Can iTunes run off of an external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bilbo155, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. bilbo155 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2007
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    Clovis California
    #1
    In other words... I have moved my music library to the external hard drive, as per an earlier thread I read here on the forums. It worked like quite well. Now that it is working perfectly, I am having a hard time leaving well enough alone. It is never a good idea for me to think too much...

    Bottom line and the non-Italian version of my question,


    Can itunes be installed and run on/from an external hard drive?
    If so, how?


    baggins...
     
  2. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #2
    I'm doing it right now off my Firewire 800 MyBook Drive, just put your music on the drive and go!
     
  3. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Intall itunes on external hard drive...

    My music is on the external drive. That works well. I want to install itunes on the external drive. How do I do that?
    ___________________:confused:
    baggins
     
  4. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #4
    Even if you wanted to do that, iTunes stores all the metadata, files and preferences on a location other than your external drive. So it's not exactly possible.
     
  5. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    iTunes stores that information on another part of the computer?

    I just thought it would be nice to be able to play my tunes on any computer without having to install iTunes on it first. Update my ipod on the fly and not leave possible inappropriate song titles on my work computer.
     
  6. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #6
    Don't do it from work? Why would you update it from a work computer?

    But those concerns aside, iTunes stores everything but the songs in certain places, like ~/Music (the library files and coverart, I think) and prefs in ~/Library/Preferences. They're required to use iTunes and although you can certainly store the former on your external drive (which I believe requires that there be no such similar files in ~/Music/iTunes), the latter is not exactly possible.

    So basically, to solve your dilemma, install iTunes but keep the library on the external. iTunes has a lot of other files it puts everywhere, not to mention things like iTunesHelper, so I'm not sure you could install iTunes to an external drive.
     
  7. Dafke macrumors 6502

    Dafke

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    #7
    check this article to find out how to move your iTunes music folder (not iTunes itself) to another location (such as an external harddrive).
     
  8. millap macrumors regular

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    United Kingdom
    #8
    I think the only way to do what you are asking, would be to install the whole operating system on your external drive, and then boot from that. You would then be able to move between work and home, and have your entire setup move with you.
     
  9. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Clovis California
    #9
    My work supplies a MacBook Pro for me and it is the only computer that I own. So, I figure why buy another when I have the best already.

    Thanks for the information.
    _______________:)
    baggins
     
  10. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks...

    I already did that using an earlier post from this site. It worked like a charm.

    I was hoping to have the whole iTunes program housed and then run it from my external hard drive. With no part of iTunes on my work computer. My work provides me with a MacBook Pro and thus it is the only computer I have. I have about 22 gigs of all types of music and some of the titles may not be appropriate to house on the work lap top. Although, many other including my boss do just that. Just trying to be politically correct.

    Thanks again for the information.
    _______________

    baggins
     
  11. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Wow!

    Sounds like a little advanced for my computing skill level. I can see it now. Me trying to explain to the tech guy how I messed up the whole operating system. Ha Ha....LOL

    :apple:baggins
     
  12. TUPELO macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #12
    Where do deleted ITUNE songs go if library on external hardrive?

    My external hardrive where I keep my itunes library is dead......I want to recover 2 songs that I had previously deleted from this library before it crashed.....where do these songs go (if empty trash has not been performed yet)? I'm trying to find them using Data Rescue II.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13
    OK, here's what I do, that works like a charm. Please note that these instructions are only if you want to start a brand new iTunes library from scratch, not move an existing one. I'm sure you can modify these instructions for an existing library, but I take no responsibility if you delete all your music:

    I have an external hard drive, and I have a volume on it for my music library. The path to that is /Volumes/External/Music (or External:Music: in iTunes). In the iTunes preferences, I have that set as my music folder. I also have Keep iTunes Music folder organized checked, as well as Copy files to iTunes folder when adding to library (that last one's optional, but I recommend it to keep everything tidy).

    Now, of course, the problem here is that the library and metadata files are still on your boot drive in your home directory, and if the metadata such as ratings, artwork and playlists are important to you, and your boot drive craps out, you lose all that, right? Well, here's how I took care of that. Delete, yes, I said delete the music folder in your home directory (~/Music). (Of course, make sure it's empty or that nothing you want to keep is in there, because it will go bye-bye) Move to trash and empty the trash, otherwise, this may not work. Now, in your home directory, create an alias called "Music" that points to the Music folder on your external hard drive. Launch iTunes. It will now create a new library file in /Volumes/External/Music/iTunes where the library and metadata will be stored.

    The beauty of this? I can share my library between my iMac and PowerBook. They both have the alias created. Right now, the HD is plugged into my iMac. But if I plug it into the PowerBook instead and launch iTunes, my same library is there. And if I ever do an erase and reinstall of OSX, all I need to do is just recreate that alias and my library is still there with everything in tact. Plus, with all the time I've spent creating playlists and rating stuff and whatnot, I'd hate to lose that. My library file gets mirrored across 2 hard drives just like the actual music files do since I have the OWC RAID1 external drive thingy.

    So bilbo155, while this will not get the iTunes app itself onto your external, it will move everything else over there. So as long as your external drive isn't connected, there won't be any trace of the music on your laptop. And if your boss gives you crap about the iTunes app being on your computer, just tell him it's a part of the standard OSX install ;)

    The only downside to this is that the external drive must be turned on and mounted otherwise iTunes won't even launch, it'll just give you an error and quit. So if the drive isn't connected, you won't be able to launch iTunes to browse the iTMS or listen to streaming audio or whatever. Not an issue for me since my external is always on


    FYI....a similar trick with aliases and the Movies directory can be done to get movies stored on your external drive to show up in FrontRow
     
  14. bilbo155 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14

    What a wonderful solution...
    It is a win win idea.
    I am going to give it a try now. I have my music backed up on two different external hard drives just in case of emergency. I will set them both up as per your instructions.

    _________

    Thanks for the great solution to what was a perplexing problem....

    You Rock yg17!
     
  15. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #15
    Wow! This aliased iTunes solution is excellent!
     
  16. Elbag macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2010
    #16
    similar work-around for Windows?

    Don't s'pose you have a similar work-around for Windows?
     
  17. Musicism macrumors newbie

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    Sep 28, 2012
    #17
    Hey, Great solution. Im doing the same but using Windows. Whats an "Alias" and exactly how do I create it on windows. In what folder do I install or put this "Alias"? Thank you

    Ron
     

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