Oh ok, I get it. I wasn't talking about iPod. I was talking about iTunes playing mp3s that I keep on my laptop's hd.
It seems a needless waste of space to copy them to another location on my drive just to play them in iTunes. So I'll turn that feature off. I have my mp3s just as I like them already. Plus I like to share them with my other computers.
If I had an iPod I'd copy them to the iPod, you betcha!
I keep all my music on an external hdd. I add the folders I want into iTunes. It doesnt copy the songs to the iTunes library. The library list in iTunes is basically a shortcut to where the song is located.
It's something that takes a bit of getting used to, but I have to agree. Getting iTunes to manage your files is easier in the long run. As spicyapple says, you can select a track and press COMMAND-R to find it's location or you can use the contextual menu from right-clicking.