Add movies from external HD to Itunes without copying

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Blazer5913, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    I am encoding all my dvd's using handbrake and tv shows with visual hub in anticipation of my apple tv. I was just wondering how you guys have them stored. I have an external HD into which all my stuff is organized, but when I try to add the shows/movies to iTunes, it makes another copy of it thats stored within the iTunes library on my MacBook Pro. This HD will fill up extremely fast using this method, so basically I just want iTunes to copy all my MUSIC when I add it to its own Itunes stored library, but I just want iTunes to merely "access" my video files that are physically stored on my external HD. Any help??? Thanks alot
  2. mustard macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2005
    Hold down the :apple: key and then click and drag the files into itunes.
  3. KT322 macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2006
  4. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    You can permanently stop iTunes doing this in Preferences ... I'm away from the Mac at the moment, but I think it's something like the "Manage my music" option. Checking the option causes iTunes to copy all media that you add to its own directory, unchecking it means it leaves the content wherever it is.


  5. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    Thanks Jim. Only thing is that I still want my music to be copied, but just not my movies. I will try to hold down the Apple key once I get back home. Thank you
  6. blybug macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2003
    Galveston, TX
    actually it's the option key that toggles this behavior
  7. williamsonrg macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I wanted this same thing. What I did was create a separate iTunes library on my external HDD for my movies. Whenever I want to watch a movie, I would just hold "Option" when opening iTunes and select that library.

    I'm going to try this new method now.
  8. thesheep macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2006
    Go to:

    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced

    You need to toggle the box that says 'copy files to iTunes music folder'.

    Turn it off before you add your movies, then turn it on again when you add your music.
  9. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    the previous poster was correct. holding option toggles this behaviour... sooooooooo handy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks a million!
  10. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    hey, did anyone realise that you can move files out of the itunes library in finder and itunes will know where to find it??

    is this new?
  11. abrooks macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    London, UK
    Has been standard behaviour for a while, I think iTunes needs to be open though?
  12. Miles Davis macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2004
    So does this mean that you can have movies and tv shows on an external, "copy" them to iTunes on a laptop and not copy the actual file, and then, when you sync to Apple TV (as long as the external is hooked up to the laptop at the time) the file will be sent to the Apple TV?

    If you disconnect the external from the laptop and sync, will the file then be deleted?

    Does this work on an iPod as well?
  13. imlucid macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    Yes, I do this all the time.

    I'm not sure if it will be deleted or not.

  14. mac2thefuture macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2007
    Lancashire, North West, UK
    Is it poss to have all your itunes content on an external only? How ?

    Also, i used the above where you press option key and drop into itunes to save space - doing this disables the tagging facility for MeTax. Anyone know any way around this?


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