Consolidate iTunes Library: How Does it Work?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by IJ Reilly, May 26, 2008.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Palookaville
    #1
    For many years I've stored the bulk of my music library on my PowerBook. Now I'd like to move this library to my (new) iMac. I don't want to try a drag-copy, since the iMac already has quite a lot of music on it already. I need to merge the libraries onto the iMac.

    The "Consolidate Library..." menu option in iTunes doesn't seem to come with much explanation, and the dialog box offers only a "Cancel" or "Consolidate" button and the ominous warning that this "Cannot be Undone." It isn't clear what happens if you click "Consolidate" and I certainly don't see any method for navigating to an iTunes library located on an external volume. Help isn't much help.

    How can I merge these libaries?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

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    Wales
    #2
    Doesn't consolidating your library make a copy of everything in your library into the iTunes Music folder?

    That's what I was always under the impression it did, though I don't know what would happen to the original files or to files that were already in the iTunes Music folder.
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    According to the instructions, it copies all music files from anywhere they are stored on you Mac into the iTunes library. I know others have used it for consolidating libraries from other Macs, but I can't see how this is done. Anyone?
     
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    Well, if you share your iTunes folder on the Mac you want to copy the music from, drag those songs from the shared folder into the iTunes folder on the Mac you want the music, then consolidate the library.

    Might take a while to copy it all through the network, but it's certainly one way to do it.
     
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    Can music shared through iTunes been copied? I don't think so.

    I suppose I could drag-copy the entire iTunes library folder from the PowerBook to the iMac, and then consolidate the library, but I'm pretty certain it's supposed to be easier than that.
     
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    #6
    No, I said share the iTunes folder over your network, then access that shared folder from your iMac and copy the music into iTunes.

    But, an easier and quicker way would be to boot the PowerBook up in Target Disk Mode (connect the two by FireWire) and then copy the items into iTunes then consolidate the library.
     
  7. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Right, the folder. Sorry. I was planning on using Target Disk Mode to mount the PowerBook drive, but it wasn't clear to me whether I needed to manually drag-copy from the PowerBook into iTunes on the iMac before consolidating. From what I've read, it may be possible to simply mount the PowerBook drive onto the iMac and consolidate. Does consolidate work for external volumes? That is my actual question.
     
  8. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #8
    Yes.

    If you tell iTunes not to copy new additions to the music folder (since that is consolidating) then all it is doing is making an alias of the music file. Consolidating is taking those aliases and making them physical copies in the iTunes library.

    So all you have to do is drag the music folder into iTunes itself (you can copy the preferences too if you wanted) so iTunes makes aliases to the music on the PowerBook while in TDM. Then, consolidate the library.
     
  9. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Palookaville
    #9
    Not sure which question you are answering "yes" to, but it appears that just dragging the music folder from the PowerBook to iTunes on the iMac is copying all of the songs (in process), not just aliases. FWIW, Mac Help offers this unhelpful explanation of consolidation:

    The implication is that consolidate copies from any mounted volume ("various places on your computer's hard disk or other locations"), but it doesn't work that way.
     
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    You'll have "Copy to iTunes Library" ticked in Preferences, which I mentioned to untick earlier..
     
  11. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    I can't see where you recommended any changes to preferences. But it's worked, which is the important thing. Thanks!
     
  12. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #12
    Here :p


    Glad you got it working.
     
  13. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Sorry, I didn't get your drift. It isn't particularly easy to find that preference. Anyhow, what is the advantage to unchecking that option?
     
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #14
    It just doesn't copy the file to iTunes. I have it ticked so my iTunes Library is organised, instead of having songs scattered about everywhere.

    I'd keep it ticked so you don't have to consolidate your library again in the future!
     

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