Backing up Music to HD...Confusing!

Discussion in 'iPod' started by AlmightyG5, May 27, 2006.

  1. AlmightyG5 macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    Ok, so I want my iTunes Library backed up to my external HD. I don't like how in the iTunes Music folder evrything is seperated into folder by artist and album. I just want one folder with all my song files in other folders. How can I do this so I can put it on my HD? Also how do you delete and album artwork if you have more than one for a song?

  2. colindempster macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2005
    Hi there!

    I don't know how to undo iTunes organisation (apart from manually sorting out all your files again in Finder). I too do not like how iTunes organises the files and each time I have upgraded machines or done a reinstall there are 3 things that I always do:
    (i) from iTunes preferences - Advanced - General change "copy songs" to No
    (ii) from iTunes preferences - Advanced - General change "organise" to No
    (iii) from iTunes preferences - Advanced - Importing change "file names" to No

    This means that I have full control over my song library.

    In fact I don't keep my music in the iTunes folder at all but at the root level of the hard disk which meant that several users could easily access the same files without having to make copies of 30GB of music!

    Don't know anything about artwork though ... sorry.

  3. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    Just a quick bit of experimenting: i found that you can use spotlight and search for mp3 or m4a to find all your music. You can then simply select everything and drag it to its destination.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You can also create the folder you want on your external HD, go to the library view in iTunes, click All in all three columns so that you see every single song, choose Edit->Select All (or Apple-A), and then drag all the songs from the iTunes window to the destination folder.

    But really, you're best off copying your ~/Music folder. If the purpose is to do a backup, then if you copy this folder, and get over the OCD about the number of subfolders it contains, then you're best off, because in case of a loss, you can directly just copy this folder back and iTunes will be right back where you left it. ;)
  5. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    It depends on how you want to work with your music. Here are some options:

    If you want to keep your music in a folder on your external hard drive instead of in the Music folder in your home account then you need to change the "iTunes Music Folder Location" to the folder on your external drive. You change this setting in iTunes Preferences -> Advanced.

    If you want the music folder to just be a bunch of files and not be organized into Artist, Album folders then make sure "Keep iTunes Music Folder organized" is not selected in the iTunes Preferences -> Advanced tab.

    If you want to add your music files to your music folder by dragging them into iTunes then leave "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" selected. If you prefer to first copy the files to your music folder (or keep them in several different folders) and then drag them into iTunes then make sure "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" is not selected.

    So, if you want to have a folder on your external hard drive containing just your music files and you want to add those files to the folder by dragging them into iTunes you should set: 1) the location of the music folder on the external, 2) deselect "Keep iTunes Music Folder organized", and 3) select "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library".

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