itunes media folder location

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Jefferyd32, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    #1
    Is it possible to have two different locations? I want to store my movies on an external HD but keep my music on my MBP. Is this possible?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    Yep...no issue. But if you have the 'Copy File to iTunes media folder' ticked in preference it'll only add stuff to the one location. I have this off as standard, but turn it on when I add songs so it can organise them. Movies and Tv Shows I keep in a folder structure I like on an external drive.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #3
    You can also set up two libraries, one on the notebook and the other on the external and switch between them when starting iTunes. If your music collection isn't huge, you can have it in both places. Or you can just put a more limited favorites library on the notebook, so that you have something good, but not everything you own, when you're away from home.

    That way you can let iTUnes do all the organization.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    Or you could just consolidate the files, which puts it into the itunes media folder and than you copy from there.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    #5
    so how exactly do I do it. How do I point iTunes to look at two different locations for my movies and music?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    If you turn off the "copy to library" preference mentioned above, the items will stay where you add them from. This assumes that you are managing the files manually before you add to iTunes.

    You can use symlinks to create a mapping of one location to another. So, for movies, you would move your Movies folder from the default location within "iTunes Media" onto your external drive, then you would create a symlink that makes it appear to still be in it's original location. This is an advanced topic, so do some research before doing this, and make sure you have everything backed up before you start!

    This would be done from a command line in terminal and the basic command is:
    ln -s /physical/folder/Movies /iTunes/location/Movies

    I guess that you could also do this with an Alias - right click the new location in Finder and select "Create Alias", then move the alias to the expected location.

    Once you do this, you have to make sure that the external drive is Mounted before you open iTunes, otherwise iTunes will think that all of your Movie files are missing.

    Really - make sure you understand what's going on with this before you do it, and make sure you are backed up!
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    #7
    thanks looks like I'll be doing some research to figure this out a little better. The good news is I think I found a used 2010 mini for $400 so I can use it as an always on server and just move my whole library rather than splitting it up.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8

    Okay...first I've heard of Symlinks. My question would be...Why? You dont need to do this so what advantage does it give you? As you say, an alias would do the same. And again I'd ask...Why?? Just drop the movies onto iTunes and your done.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    I started using symlinks because I was having problems with Aliases returning after a reboot. I may have been doing something else incorrectly that caused that, but I had abandoned aliases by then. Somehow the symlink feels like a more permanent solution, but I don't know what an Alias actually does under the hood so maybe they are really identical.

    Drag & drop works fine for movies you acquire & manage outside of iTunes. I think I mentioned that.

    What happens when you buy a movie from the iTunes store though? It gets stored in your default library location. If you replace the Movies Folder in the iTunes media location with a symlink or alias to a folder on another drive, the purchased movie will be stored on the external drive.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    Interesting. Like I said, never heard of symlinks before. The alias issue you were having...was that on a NAS or across a network? I've never experienced an issue with a locally connected drive, though I have across networks.

    Good point on the iTunes movie purchase. I've bought some but usually at some point consolidate it into my movies folder external drive as part of file upkeep.

    Will look into this symlink. May solve a network issue a friend of mine has.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Yes, my issues were with reconnecting a share on a NAS. I tried quite a few things, so alias vs. symlink may not have been the difference; I didn't really try to isolate each change. In either case, I think the key is making sure that the target volume is mounted before you try to access it. This is much easier with a direct connected External than with NAS or other network shares.
     

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