Best Way To Move iTunes to External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ghsNick, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. ghsNick, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    ghsNick macrumors 68020

    ghsNick

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  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #2
    You may want to consider keeping the (tiny) database on your computer... but moving your media directory to the external. This gives you faster database access (especially if you have an SSD)... yet keep the volume of data on the external. There is an Apple tutorial on how to do it in the Apple support site.

    /Jim
     
  3. ghsNick, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68020

    ghsNick

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    #3
    Ok great, let me look into it first.
     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Here you go: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #5
    What Jim suggests works well. I have done this for many a friend and over time I find the following is my best bet.

    1) go to preferences - advanced and make sure that the box for copy/move to iTunes is NOT checked.
    2) got to Music/iTunes/ and copy all of the iTunes Media and its contents to your external drive.
    3) make sure iTunes app is closed
    4) delete everything inside of Music/iTunes. (I suggest copying it all other than iTunes media to another location as a back up which can be deleted later)
    5) Reopen iTunes. It should be empty if you deleted all those files or moved them.
    6) Go to File and then do an "add to library." This will reconstitute your entire library on the external disk AND create the small database of itunes on your Local machine.

    This may take some time if you have a large library and occasionally, you may have to grab some artwork. This method works well.
    Hint - I prefer to do a few sub folders at a time rather than everything at once and check as I go along. So far, have not had any problems.

    Last - Since your entire library is external and the iTunes database is local, if for some reason your drive is not connect to your Mac, it wont create a new database but warn you when the media is not available. The ideal scenario is to always make sure your external drive is active when you bring up iTunes.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Does this approach preserve all of your metadata, playlists etc? The reason that I question this is because you are re-importing the data all over again. At a minimum, I would expect the playlists to go away.

    The way the Apple site dictates... is based on iTunes doing the actual migration of data to the new location... so all of the playlists, ratings, and play history survive.

    /Jim
     
  7. ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68020

    ghsNick

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    #7
    Yeah I think I'm going to do it the way Apple suggests. I want my playlist and counts to be the same. Everything will literally be the same except all the media will be on my external hard drive.
     
  8. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #8
    Nope, phrehdd's approach sucks. OP - don't do it this way.

    Just change your iTunes media folder location in Preferences->Advanced, select 'keep organised' and then File->Library->Organise library

    iTunes moves all the media files to the new location itself, and preserves metadata, counts etc.
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #9
    This is the condensed version of the Apple instructions that I posted.

    /Jim
     
  10. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #10
    I haven't tried this way but read about it - maybe some of the experts on here can chime in if it'd work or not. Supposedly you can copy your entire iTunes folder structure to the external drive, then delete the originals. Then open iTunes holding down the Option key. It'll ask if you want to create a new library or use an existing one. You say to use an existing one and point it to the external drive location.
     
  11. phrehdd, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #11
    Agreed - no playlists or counts saved. However, it is more absolute. Ask some people who migrated and find issues of some items not coming over or being missed. I wont say my way sucks but is just direct and straight forward. If it ideal if you set up your folders differently.

    Example -

    Itunes purchased music
    Itunes purchased video
    Itunes purchased audiobooks
    Itunes MP3 (Amazon etc.)
    Itunes CD Lossless (converted from CD)
    Itunes Flac Lossless (converted from purchased FLAC music on line)
    Itunes audiobooks CD (converted from purchases at bookstore as example)

    Go for the migration method and hope it works well. The goal is to be satisfied and the method effective.
     
  12. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

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    Virginia
    #12
    if you don't mind spending a little $$, try this http://tunespan.com

    My wife uses it with her rMBP to split the iTunes lib between the SSD and an external disk.
     

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