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Cams
Feb 8, 2010, 04:42 AM
My 80 gig hard drive was getting too small so I've upgraded to a bigger one. I'm running latest version of iTunes (9.0.3). I moved all my music from the Lacie drive to the Hitachi drive and now of course iTunes can't find it. Is there a way of telling iTunes where to look, without doing individual tracks? I have too many tracks to do that.

Adobe Lightroom does a clever thing when this happens: you tell it where one photo is and it figures out that all the photos have moved to the same location and upgrades the database. Surely iTunes can be made to do the same?

Removing and importing would kill all my ratings and playcounts.

Help!



instaxgirl
Feb 8, 2010, 05:07 AM
On a mac -

Hold down option (alt) when you launch iTunes. Keep holding it down until a box turns up saying "choose or make a new iTunes library". Point it towards the iTunes folder on your new hard drive (the "choose" option)

Forever afterwards it will always look there for iTunes.

Cams
Feb 8, 2010, 05:44 AM
Thanks, but it's not a new library I want. I want the existing library to update the location of the files.

I did it once in Windows by rewriting the xml file with the location, damaging the database file by deleting a bunch of data from it and then when iTunes opened it rebuilt the database from the xml file. Hacky but it worked. Not on OS X though. It seems a reasonable thing to want to do and I can't believe it's not possible.

GermanSuplex
Feb 8, 2010, 05:54 AM
You made a mistake. Close iTunes. Unplug the new drive. Plug in the old one and make sure it has the same letter it originally had (I'm not sure how this works on a Mac, but make sure that everything is back to how it was originally, with the old drive). Open up iTunes and hopefully the exclamation points will be gone. Once everything appears to be the same as it was before, plug in your new drive. I would create a folder at the root of the drive called "iTunes", and in that create a folder called "iTunes Media". In iTunes, choose the new iTunes Media Folder for your new location under the advanced tab. Then, consolidate your library to that folder. I'm not sure how to do this on a Mac, but somewhere there is a consolidate option. This will COPY all of your media from to the new drive. Once that is done, you can do what you want with the old drive and the media on it, as iTunes now references the media from the new location.

iTunes is nothing but a collection of addresses... each of your files is at a specific address. If you change the address, then iTunes can't find it. Any changes to the location of the files has to be made from within iTunes, not outside of it. Consolidating basically tells iTunes "copy and look for E:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Prince/1999/01-1999.mp3 to F:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Prince/1999/01-1999.mp3"

If you don't care about losing your playlists or ratings and stuff, you can just create a new library, but I would try the above steps first.

Cams
Feb 8, 2010, 06:25 AM
Ah, so that's what consolidating does. What will happen if I try to consolidate files to a drive which already has the files on it, in exactly the same structure? Will it overwrite or be clever enough to see that they're already there?

GermanSuplex
Feb 8, 2010, 06:47 AM
I just tried it and no, iTunes did what it usually does... it renames the second file... i.e. the original is at E:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist/Song.mp3, I put the file at the same locatin on the F drive and consolidate, and iTunes just places it to F:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist/Song 1.mp3

Cams
Feb 8, 2010, 06:58 AM
I just tried it and no, iTunes did what it usually does... it renames the second file... i.e. the original is at E:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist/Song.mp3, I put the file at the same locatin on the F drive and consolidate, and iTunes just places it to F:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist/Song 1.mp3

Ach, that's just silly. It's not worth the hassle. I've removed and am importing it all again. I lose my play counts and ratings, but hey. If only I could do what I do on Windows on the mac: I have a network drive with the letter I:/ so if there's a new drive or it gets moved, it doesn't matter a jot. The Mac doesn't do drive letters. I wonder if I could have renamed the Hitachi from Hitachi to Lacie? I'll never know now as the deed is done.

So what's the xml file for if you can't edit it to change the location? Seems a bit pointless having it.

Of course I've had to install drivers so that OS X can write to my NTFS-formatted drive. I should've used OS X to format it as FAT32, but you live and learn.

Thanks everyone for the help. Proves once again that iTunes has some major weaknesses. I've switched to Songbird for my FLAC files and, although it's a bit buggy, it works pretty good. But I need the iTunes for iPods and such.

GermanSuplex
Feb 8, 2010, 07:51 AM
I've always thought the .xml file was a more universal way for other programs to access certain things about your iTunes library.

To be honest, I don't think the way iTunes stores/organizes the files is a weakness... personally, I consider it a strength. I really don't like programs that allow me to move and rename files to my choosing because I've ran into some problems of equally frustrating proportions, and its been so long that I don't remember specifics. But as long as you understand how iTunes operates, you shouldn't have any problem.

The good thing is that most people learn a valuable lesson once and then its smooth sailing from then on out. I'm sure you will now be able to manage iTunes without much of an issue.

Cams
Feb 8, 2010, 08:13 AM
I've always thought the .xml file was a more universal way for other programs to access certain things about your iTunes library.

To be honest, I don't think the way iTunes stores/organizes the files is a weakness... personally, I consider it a strength. I really don't like programs that allow me to move and rename files to my choosing because I've ran into some problems of equally frustrating proportions, and its been so long that I don't remember specifics. But as long as you understand how iTunes operates, you shouldn't have any problem.

The good thing is that most people learn a valuable lesson once and then its smooth sailing from then on out. I'm sure you will now be able to manage iTunes without much of an issue.

That's just it though; I'm not sure that I will. If I'd known to consolidate rather than copy and paste, it might have helped. But the main iTunes folder, or should I say mp3s folder, is organised on my PC according to my own system and it's very neat and tidy. I use synchronising software to keep it mirrored to my external drive and then import the external drive into iTunes on the Macbook. All is well, until I want to replace the external with a bigger one. Consolidating would have worked one way, but it may have confused the synchronising process on the PC. The PC is the master.

When I plugged the new drive in to the Macbook, iTunes gave me the exclamation marks. I can use iTunes to locate the file. Surely doing that with one file would be enough for it to find ALL the files? That is what happens with Adobe Lightroom and it's a great feature of the app. Every time there is a point release for iTunes I expect to see that feature, but it's never there. I don't understand why.

Thankfully I got it all figured out with mapped drive letters on the PC, but even before I did that, I was able to use the hack to fix it with the xml file. But that did not work on OS X.

The main reason I wanted to keep the library on the Macbook is that I have a smart playlist (EXCELLENT feature of iTunes by the way) that plays everything with a playcount of 0 at work (except artists that are unsuitable for workplace listening of course!) Now the whole library is back to 0. That's 13779 songs. So I'll start again but keep hoping that iTunes will add this feature that it's sorely lacking. A quick search of this forum the search term 'move iTunes library' shows that this comes up again and again. Yes, in most instances consolidation would work, but not always and the user should be more empowered.

instaxgirl
Feb 8, 2010, 10:24 AM
If you don't let iTunes organise your files for you I'm not sure if this'd work, but if you have the standard iTunes file hierarchy this is a method for relocating your library without losing any playlists, play counts, ratings etc etc If you don't already have the standard hierarchy you'd have to consolidate, but I've never really gotten into that

Thanks, but it's not a new library I want. I want the existing library to update the location of the files.

My way doesn't set it up as a new library (you can set up a whole new library this way but there's no point in your case)

Copy your iTunes folder from the 80GB hard drive to the new one. Then launch iTunes while holding down option and click the choose library option, navigate to your new hard drive and the copied iTunes folder (which contains all your music and library information). Choose that folder and iTunes will load your library, completely intact but from then on it will look for it on the new hard drive not the old one.

I've moved my library onto different hard drives at least twice this way. I'm sure I found it in an Apple support article on how to move your library.