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Old Jan 19, 2012, 10:42 AM   #1
Henri Gaudier
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Most elegant way to run an iTunes Library from an external HD

Hi everyone. I'm finally going to upgrade my hi-fi and what I'd like to do is use my first gen Intel MB Pro to play files from an external HD. (Due to the size of the library and they'll be ripped at CD quality, not compressed) The MB Pro would be attached by tos-optical to a Musical Fidelity M1 DAC.


What would be the most elegant way of doing this? Would the external HD have to be bootable? Which would be a chore as it would far less immediate when wanting to play music. Or can I stream in the files from the external HD using iTunes on the macbook? A bit uncertain of how to go ahead and so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Jan 19, 2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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You shouldn't have any problems having your music on an external drive. iTunes just needs to be pointed in the right direction. Make sure you select a folder in the external drive as the location of the iTunes media folder, under the Advanced tab in Preferences.

If iTunes doesn't automatically detect the music files, you can simply drag each album into iTunes and it will organize the files for you. To avoid potential problems, make sure iTunes doesn't load the library stored on the OS hard drive by default. To do this, hold down option when you load iTunes. It will ask you where the iTunes Library file is located. Then you navigate to the Library file and select it. From then on iTunes will load from the external library file. You can delete the iTunes Library file from the boot drive just to be extra sure.

For the best responsiveness in an external drive you should definitely use FireWire. USB drives have a noticeable lag when used with iTunes. An external drive connected with Thunderbolt would be even better (if you get a new Mac in the future.)
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Old Jan 19, 2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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What AR said is good information. For more detail (lots of detail) go to http://www.computeraudiophile.com/. The website is dedicated to computer stereo and how best to do it. Poke around. Ask questions. They are an extremely helpful and polite group.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 11:58 AM   #4
Henri Gaudier
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: France
Thanks for the replies but please bear with me. Am I understanding this correctly ... the iTunes programme runs on the MB Pro with the album art etc but it is essentially empty as the song file, when selected, will stream off the external drive? Phew, it's friday night and I can barely think! Hopefully that will be a "yes" and I can give me head a rest.

@ Rawkfist ... I'd just been to that site for the first time before coming here .. looking at the new Cambridge Audio Dac Magic Plus .. but thanks for posting.
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