external hd+macbook+itunes

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
I recently got an external hd for my macbook. When I got it I put all of my itunes music on this and deleted it from my internal hd. Now I want to put the music back onto the internal hd, but at the same time keep it on the external also. I have tried dragging and dropping the music folder many times. Everytime it copies the folder for about 20 min. When I disconnect the external hd and try to use itunes it says that the file cannot be found would you like to locate it. When I do that it starts me in my documents folder and not the itunes music folder like I have it set up too. Help, what am I doing wrong?
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
Do you mean in the advanced section on preferences? I have done this and checked it everytime and it is always set up to the correct location.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Can you find the files iTunes Library and iTunes Music Library.xml?

Spotlight can help you locate them.

These are what iTunes is trying to find.
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
So should I be setting it up to look at those files or the actual music files that are under itunes music?
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Ok, I guess I need to clarify what you mean. Which of the following is true:

1) When you open up Itunes it tells you that the library file cannot be located and asks you to find it

2) You songs appear in itunes but when you try to play the song it tells you the file is not found
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
The songs appear but when I try to play them it says it can't find the file. I then locate it and then go into preferences everytime and make sure that the location that itunes is getting music from is the folder where I just "found" the missing file.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
The songs appear but when I try to play them it says it can't find the file. I then locate it and then go into preferences everytime and make sure that the location that itunes is getting music from is the folder where I just "found" the missing file.
ok, this is because you moved your music when iTunes was closed, so iTunes still thinks your music is where it used to be. If you have moved your music with iTunes open, iTunes would have 'seen' the move and kept track of where the files had moved to.

The quickest solution is probably to close iTunes, move the music back where it was, then open up Itunes and move the music to where you want it. The iTunes database then should have correct info about where all you music is stored.

Edit: If you want to know where iTunes 'thinks' each song is, press Apple+I on one of the songs and it will show you where iTunes things the song is stored. This may not match up to where the song actually is.
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
Ok so what would be the best way to transfer the songs from my external hd to my internal hd, then make itunes recognize and read the music files off of the internal hd?
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Ok so what would be the best way to transfer the songs from my external hd to my internal hd, then make itunes recognize and read the music files off of the internal hd?
That depends, do you care about maintaining things like your current playcounts, or does it not matter if these things get reset to 0?
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
As long as i maintain my playlists I'm happy.
Hmm, this could be tricky then.

Ok, here's a start. Find a song in iTunes that iTunes says it can't find. Now, press Apple+I to get info, and note what it says for the file location. This is where iTunes thinks the file is (but it is clearly not there), and thus this is where you need to move the file back to in order for iTunes to see it again.

Technically you will have to do this for each song, but if you maintained folder structure when you copied everything to the external then you may just be able to copy everything back on-masse and have it work.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
When you say start the entire library from scratch you mean...?
1. Delete all your songs from iTunes list, but NOT from your hard drive.
2. Move your music files where you want them.
3. Use the add to library option in iTunes to add your songs back into iTunes
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
Alright I'm going to try to make sure I don't mess this up. Where exactly do I delete the songs from?
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Alright I'm going to try to make sure I don't mess this up. Where exactly do I delete the songs from?
In Itunes, press Apple+A to select all your songs, then hit the delete key. Confirm that you want to remove the songs from your library. If it asks you if you also want to remove the files from your disk, say NO.
 

brendan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2007
16
0
Ok now do I move the files from my external drive to my internal and import them into itunes?
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Ok now do I move the files from my external drive to my internal and import them into itunes?
Yes, move the files to wherever you want to keep them, then, in iTunes press Apple+O (add to library) select the folder containing all your music and it should add them all back to your iTunes library.