How can I move my Itunes .itl and related files to my laptop?

Wildgift

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 21, 2007
395
16
I am getting ready to move my itunes library to a NAS. At present,my Itunes folder has all the media (21,000 songs) AND the ITunes .itl, .xml and other related files in the same folder. I read that performance with itunes on the NAS will be faster if those files stay on my laptop.

Every how-to i have seen doesn't seem to address this. Can anyone give me step by step on how to do this? The goal is to have the media files on the NAS and the database files on the laptop.

Thanks!
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,487
361
At present,my Itunes folder has all the media (21,000 songs) AND the ITunes .itl, .xml and other related files in the same folder. I read that performance with itunes on the NAS will be faster if those files stay on my laptop.

Every how-to i have seen doesn't seem to address this. Can anyone give me step by step on how to do this? The goal is to have the media files on the NAS and the database files on the laptop.
I'm not sure about the relative performance having the iTunes database files local or on a networked NAS. It's not like a relational database or a photos database where you are crunching lots of objects at a time. My guess is that it really wouldn't make any difference, assuming a reasonably fast network and NAS.

The easiest thing is to just copy your iTunes folder over to the NAS and then point iTunes to the media in Preference/Advanced:

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 7.58.48 PM.png
Some NAS vendors firmware supports having the database files on the NAS but this becomes more complicated. I don't know how to tell iTunes that the database (not the media) is located elsewhere. The NAS vendor may supply iTunes compatibility software that does support this, but in the one case I've looked at it only works with iTunes desktop. Accessing iTunes from other devices (iPhone, iPad) requires an app from the NAS vendor.
 

Wildgift

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 21, 2007
395
16
I'm not sure about the relative performance having the iTunes database files local or on a networked NAS. It's not like a relational database or a photos database where you are crunching lots of objects at a time. My guess is that it really wouldn't make any difference, assuming a reasonably fast network and NAS.

The easiest thing is to just copy your iTunes folder over to the NAS and then point iTunes to the media in Preference/Advanced:

View attachment 845371
Some NAS vendors firmware supports having the database files on the NAS but this becomes more complicated. I don't know how to tell iTunes that the database (not the media) is located elsewhere. The NAS vendor may supply iTunes compatibility software that does support this, but in the one case I've looked at it only works with iTunes desktop. Accessing iTunes from other devices (iPhone, iPad) requires an app from the NAS vendor.
Many thanks for the advice.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,456
881
Honestly, don't see how you will get significant improvement of keeping the index files on the Mac vs. NAS, as will still need to hit the NAS to actually start playing media. And probably any hit will be when iTunes starts and reads in the databases/indexes (should not need to read those again).

Guessing that maybe a way of doing this is moving the actual media folders to NAS, create symbolic links on the Mac to them, rest of the files stay on the Mac.
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,487
361
Guessing that maybe a way of doing this is moving the actual media folders to NAS, create symbolic links on the Mac to them, rest of the files stay on the Mac.
Why would you create links when you can just set the media location in iTunes preferences to the NAS?
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,456
881
Why would you create links when you can just set the media location in iTunes preferences to the NAS?
Per OP, they want to:

the ITunes .itl, .xml and other related files in the same folder. I read that performance with itunes on the NAS will be faster if those files stay on my laptop.
So, only way I can think of to split the iTunes folder is via symlinks.
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,487
361
So, only way I can think of to split the iTunes folder is via symlinks.
Still don't understand. The iTunes media is on the NAS, pointed to by iTunes preferences. The .itl and other database files are on the laptop in the default location. I suppose you could put the database files on the NAS and use a link, but since the poster wanted to keep them on the laptop there's no point in doing that.