iTunes Library on portable hard drive?

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culp4684

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I just purchased a new Lenovo notebook that has one of those smaller SSD drives. I would like to move my iTunes library from my old computer's hard drive to an external portable drive to save space on the Lenovo. My plan is to plug in the portable drive whenever I need to add to the library or sync my device.

Has anyone done this successfully? I'm hearing from a few sources that this cannot be done or that it has something to do with the material I have in iTunes. My library is about 95% albums that I transferred directly from CD's, 4% stuff downloaded from HD Tracks and the remaining 1% downloaded from Amazon or iTunes.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
 

cjmnews

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Sure you can do this using the Consolidate feature of iTunes which will copy the library to a new location.

I would make a backup of the iTunes Library.itl file first. Probably my whole library as well.

Put the drive into your old computer, set the drive letter to something special like M for Music.
In iTunes File->Library->Organize Library, then check the Consolidate Files box and click OK.
Select the new location for your iTunes Library.
follow the rest of the prompts
Wait for the copy to complete.

Open iTunes.
Play some songs showing they work.
Right click a song and choose Show in Windows Explorer, and it should open on the new drive.
If you are satisfied that all went well, you should copy the iTunes Library.itl file to the drive as well.

Now put the drive into the new computer. Set the drive letter the same as on the old computer in the Drive Management.
Hold Shift while starting iTunes.
In the prompt navigate to where the iTunes Library.itl file is located and select it.
When iTunes opens it should see your library and be able to play any song.

You should be able to sync to this with iPhones and iPods without erasing as well.
 

culp4684

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Thanks. I did attempt to do this but I'm running into an issue where the actual music library is not in an .itl file. All my music is in a file called iPod Content.. The first time I tried to transfer music to the hard drive, I must have done something to the old one because every song showed up with an exclamation point next to it. I called Apple customer support and they helped me pull the songs back from iPod content, but every song was duplicated. I had to manually delete over 8,000 items!

If could figure out why the music files are not saved in an .itl file I'd probably have the answer!
 

cjmnews

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Of course the music is not in the itl file. That file just tells where iTunes where the files are.

The files are usually in folder called iTunes Media/Music or iTunes Music if you have an older installation. It sounds like you recovered your music from an iPod and didn't have the automated library management turned on in iTunes.

Do your songs play in iTunes without the iPod plugged in? If they do then the Consolidate command will work to copy the music files over. If not then you should fix that problem first then consolidate.

My guess is that you used Windows Explorer to move the files which was not in the instructions above. Since you moved them then iTunes didn't know where they went and put the exclamation marks next to the songs.

Try using the actual Consolidate command. Windows Explorer will cause duplicates when you muck with the files.
 

culp4684

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Thanks!!!

Using what you suggested I was able to get the material on my portable hard drive and everything on both computers works just fine.

I also found out that I had four different iTunes libraries on my old computer under different locations. All were different sizes some having a few more albums than others. I think that caused a lot of my issues. The consolidation feature solved this.
 
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