
- Restart iTunes and answer yes to its offer of rebuilding the database.
 

jiggles

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thanks for that schmolle but i was hoping for something within the 4.6 interface. my first reaction to editing XML files is ewwwwwww! have u tested this in 4.6? and what do you mean by "edit the .itl file to emty it"?

anyone else have any ideas? i have a lot of files i want to get back on the laptop, and i dont want to be editing a lot of entries by hand, unless it's the only way?!

one idea i had was to burn CDs of what i want to move, delete the files from the lib, and then re-import them but first change the location in of the store in the interface. but this won't work for purchased music and wastes lots of CDs....any more help is appreciated....
jiggy
 

axxman

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it seems to me, with Itunes off, you could just copy the music from the external drive to your laptop. then start iTunes, delete the songs (this just deletes the old location reference) and use the "add folder" function to add the songs located on the laptop.
 

AndyH

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axxman said:
it seems to me, with Itunes off, you could just copy the music from the external drive to your laptop. then start iTunes, delete the songs (this just deletes the old location reference) and use the "add folder" function to add the songs located on the laptop.
I think the downside to this method is that you'll lose your playcounts & ratings and possibly lose those songs out of any playlists they belong in.
 

VanillaGorilla

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All right, I read through this thread and all the information linked to it, but I think my situation might be a little different and I'm not sure if I can avoid it. I've filled my harddrive with music, and it's starting to cause other programs to crash due to lack of memory, so I think it's time to invest in an external harddrive. The only problem is that my iTunes library is a select section (4000 out of 5000 songs) of music from my music folder. So basically, I have songs in my music folder that I don't have in my library, and I don't want them in my library. Will having iTunes keep my library organized prevent the other music that isn't currently in my library from entering my library once it is all relocated?

Sorry if this is confusing, I think I even confused myself ... it's just that I've spent countless hours organizing my library and I don't think I can bring myself to do it all over again. If it matters at all, I did not have iTunes rename/organize all of my music filenames when I first installed it, not sure if that matters, I'd just like to keep it this way.

Thanks in advance.
 

cartmansdad

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I bought a new large hard drive primarily to store itunes library. I have put the library on that drive (d drive) and can use it when I boot up and operate on the d drive. However, I am trying to just run all the time off my c drive where everything else is located. I cannot get itunes running on c drive to pull up the library stored on my d drive. I have used the preferences/advanced tab and changed library location to d:/documents and settings/my docs/my music/itunes/itunes (or something like that), but it will not pull up my big library on the d drive. Also, when I dl disks it does not put in d drive library but on c drive. I have also tried consolidate music, but this does not transfer items downloaded to c drive library to d drive library.

So, how do I get itunes on one drive to utilize library on another drive? Thanks in advance.
 

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azdude_15GB said:
It may be fixed in 4.5, but I'm not sure. While all the MUSIC FILES are copied to the new music folder, the "iTunes" folder (which contains the Library XML and associated important files) are not copied/moved. THEY MUST STAY IN THE OLD FOLDER. This is mildly inconvinient, but it isn't a big problem for me. [/B]
If you don't do this does this just mess up your library play times etc etc or will it effect mounting and syncing the 'pod?
 

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Music on dvd's / other removable media

I have a sort of related problem: my laptop's hd is running out of available space.

The best option for me to store the music would be on external removable media, such as dvd's, and removing the music files from my hd (not with iTunes, but manually).

But what about syncing the itunes with ipod, then? Will i lose all music i've removed from the hd? And will I lose them even if I have set the autosync option in ipod to 'manual''?

Thanks
 

tommyx

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cartmansdad said:
I bought a new large hard drive primarily to store itunes library. I have put the library on that drive (d drive) and can use it when I boot up and operate on the d drive. However, I am trying to just run all the time off my c drive where everything else is located. I cannot get itunes running on c drive to pull up the library stored on my d drive. I have used the preferences/advanced tab and changed library location to d:/documents and settings/my docs/my music/itunes/itunes (or something like that), but it will not pull up my big library on the d drive. Also, when I dl disks it does not put in d drive library but on c drive. I have also tried consolidate music, but this does not transfer items downloaded to c drive library to d drive library.

So, how do I get itunes on one drive to utilize library on another drive? Thanks in advance.
i'm facing the same issue too. can anyone help ?? :confused:
 
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Re: Music on dvd's / other removable media

Kaide said:
I have a sort of related problem: my laptop's hd is running out of available space.

The best option for me to store the music would be on external removable media, such as dvd's, and removing the music files from my hd (not with iTunes, but manually).

But what about syncing the itunes with ipod, then? Will i lose all music i've removed from the hd? And will I lose them even if I have set the autosync option in ipod to 'manual''?

Thanks
What you need to do is set the iPod to "manually manage songs and playlists" here. This will stop you from losing all of the songs on the iPod and stop the auto sync feature. You can just drag-n-drop the songs onto the iPod. It will stay set until you change it back to auto sync. Just set the iPod before you delete the songs and your ok.
 

evilhomeruk

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Schmolle said:
The way to do it without having iTunes mangle your folder structure is to empty the itl file, then modify the xml file as per the manual folder / drive changes. Upon startup, all will be corrected. (iTunes 4.6 / WinXP)

See http://www.xs4all.nl/~smulleke/2004/06/10/index.html#post200406101029 for details.
When I create an empty .itl file, and edit my the xml, updating the playcount tags with info from my works computer, when I start iTunes it just crashes.

If I rename my original itl and xml files, itunes boots as normal.

I can't understand how the simple addition of a few tags will bring it down. I'm on XP SP2 btw.

(Why am I editing the playcount info? Well, I couldn't get the above blog post method to work for moving my file locations either, same problem, crashing itunes. I had to start again and manually add on my music, hence no playcount data).

In addition, I've just emptied the .itl file, and left the original .xml file in place. On starting itunes, it automatically starts importing the file, and finally tells me that my database was corrupt and has created a new one. Spurred on by this recreation success, I decided to edit the .xml file and add my playcount information...

This is the data I added to the .xml file, this is the only difference between the original and edited .xml files:

Just after the line:

<key>Sample Rate</key><integer>44100</integer>

I inserted these lines:

<key>Play Count</key><integer>1</integer>
<key>Play Date</key><integer>-1120385986</integer>
<key>Play Date UTC</key><date>2004-08-05T19:08:30Z</date>
<key>Normalization</key><integer>4733</integer>
<key>Disabled</key><true/>

which are now before the line:

<key>Location</key><string>file://localhost/C:/often%20played.mp3/</string>

And that's enough to crash itunes.

Can anyone else test this on iTune 4.6 0.15 and Windows XP SP2?
 
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