Changing iTunes Library Location (help!)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Astral Cars, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Astral Cars macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    St. Paul
    I've gone and screwed it up again. I ran out of space on my computer so I'm moving my iTunes library to an external HD. I copied the whole iTunes folder to it and then went into preference and changed the music folder location to where I just copied it. It seemed to be working splendidly, so I trashed the music still on the computer. I quit iTunes and opened it up only to see thousands of little exclamation points. It doesn't know where my music is. This is odd since the preferences say it's on the external HD. And yes I have the "Keep iTunes music folder organized" and "copy blah blah blah" boxes checked.

    Then I was really dumb and thought maybe I could just say "Add to Library" and do that, it added everything, but without ratings and play counts etc. obviously. So now i've got two copies of everything and neither one is what I want.

    I've done this before, but I can never remember the right way to go about it, so please please help me out.

    Also, Apple really ought to make doing something like this much easier.
  2. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Forest Hills, NY
    what i did was exported my library to an XML file. then i opened the file in text edit and found the location's of the songs using command-F, then put the new address in using find and replace. then you save this file. if you delete all the songs in your library (AND DO NOT MOVE TO TRASH), you can reimport your library assuming you move all your music to those locations.
  3. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    St. Paul
    Well, I've done basically what you said and I got it all worked out except I lost my play counts on everything, which unfortunately I care about quite a bit for some stupid reason. Is there a way I can get them back?
  4. Nero Wolfe macrumors regular

    Nero Wolfe

    Oct 28, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    In iTunes (and iPhoto) you can switch libraries by holding 'option' while clicking the program icon (in the dock) and it will prompt you to select a location for the library; just point it to your external HDD library that you copied. All your info should be there. Then you can delete your local one.

    I do this all the time with iPhoto as I have several libraries.
  5. RumMunkey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    For future reference, I think the part you missed was to tell iTunes to "Consolodate Library".

    In fact, I believe you didn't even need to move the music yourself. I think what you should have done is change the location of your library in Prefs, then run "Consolodate Library" in iTunes.

    I believe that would have copied all your music to the new location FOR YOU, and updated your XML file (where your ratings, etc are stored) to point to the new location.

    Somebody want to confirm / deny?
  6. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    St. Paul
    Yeah, I believe you're right about the consolidate library tip. I realized that shortly afterwards, but now I'm kinda stuck I think.

    I'm still quite confused why it isn't showing my play counts and last played info. That is recorded in the xml file I imported, but for some reason wasn't imported. Does anyone know how I can force the play count info to show up?
  7. fuyutsuki macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I've only come to this forum because trying to do *precisely that* is yielding nothing!

    I have a library I want to move from an old iMac to an external hard drive since it's getting too big. I'm having no luck doing so. I hope I don't have to go hacking hard links in the .xml file as mentioned above!

    All I get when trying to point iTunes on another Mac to the full copy on an external hard drive is iTunes trying to fool me. It sees nothing new, and in fact its just using that machine's own ~/Music (empty) iTunes library, whether I delete it or not. Lame. Doesn't feel right at all. I wonder if this was broken in some version of iTunes in recent times…

    Apple could really have made this easier.

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